So some of my tags got removed on a post, and I think we should really ask why there may be repeat-seeming tags. In this example, the user kept flight-calls but removed night-flight-call and nfc.

Here's the thing: all NFCs are flight calls but but not all flight calls are NFC. They need a different distinction. Also, NFC is a very common shortening of nocturnal flight call.

I added all tags because the NFC community is HUGE and I want them to be able to easily search our site and find something relevant.

I also don't see the harm in having multiple tags to find relevant information. Thoughts? I can see how this may be applicable as we get more hobbyists to use the site.


Ok, the feeling I'm getting is that we can leave all of the tags for now, and then perhaps delete nfc down the line, especially if it overlaps with another term in bioacoustics. That, or we link them via synonymous tags.

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    $\begingroup$ "NFC" is clearly redundant with "nocturnal-flight-call". Assuming NFC has no other meanings within the bioacoustics community, that's a clear case for setting up a tag synonym. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Jul 5, 2022 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ I can agree that both are not necessary! :) $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2022 at 5:51

2 Answers 2


To start, apologies for the dumbness

The user who deleted the tags was me, and I'm a rather unexperienced SE noob doing potentially dumb things without thinking too far into the future on the community consequences - apologies!. (In the meanwhile the tags have been restored).

I remember reading (link) that it's important to not introduce new tags and so was attempting to practice this (and clearly leaping before looking!).

The broad motivation behind the original deletion was to keep the number of unique tags low and general (as pointed out night-flight-call is a type of flight-call).

On making new tags

The point on the community size is a great one to consider going ahead.

Another point (in the opposite direction) is to make a new tag only if it isn't somehow covered by a pre-existing tag. Essentially to always use 'common-denominator' tags, rather than making more and more specialised tags.

On synonymous tags

About synonymous tags like nfc and night-flight-calls, I'm still on the fence about if it can be a good thing to grow the list so early on. Background reading (will try to find the link later) says SE is capable of finding very specific things without the need for a pre-existing tag because searches also look at the actual text content.

Also, each question only gets 5 tags. Not sure if degeneracy in tags (full-word and acronym) increases 'searchability' of the question. In the interest of getting more users to a question, it may be better to include unique tags that convey slightly different aspects of the question.

When and if more users do introduce synonymous tags - it can be handled however. Having read up more on synonymous tags - degeneracy in tags can be handled at a later point to make sure users searching for tags will automatically find all synonymous ones.

Edit: now am on the fence about synonymous tags.

  • $\begingroup$ I suck at tag making so apologies to my future deleters. Haha. $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2022 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ These are all really good points! Thank you for such a thoughtful answer. I think I'd be in favor of keeping nocturnal flight call over NFC, as abbreviations can overlap and become confusing. $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2022 at 5:53

I'm glad to be seeing the active discussion of tags because it means we have more engagement! I think this will be a critical area to be discussed here on the Meta moving forward.

At the Beta stage, anyone can create a tag (only 1 reputation point required). This is very different from, say, Stack Overflow where you must have 1500 rep points to create tags.

I would suggest that we let tags get created "unrestricted" at this point, with our general small community size and budding scope, and then work on proposing synonymous tags down the line as we start to see overlap. Here is the BioAcSE-specific help page on tag synonyms that I found very useful: https://bioacoustics.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/suggest-tag-synonyms In this particular case, for example, NFC would be linked to nocturnal-flight-calls (or inverse).

The nice thing with the way synonymous tags get created is that it isn't just reputation points - a user has to have sufficient votes within a tag, proving experience in that particular tag, to be able to propose synonyms which I think will help us keep the tags we need, and streamline where we can!


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