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pKa, salt-bridge, coulombic interactions are important concepts for both chemistry, biochemistry, biology aspects. One would expect them to be quite hot topics. Strangely, however no such tags seem to exist on the site. Were these tags omitted deliberately or just never created? If these tags can't be created, then under which current tag-category the users are most encouraged to post questions on these concepts?

PS: To my knowledge, no biochemistry site exits on SE. Further these tags are fundamentally stemming from chemistry. In SO there was a feature that allowed users to create the tags. Is it still available in Chem.SE?

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    $\begingroup$ Users with 300 rep or higher can create new tags: chemistry.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/create-tags. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Apr 21, 2023 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ But one shouldn't make them just because of thinking it would be a good idea. This leads to chaos. Why use "pka" not just "acid-base", and "salt-bridge" not "electrolysis". They are probably too specific. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Apr 22, 2023 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ BTW some serious clean-up of tags is long overdue! $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Apr 22, 2023 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ You might use the tag ions to refer to both collectively that currently, I think, doesn't exist. $\endgroup$ May 15, 2023 at 10:32

2 Answers 2

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Tags sum up and categorise questions, the narrower they are the less useful they eventually become. In the way they are used here, tags are no keywords, like you would find them in journals.

Everything you would like to know about tags should be found here: What do I need to know about tagging?

Now for my personal opinions about the suggestions:

  • The tag pka (that is how it would be spelled) would be a subset of , I don't see any usefulness on is own. I do not see it as a standalone concept.

  • The tag salt-bridge would also not be about a chemistry concept, as it is a building block of an electrochemical cell. If your question is about a salt bridge, it is probably about .

  • Coulomb interactions is a quite broad topic, we can find them everywhere in chemistry: e.g. within bonds, within molecules, between molecules. This would be a tag that could not be applied on is own. A tag that is about the chemistry concept is likely a better choice. Probably .

However, if you really feel there is a great tag missing, create it yourself. Just apply it to the question. Edit the tag wiki, and apply it to more questions.

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    $\begingroup$ @bonCodigo salt-bridge is also a weird term in biochemistry for an ionic interaction inside a protein (positively charged side chain interacting with negatively charged side chain). $\endgroup$
    – Karsten Mod
    Apr 22, 2023 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ But the weird term salt-bridge is an easy terminology used more often in protein/biochem than the technical term non-covalent ionic interaction (hydrogen bonding and ionic bonding). I do agree with you in terms of pKa as a subset of acid-based, it's been used that way pretty much for most questions so far. However for salt-bridge, it might be useful to have a tag. But then again, keeping things more-categorized-aspect, it may dissipate within two or more tags to express it e.g. bonding, hydrogen bond, covalent bonding, ionic bonding, intramolecular forces, electrostatics $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    Apr 26, 2023 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ @bonCodigo You actually meant salt bridge in proteins? Well, if you analysed questions on site you could find quite a bit of lame q. about salt bridge in electrochemistry and the ones about protein bridge may be likely countable on fingers of one hand... $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Apr 27, 2023 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ @bonCodigo salt-bridge is ambiguous and would fail the "MATT" test, but I agree that for some the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the term is protein interactions, not electrochemistry. The tag proteins maybe together with intermolecular-forces would be a reasonable alternative. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Apr 29, 2023 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ This use of the term is completely new to me. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2023 at 0:57
  • $\begingroup$ @BuckThorn in that case, can we update the "Intra-molecular forces" (and inter-molecular-forces) to include this criteria of a salt-bridge? $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    May 1, 2023 at 4:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン interestingly for protein/biochemistry it has been there for awhile... $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    May 1, 2023 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ @bonCodigo That seems a reasonable solution... $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    May 1, 2023 at 9:13
  • $\begingroup$ @bonCodigo I didn't doubt it. I have never really worked in that particular field of chemistry so I didn't know. If these uses can be subsumed under the tag, it's welcome to add this in. Please bear in mind, that tag wiki edits usually need approval (and that takes some time). $\endgroup$ May 1, 2023 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン Fair point, because even at gen chem in college, the closest salt-bridge is usually the salt-bridge of electrochemistry/electrochemical/galvanic cells. Wiki was updated, pending review. See how it goes! $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    May 2, 2023 at 2:06
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    $\begingroup$ @bonCodigo I have approved this. But I guess we could discuss (in a new meta) whether we would want to have a separate tag for intramolecular interactions. I need to think about that. Also I'm puzzled whether we have tags about dispersion. In any case, the answer needs and update. I might get to that tonight... $\endgroup$ May 2, 2023 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン sure no rush $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    May 18, 2023 at 7:53
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The usage of tags (like many other things on StackExchange) shows an exponential decay distribution:

enter image description here

Tags used less than 500 times or so have limited impact because they don't appear on the first page of the tag list.

