Often when I am tagging there seems to be a lack of tags beyond this very broad one. seems to be very popular at the moment and generates quite a lot of good questions but doesn't really help to narrow down questions very much. Since the most obvious way to order organic chemistry (and the way in which most textbooks do it) seems to be by functional group, I think we should start tagging organic chemistry questions in this way. As someone who is very interested in learning about organic chemistry, I am often looking for information on different functional groups, and being able to go to the appropriate tag and browse through questions about that group would be very useful.

Functional group tags that already exist: , , , , (rarely used), (this should probably be merged with ), , , (this seems too specific so we might want to be delete it or create an tag and merge them).

Tags that I think should exist: (>200 search results), (>230 results), (>170 results), (>240), (>80), (>220), (>80). There are probably some more that I've missed to feel free to add more suggestions.

  • $\begingroup$ Great minds think alike! I thought of writing this (i.e. Re-requesting the "specify which organochem") post, but I thought I'd put it to rest because of the heat of the elections$\ldots$ Anyways, I fully support organizing the organochem questions more efficiently. +1 $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ Note that however, the elements version of this was declined because those tags didn't add anything to the question. I think the same logic may apply here. I'm hoping to see some good ideas from our cool organochemists. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ Elements are way more specific though, and they are not a common (or particularly) useful way of organizing reactions, whereas functional groups is the obvious way of organizing organic chemistry. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Also in that question it was agreed (it got 12 upvotes) that tags like halogens and aromatic-compounds are acceptable. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. That's why I think something like alkanes would work, but not thiols. Thiols are not that common. (Define common$\ldots$ Common means used and currently being used in a steady stream of questions in chem.SE) $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ @M.A.Ramezani I just realized there was not even a tag called functional-groups itself. $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ @bonCodigo And I just removed it. It is far too broad and doesn't really add anything to the question. I also removed hydrocarbons based on the discussions we had here about alkanes, alkenes etc. but I'm open to more discussion on this. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ @bon It's good to have separate tags for each functional group, more streamlined. However given that tag count is limited to 5, makes it hard to tag if a question involved multiple functional groups. In that case the if the question can be wrap into the basket of functional groups, that would be neat and direct. $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 10:39
  • $\begingroup$ @bonCodigo I see your point, but the number of questions which need this is very small and I suspect there would be a large number of questions which use it incorrectly. It could very easily turn into a synonym for organic chemistry since almost all organic chemistry questions deal with functional groups in some way. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


I think that creating some more tags for certain functional groups can actually be beneficial.

Here are a few comments on the status quo and some recommendations:

  • $\Large\color{\green}{\checkmark\small\text{(Completed.)}}$ Note that halocarbons is already a synonym of .
  • $\Large\color{\green}{\checkmark\small\text{(Completed.)}}$ The tag has been introduced and also maps to and . See: What are appropriate tag(s) for (organo)sulfur compounds?
    The scope of can probably be extended to include the four questions about thiols.

  • $\Large\color{\navy}{\oslash\small\text{( Delayed.)}}$ I agree that is a bit specific, but currently I see no harm in keeping it. (There are more than 10 good questions assigned to it, so it probably makes sense.)

  • As a rule of thumb, if a tag is worth creating/keeping I would say, if it generates a few 5-10 questions per year. Since there are a couple of uses, I don't think it's a pressing matter.

  • $\Large\color{\green}{\checkmark\small\text{(Completed.)}}$ has been set up and a wiki page has been created.

  • $\Large\color{\green}{\checkmark\small\text{(Completed.)}}$ should be created and can be. There are at the moment 24 questions that have nitro in the question title or body (search here). I did not go through them, but I think a couple of them could use the tag.
    This should/can be done over the course of a week or two. When applying the tag, please make sure, that it is actually worth bumping it to the front page. When editing please pay attention to the question title and mark up/down and the other tags - make it awesome instead of just appending a tag.

  • $\Large\color{\green}{\checkmark\small\text{(Completed.)}}$ may be created, it is useful, but the procedure is problematic. This involves retagging probably around 100 questions (search here) or more.
    It can be applied to a lot more question. It has been applied to quite a few questions during TRE, the remained can be tackled here.
    The wiki page has been created and defines the scope.

    • Questions relating to the two tags that certainly would arise: What about amides? What about imines? What about imides? Hydrazines? Nitriles? Etc.? PP.?
  • $\Large\color{\green}{\checkmark\small\text{(Rolled out.)}}$ Similarly may be created, but the procedure should be as careful as above. There are currently about 80 occurrences in titles and bodies (search here).
    $\color{\orange}{\bigcirc\scriptsize\text{( To do.)}}$ Retagging important old questions (from the above search) to give the tag a better usage.
    $\color{\green}{\checkmark\scriptsize\text{(Completed.)}}$ It still needs a wiki page, defining a scope. Related question: Scope of esters tag

  • $\Large\color{\navy}{\oslash\small\text{( Needs clarification.)}}$ The same may be applied to . Here are more than 100 questions to be considered (search here).
    Carboxylic acids are currently covered by the tag .

  • $\Large\color{\red}{\pmb\times\small\text{( Disputed.)}}$ Considering alkane, alkene, alkyne:

    • I am not so sure if alkanes is really necessary. I feel like they are so common...
    • I am a bit ambivalent about alkenes and alkynes. I see they could serve a purpose, but I am not sure if any question can actually profit from it. We certainly will run into procedural problems, see Editing gone wild
  • $\Large\color{\green}{\checkmark\small\text{(Completed.)}}$ The tag "alcohol" has been remapped to for the sake of consistency, as requested by Jan in The Periodic Table.

  • $\Large\color{\green}{\checkmark\small\text{(Rolled out.)}}$ has been created, but is currently tagged with only one question. There are currently about 40 occurrences in titles and bodies (search here).
    $\color{\orange}{\bigcirc\scriptsize\text{( To do.)}}$ Retagging important old questions (from the above search) to give the tag a better usage.
    $\color{\orange}{\bigcirc\scriptsize\text{( To do.)}}$ It has a tag wiki excerpt, but still needs a proper wiki.

I fear this is a project which could involve about 500 retags, eating away a lot of time. I have absolutely no objection to creating such tags in situ by applying it to new questions and then slowly rolling it out to high voted questions over a quite long period. Whenever an edit of an old post is performed, there should be the central question: How does it help the site?

  • $\begingroup$ I agree that we should at least create the tags and start applying them to new questions. It's better to have some organization than none at all. For alkanes, perhaps if we limit the tag to properties and reactions of alkanes (questions like this and this) but not questions like 'How do I name/draw this alkane'. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 10:23
  • $\begingroup$ @bon Oh, I am sorry, that was not what I meant. I strongly advise against creating tags for alk(a,e,y)nes, especially when you want to limit the scope of these tags. You will be cleaning up after all kinds of questions, most likely editing the tag either in or out. I do not think that is a good idea. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 11:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ On another note, tag creation is simple. Just write it in the line for the tags, any one with more than 300 rep can do it. If you want the tag to be persistent grab a couple of questions (but not too many) apply it to them and write up a tag wiki (not only the excerpt). Have a look here for some good practises. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ I'm creating nitro-compounds right now. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 11:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ carboxyl-compounds is extremely similar to carbonyl-compounds so would probably result in some mistags. Perhaps carboxylic-acids is better. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 15:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @bon Carboxylic-acids are part of carbonyl compounds - is the tag really necessary? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 2:57
  • $\begingroup$ I just did some work on the carbohydrates wiki. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 23:31
  • $\begingroup$ it's like highlighting every word in your textbook as you read. IMHO $\endgroup$
    – DrAzulene
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 18:15

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