I mean, for this topic: Understanding chemistry as a whole. This is clearly not "homework".

But then, maybe, I (being relatively new to chem.SE) am missing something? Maybe we already have a tag with similar meaning? Or maybe it has been discussed and proven unnecessary?

Upd. I didn't mean it to be about or . It's more like or . The tag wiki may go like

For questions whose answers can't be objectively evaluated as correct or incorrect, but which are still relevant to this site.

(I copied this from math.SE, they have a somewhat related tag .)

Upd. 2 And here is yet another: https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/50966/how-is-chemical-knowledge-organized, marked as homework (which it is not) and closed as too broad. How chemical knowledge is organized, really? "Shut up and learn, that's how". Is this really the message we want to convey?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Do you see more existing questions that could be applicable to this tag? (Note that tags that have only one question automatically expire after six months.) However, I am afraid that new questions belonging to such a tag are likely to be too broad or off topic for this site. $\endgroup$
    – user7951
    Oct 8, 2015 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I haven't read the entire site archives, that's one of the reasons why I'm asking for advice from those who's been here for years. The tag itself seems important enough to me, though. $\endgroup$ Oct 8, 2015 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ @IvanNeretin, I doubt that we need one. By the way, could you try to add a tag wiki for the proposed tag in the body of your question. Currently I have a difficulty in understanding what fall into the “foundations of chemistry” category and your only example does not help too much in that respect. $\endgroup$
    – Wildcat
    Oct 8, 2015 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Wild kitty I believe Ivan means something like "the basic principles of chemistry". $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 8, 2015 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I didn't get it: what is a tag wiki? $\endgroup$ Oct 8, 2015 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ Ivan Tag wiki/usage guidances are some info on the subject of the tag and how it should be applied. For instance, click this: organic-chemistry. Under the info tab, you see a description of "organic chemistry" and if you click 'learn more', you'll face the whole of what we call tag wiki. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 8, 2015 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ Anyways, welcome to meta, Ivan! (And downvotes here barely mean disagreement with what you wrote, contrary to the main site where they usually indicate post quality) $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 9, 2015 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ Here is another one: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/7980/… $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2015 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think there should be unless adequate defining and exclusionary criteria that constitute what can and can't a "foundation" be. Atoms...are they a foundation or Democritus and Leucippus who postulated them first thousands of years ago, for example. $\endgroup$
    – DrAzulene
    Jul 5, 2016 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


Ivan thanks for further encouraging me to write this. I've been meaning to do it for some time and your post motivated me to ask myself 'how can I make finding out if a tag is good easier?'

Well, it's done, and as you can see, or or won't be good tags since

  • They don't describe the real question being asked.
  • There is currently no consensus on what 'basic' is. (reason enough IMO)

"Rudimentary" isn't a box with visible hardline edges; it's at one end of an spectrum. Where it's always wrong to draw lines. So yeah, some things just can't be a tag, and thanks for this meta discussion!

  • $\begingroup$ True. Looks like a semi-meta tag for me. $\endgroup$
    – Wildcat
    Oct 9, 2015 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ OK, arguably my proposal does not pass your test for a good tag. (Neither does "homework", which is one of the most heavily used tags out there, and rightly so; I see this as an indication that the test result should be taken cum grano salis.) Also, I totally agree that it would be a bad practice to create a tag for one question only. But what to do with that question? Should it remain under woefully inadequate tag, or without any tags at all (is that even possible?), or are such questions unwelcome at chem.SE, or - wait! - should it be transferred to meta? $\endgroup$ Oct 12, 2015 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Ivan "homework" is an exception we accepted to have. I agree it's a meta tag and fails the test; but because the sole reason for its existence isn't being a good tag, but community decision. And that question I believe, should remain with that inappropriate tag until we can come up with a more descriptive tag or more (so many) questions like it. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 12, 2015 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ @IvanNeretin Maybe we should boil up this question again: meta.chemistry.stackexchange.com/q/238/4945 $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2015 at 12:35

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