Below is the list of all tags, ordered by usage. For salt-bridge, I would used the tag combination "intermolecular-forces" (374 uses) and "biochemistry" (1037 uses), even though in biochemistry, these forces are often intramolecular. If you meant the other salt bridge, it would be "electrochemistry" (1760 uses). For pKa, I would follow Martin's suggestion (acid-base tag).

9942    organic-chemistry
4709    inorganic-chemistry
4582    physical-chemistry
3072    acid-base
2777    reaction-mechanism
2655    thermodynamics
1760    electrochemistry
1716    everyday-chemistry
1672    experimental-chemistry
1615    equilibrium
1492    quantum-chemistry
1432    redox
1388    bond
1215    aqueous-solution
1119    nomenclature
1089    computational-chemistry
1085    kinetics
1062    water
1037    biochemistry
1030    analytical-chemistry
1029    solubility
977 solutions
939 aromatic-compounds
902 ph
814 coordination-compounds
806 stereochemistry
790 synthesis
750 molecular-structure
736 spectroscopy
725 concentration
723 molecular-orbital-theory
718 gas-laws
700 carbonyl-compounds
688 energy
661 stoichiometry
621 electrons
615 orbitals
606 home-experiment
597 ions
596 theoretical-chemistry
574 polymers
570 metal
564 electronic-configuration
559 alcohols
556 enthalpy
555 electrolysis
551 transition-metals
544 crystal-structure
532 terminology
529 halides
511 titration
511 stability
504 safety
488 atoms
483 heat
481 nmr-spectroscopy
480 phase
457 ionic-compounds
452 resonance
434 combustion
432 molecules
430 food-chemistry
425 hydrocarbons
407 oxidation-state
407 materials
402 reference-request
395 reactivity
391 temperature
391 solvents
374 intermolecular-forces
369 hybridization
368 software
354 nucleophilic-substitution
347 color
347 entropy
344 periodic-trends
340 solid-state-chemistry
333 hydrogen
309 catalysis
304 isomers
299 amines
293 boiling-point
289 elements
282 pressure
278 free-energy
267 vapor-pressure
266 covalent-compounds
265 metallurgy
264 chromatography
256 notation
256 hydrogen-bond
254 mole
253 chirality
250 photochemistry
248 periodic-table
240 melting-point
236 symmetry
233 electronegativity
227 equipment
227 mass-spectrometry
226 chemical-biology
226 mixtures
219 surface-chemistry
215 atomic-structure
214 polarity
212 carbocation
210 organometallic-compounds
209 lewis-structure
206 proteins
204 toxicity
201 density-functional-theory
201 reduction-potential
201 purification
200 radicals
199 conductivity
197 precipitation
197 carbohydrates
195 dipole
192 valence-bond-theory
191 extraction
187 history-of-chemistry
187 hydrolysis
187 units
184 cheminformatics
182 organic-reduction
181 plastics
177 crystallography
175 ir-spectroscopy
175 homework
172 drugs
166 spectrophotometry
163 ionization-energy
161 organic-oxidation
161 isotope
159 identification
159 structural-formula
159 reaction-control
159 density
150 heterocyclic-compounds
150 aromaticity
147 optical-properties
146 cleaning
145 vsepr-theory
145 kinetic-theory-of-gases
143 esters
143 enzymes
141 radioactivity
140 fuel
139 elimination
138 magnetism
137 amino-acids
137 salt
132 atomic-radius
130 carbon-allotropes
129 electricity
125 cis-trans-isomerism
124 nanotechnology
122 distillation
122 water-treatment
122 phenols
120 nitro-compounds
118 erratum
118 group-theory
118 conformers
114 environmental-chemistry
110 adsorption
109 spin
106 medicinal-chemistry
104 decomposition
101 regioselectivity
100 crystal-field-theory
100 explosives
100 smell
99  grignard-reagent
99  molecular-dynamics
98  alloy
97  applied-chemistry
97  surfactants
95  uv-vis-spectroscopy
95  ideal-gas
94  noble-gases
93  statistical-mechanics
92  chemical-engineering
90  colloids
88  atmospheric-chemistry
87  ozone
86  recrystallization
85  formal-charge
85  electromagnetic-radiation
85  ethers
85  separation-techniques
84  gas-phase-chemistry
84  minerals
81  hyperconjugation
81  alkali-metals
80  tautomer
80  diffusion
77  absorption
77  chemistry-in-fiction
77  inductive-effect
76  rearrangements
76  glass
76  electrophilic-substitution
74  organosulfur-compounds
73  elemental-analysis
72  fluorescence
72  electron-affinity
72  liquids
71  silver
