So far there are only three questions tagged with and it doesn't seem like any of them need it. Even if you think that the tag is helpful for these three questions, the fact remains that, well, it's only three questions.

I don't have statistics, but I am fairly confident in saying that the most common usage of arises due to newcomers asking questions. This means extra retagging work. Not that it's difficult work by any means, but my point is just that there is a drawback of keeping the tag around.

Since this is a website for chemistry concepts and not about the workings of IUPAC, I don't really see any legitimate case where we would have a question about IUPAC. As hBy2Py wrote more than a year ago:

Appears it was originally intended as a tag for questions about IUPAC itself... are such questions even on-topic for the site at present? My impression is that they're not.

I think not too. Sure, we can have questions about why they decided to adopt some rules (e.g. the three currently tagged questions), but that is appropriately covered under or or whatever, as it is actually asking about the rules instead of the body.

Could we get rid of this tag?

Edit to clarify my argument for getting rid of the tag

Let's look at the three questions currently tagged with . Two of them are asking about provisional element names, which are covered perfectly well by [elements] + [nomenclature]. One more is asking about the 2013 Recommendations for organic nomenclature, which is covered perfectly well by [organic-chemistry] and [nomenclature].

None of these fall under the stated scope of [iupac]. It reads, and I quote,

"This tag should be applied to questions about the organisation IUPAC. For questions about nomenclature, the appropriate tag should be applied."

However, these questions are asking about IUPAC rules, not about the organisation. So, to me, it seems that these questions do not satisfy the very first stipulation.

On top of that, the usage of [iupac] on these questions clearly directly contravenes the supposed rule that questions about nomenclature are not supposed to be tagged with [iupac].

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    $\begingroup$ I've always been a bit unsure as to its application anyway, I'd be in favour of removing it, or failing that, making it more explicit as to what its for. "questions about the organisation IUPAC" suggests people asking questions about what the IUPAC is or their organisational/business structure. $\endgroup$
    – NotEvans.
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


Considering it’s been around for so long and it has only three questions, I think removal is a safe option.

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    $\begingroup$ Is this the easiest meta answer you've ever written? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ Who knows … ;)$%$ $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 18:59

I am quoting myself here, but I am still in favour of keeping it alive.

Secondly, I am very, very strongly against deleting the tag. I was once under the impression, that the tag is essentially the same as the nomenclature tag.
The usage explicitly states that the tag shall not be applied for nomenclature:

This tag should be applied to questions about the organisation IUPAC. For questions about nomenclature the appropriate tag should be applied.

There will always be the misuse of tags, that is simply something we cannot avoid. I think there are generally only very, very few questions on this site, that do not get edited. The example question you linked certainly had a lot of potential for editing. The removal of a wrong tag is then just a minor inconvenience.
If a users do not want to read the guidance, than we cannot force them in any way. But at least this way there is a guidance. In this way we might avoid one or two mistags.

While you might delete that tag, it may not be gone forever. The problem in this scenario are users that are still quite new, but have gathered enough reputation (300) to create tags. Many of them will not read this discussion or the one linked, and have a different understanding of the generic "IUPAC", they might be inclined to create this tag again.
If the tag is removed, any of tag-wiki is gone, leaving the tag in a state where it has to be cleaned up. You don't gain anything by removing the tag from the system. (You may want to have an occasional look at the new tags to understand what tags are sometimes created. In many occasions there are some cringe worthy ones.)

In short, I want to keep the tag, but it is a community decision.

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    $\begingroup$ Your answer, if I may boil it down to one sentence is ‘Let’s keep iupac to prevent it being misused as nomenclature!’? Because frankly, a tag that is only applied to three questions seems superfluous by arguments of size alone. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan Maybe. Let's just get rid of it and see where it leads. But I felt obliged to state that we had the discussion already... Anyway, I don't care enough about this to have any more discussions about it. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 13:52

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