I stumbled across this recent meta question on the computational science site. What struck me was one of the community associates pretty much declaring that the tag should be abolished, since it is a "meta" tag that deals with the style of the question itself, not its objective content. He links this blog post about getting rid of such tags, but that post was very specifically about , , and on the original SO sites, with no mention of .

So, do we like having the homework tag to set apart questions for pedagogical reasons? (Note this is independent of whether we like the quality of such questions; this is framed in the immutable context of such questions being allowed.) Also, is there a chance all our homework tags will one day be purged for their... impurity... or something like that?

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    $\begingroup$ This is why we still have the homework tag as of now. Of course it's always possible to reconsider its usefulness. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 6:59
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    $\begingroup$ I believe that Physics is now in the minority that way. It would be very useful for users who frequent other sites to keep on eye on how the presence or absence of the tag seem to affect a site culture, friendliness to new users and general demeanor. As an aside I also think that our homework acceptance policy is orthogonal to our use of the tag. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 7:05

2 Answers 2


I'll just go ahead and post my opinion here: I would not mind seeing eliminated from the site. If the community agrees, we can get rid of it.

However, as Manishearth said, when we've discussed this in the past, the community has been in favor of keeping the tag, so that is our current policy. In most cases I don't think it's egregiously harmful.

(Please don't upvote this unless you support eliminating the tag from the site.)

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    $\begingroup$ In light of recent events (namely it being brought up all over the place), I think I should change my stance from "ambivalent" to "agree". Upvoted :) $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 19:28

Current Physics.SE policy is to allow it (Should we get rid of the homework tag?). The reason for using it is simple -- it basically is a sign for the answerers, saying "don't post full answers, otherwise your answer will be deleted", or something like that.

As I recently posted on meta.chem, I personally am ambivalent to removing the tag (on both sites). On one hand, it is an easy way to teach new users about the HW policy ("see that tag there? If you see that on a question, don't post") -- remember, what constitutes an HW problem isn't that evident to most, especially since homeworky problems which aren't HW are also considered .

On the other hand, it is a meta tag, explicitly disallowed across all sites.

(We might get rid of it on chem soon, not sure)

Also, is there a chance all our homework tags will one day be purged for their... impurity... or something like that?

Possibly. The community is probably still in support of the tag. We might be able to discuss this with the community team later. I plan to do so, just to find out why the HW tag is "bad" -- unlike the other meta tags, it has a purpose. Depending on the response I get, we can work forward from there.


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