71  viscosity
70  c-c-addition
70  structural-biology
69  osmosis
69  nuclear-chemistry
69  pharmacology
69  protons
69  physical-organic-chemistry
68  nuclear
67  databases
66  aldol-reaction
65  cyclohexane
65  buffer
64  corrosion
64  dna-rna
64  green-chemistry
64  x-ray-diffraction
63  pericyclic
62  basis-set
61  books
61  filtering
60  electroplating
60  colligative-properties
60  nucleophilicity
59  stereoselectivity
57  halogenation
57  rate-equation
56  carbon-family
56  geochemistry
55  significant-figures
54  teaching-lab
53  lattices
51  organophosphorus-compounds
49  equation-of-state
48  taste
48  fats
47  light
47  iron
46  chemical-formula
46  oxides
44  semiconductors
43  enzyme-kinetics
43  nernst-equation
43  transition-state-theory
43  raman
43  sublimation
42  reaction-order
41  pnictogen
40  rare-earth-elements
40  molecular-mechanics
39  ab-initio
39  van-der-waals-behavior
38  mercury
37  ligand-field-theory
36  amides
36  evaporation
36  allotropes
35  reaction-coordinate
34  cyclic-voltammetry
34  electrostatic-energy
34  boron-family
33  process-chemistry
33  lipids
32  carbonyl-complexes
32  carboxylic-acids
31  chemoselectivity
31  calorimetry
30  organosilicon-compounds
30  numerical-analysis
30  ceramics
30  alkaline-earth-metals
29  machine-learning
29  halogens
29  adhesion
29  protecting-groups
29  dye
28  nitriles
27  carbon-dioxide
25  enolate-chemistry
25  neutrons
25  reagents
25  relativistic
24  hsab
24  chemical-potential
23  stereoelectronics
23  astrochemistry
22  liquid-crystals
22  petrochemistry
22  pyrolysis
19  thermal-conductivity
19  epr-spectroscopy
19  immiscibility
18  c-x-addition
18  bravais-lattices
18  td-dft
17  rubber
17  organoboron-compounds
17  pyrotechnics
16  carbene
16  multi-reference
16  chemical-weapons
15  containers
15  soap
14  humidity
14  emission
14  wittig-reactions
12  synthesis-golf
12  organotransition-metal-chemistry
12  phosphorescence
12  polarimetry
12  desiccation
12  mechanochemistry
12  bent-bond
12  saponification
11  mechanical-properties
11  electrical-properties
11  steric-effects
11  transuranic-elements
11  supramolecular-chemistry
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  • $\begingroup$ General stats got its reward :) well, redox and biochem tags appear to be in quite high in demand. Is there any possibility to add salt-bridge to do some justice to the widely used concept as it requires few tags to be expressed? If not, is multi-tagging the way to go about questions under such interactions? $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    Apr 26, 2023 at 3:59
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    $\begingroup$ Salt-bridge seems ambiguous. How about ionic interaction? $\endgroup$
    – Karsten Mod
    Apr 26, 2023 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ The term salt-bridge is not ambiguous, why do you say so? A salt-bridge is an easy terminology used more often in protein/biochem than the combined technical term non-covalent ionic interaction for to represent the underlying hydrogen bond and ionic interaction (and the electrostatics and the potential pKa dynamics of local micro environment) that forms this "bond". So it seems more appropriate to use salt-bridge. However I can't predict that many question posters will use this salt bridge tag. We can get away with ionic interaction, I guess? $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    Apr 26, 2023 at 10:20
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    $\begingroup$ @bonCodigo If you search for salt bridge on SE Chemistry, you will find electrochemistry questions, e.g. chemistry.stackexchange.com/q/5477, chemistry.stackexchange.com/q/2644, and chemistry.stackexchange.com/q/19540. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten Mod
    Apr 26, 2023 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ well, it could be that people had no choice but to put that tag since there was none that expresses protein salt-bridge... $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    May 18, 2023 at 7:52

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