The badge Research Assistant has been awarded to 68 individuals which is the minimum of all the badges including the gold badges.

  • Why is it so? Is it hard to earn?

  • As it is much more exclusive than the other Gold Badges, why isn't it a Gold Badge?

  • If having good quality Tag Wikis is beneficial for the site, and is what this tag seems to encourage, then why aren't there more such elements (badges, greater rep) on SO that work to encourage the same?

As this badge has been earned the least, it may be that there isn't sufficient motivation/encouragement for users to make good quality Tag Wikis*.

*Yes, this is not the most important part of the system, but it is important nonetheless.

  • 7
    It says 68... the probable reason is that having knowledge of 50 different subjects isn't easy. Then add in how hard it is to write tag wikis... Jan 16, 2013 at 16:18
  • 4
    Like Ben said, writing tag wikis is hard. Most people just seem to copy and paste entries from Wikipedia, and it feels like most of those aren't properly sourced. If you really want the badge, sort the Tags by the newest, and look for recently created tag wikis; odds are the text was plagiarized, and you'll get credit if you edit it to add the source to it. (I wasn't badge hunting, I just ended up getting it from correcting so many wiki entries.) Jan 16, 2013 at 16:39
  • 1
    Also remember that most people do not hunt for badges. They edit tag wikis as the need arises instead. Jan 16, 2013 at 16:40
  • If you examine the other badges, you will notice that the color of the badge and the number of users with the badge are not necessarily proportional. I also think it is a bit silly but it has been discussed on here before. Jan 16, 2013 at 16:43
  • 6
    @MartijnPieters "most people do not hunt for badges" says who?! Do you have some data to back this up? ;) Jan 16, 2013 at 16:45
  • 1
    You don't have to write entirely new tag wikis, it is enough to fix problems with the existing ones. However, that might have been easier 68x50 edits ago...
    – Bo Persson
    Jan 16, 2013 at 16:45
  • 3
    @AustinHenley: Meh, I am not going to do that until the I-used-the-dataexplorer badge has been added! :-P Jan 16, 2013 at 16:48
  • It's the least earned because it's the least deserved. Jan 16, 2013 at 17:03
  • @MartijnPieters I disagree with most people do not hunt for badges. SO is one of the best known sites and is one of the biggest successes of Gamification and badges are an integral part of it. Saying that badges dont matter to most, is i think inaccurate.
    – asheeshr
    Jan 16, 2013 at 17:05
  • 3
    @AshRj: The majority of users just want their question answered. If that gets them a bit of reputation and a badge, that's fun. The real hard-core 'players' are a much smaller group. Jan 16, 2013 at 17:07
  • @MartijnPieters The superset of most in my statement are the regular active users about >=30,000 people (estimate seeing rep change +1 and total rep 200+ in leagues). If even a few thousand of these individuals chase badges, then thats ~10% of the total active community. Not a majority, but a significant portion nonetheless.......... which supports your statement and contradicts my own. Its a funny world :)
    – asheeshr
    Jan 16, 2013 at 17:29
  • 1
    @benisuǝqbackwards the probable reason is that having knowledge of 50 different subjects isn't easy - Not quite sure about this, many tags are kind of related so having knowledge in one area could get you a lot of edits. I got my badge just editing in the Android and Android related tags for example.
    – user
    Jan 16, 2013 at 18:03
  • There is this proposal, that maybe can change this a little bit: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/189554/… Jul 19, 2013 at 20:35
  • @AndreSilva You may want to link to this post from your post as this has an official answer/opinion on the issue.
    – asheeshr
    Jul 20, 2013 at 1:30
  • @AsheeshR. I am not sure how to make a good link from this answer, because it answered your question, but not answered your comment to it, which relates to the stated proposal. However, you are invited to suggest an edition to the question or to post a comment with this thread, or even an answer. The more users participate, the better is for the proposal being approved. Thank you. Jul 20, 2013 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


I think primarily because

  • it is a relatively new badge

  • tag wikis are a (somewhat) new concept

Tag wikis themselves have existed for maybe 2 years. Many of the other badges have existed for 4+ years and people have had many years to work on getting those badges.

Beyond that, it may be hard as noted in the comments, but age of the badge, and the feature it is a badge for, is a big factor.

  • To bring more attention to the tag wikis, why aren't there greater incentives than at present ? Tag wikis can be useful, but there are very few that are that. If there are good Tag Wikis, it will automatically get and generate more attention. But to get better, they need quite a bit of attention at first. So, why not give it a harder push ?
    – asheeshr
    Jan 18, 2013 at 13:34

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