I've seen this couple of times—people copy information from Wikipedia or somewhere else, and paste it into the tag wiki/excerpt as is. This is not how it was meant to be used! You can't just dump some piece of information, however accurate it may be, without spending any effort racking your brain thinking what that tag/topic means for Unix & Linux, this site.

The tag excerpt is the elevator pitch for the tag. It should explain what the topics to be tagged with this tag are. If it doesn't include how-to-use-it, it's likely a bad tag excerpt.

The tag wiki is more extensive. Apart of being more verbose about it's usage, it can contain some basic terms, references, etc. If you just dump the entire wikipedia article it's very likely that it will be rejected.

To reviewers: please, read these edits carefully. These are informative bits of the system usage, and it's very important that it's accurate. Evaluate them all with extreme prejudice and do a search of phrases on the Internet to search for plagiarism. If you see a tag wiki/excerpt that's too good to be true, it is likely plagiarism.

  • 2
    Shouldn't this be in the answer section? :P
    – Ramesh
    Jun 13, 2014 at 2:10
  • 1
    See also meta.unix.stackexchange.com/a/1028/73. It's technically possible to quote Wikipedia and cite it, but it's almost never a useful wiki anyway Jun 13, 2014 at 5:25
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    @Ramesh and mikeserv: Rules are a little more flexible than they are on main. Not all posts on meta are questions, sometimes they are just announcements or educational. The answer section can be used for discussion/feedback on such posts. If the OP wants to be really tricky or if they want others to pose alternate solutions to an issue the question can take the form of "Is X a problem?", then self answer with "Yes, and I think the solution is Y." This allows voting to be separate for [dis]agreement on the issue vs. the question but it is by no means a required format on meta.
    – Caleb
    Jun 18, 2014 at 11:16
  • It seems like this should be on Meta Stack Exchange, because this issue applies to all (or at least many of) the sites. Also, is there a migration/promotion mechanism to get guidance like this into the help center? Jun 24, 2014 at 18:17
  • @Scott be my guess
    – Braiam
    Jun 26, 2014 at 14:21
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    @Braiam: guest* Oct 25, 2014 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


Just to clarify, the keynote here is "Do original work" on tag wikis, is that correct?

If the point here is "Don't bother suggesting a tag wiki at all unless you're going to do a complete top-to-bottom suggestion that needs no further polish whatsoever," then I don't think I can face up to doing tag wiki edits at all. It becomes almost as daunting as writing a résumé from scratch, with comparable worries about rejection.

But the idea that "Don't bother if you just want that statistic and a badge," I can agree with utterly.

I would say it this way: We welcome your suggestions on tag wikis, but only if they are yours. Not Wikipedia's or xyzsite.com's. Because unlike Wikipedia, on a tag wiki "Original research" is not only acceptable, it is mandatory. Do the best job you possibly can and proofread your own edit before submitting.

I think a decent tag wiki is better than none, but a lazy tag wiki is worse than none. And then, of course, we should look at the tag wiki for tags we actually use often, and see if there is anything we can do to improve them.

(Edit: Actually I was thinking of tag excerpts mostly, but I think all this applies to tag wikis as well.)

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