I've recently noticed that there are often a lot of questions regarding R that aren't tagged with R. Many of these questions do not have any answers/comments/votes. This seems to be bad both for the question askers (who didn't get any help) and for the site (since it leaves a bunch of dangling questions that won't help future people who stumble across them).

So, I've been going through and tagging some of these questions R. After doing this for a while, I realized others might consider this annoying because it bumps old questions (potentially where the askers aren't around any more) up the "Active" queue. I also read this question on meta, where the consensus seems to be that all questions should have language tags.

My question: What's best practice here? Is it good to add language tags to questions that probably haven't been answered because nobody with the right language expertise saw them? Or is it better to flag them for closure? Is there some threshold of time after which one practice should be favored instead of the other?

  • You can retag them, just try to avoid doing tons all at once. Do a handful at a time so as to not completely spam the active page of r.
    – Servy
    Jul 3, 2013 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


These are useful edits for the following reasons:

  • Nobody benefits by having unanswered questions laying around the site.
  • Proper tagging makes the questions easier to find (and answer).
  • During the tagging process, you will identify questions that need other attention
    • Fix grammar, wording, formatting, etc. (Thanks to joran for this addition)
    • Unsalvageable questions should be closed/flagged as necessary.
  • The questions will be bumped into the Active queue, which gives them another chance to get an answer. Assuming you weeded out any bad questions, this is a good thing.
  • 2
    I was writing an answer that's only addition would be to say that one should also edit the rest of the question, fixing grammar, wording, formatting, etc. while you're in there adding the tag.
    – joran
    Jul 3, 2013 at 20:53
  • 1
    Also, if you're concerned about bumping too many Q's, you can always just do it in small bunches, spread across gaps of several hours, or a day.
    – joran
    Jul 3, 2013 at 20:54
  • 1
    @joran I completely agree. There's no point in bumping a crap question that someone else will just have to end up editing.
    – Thomas
    Jul 3, 2013 at 20:56

I've run into this in edit reviews lately (in particular since the 'retag' action no longer exists, IIUC), and I think it's find so long as you are tagging it with a "major" tag (either something obviously important like the core tag for a language, or a feature tag that would be useful for finding this answer). The point of SO/SE is to build a database of searchable questions, after all; if your retag makes a significant difference to the findability of a useful question, then you're doing something helpful for the site.

I don't think it's a good idea to add tags that are "minor" - like a subtag for a language version or a minor feature that is too broad to justify it (like or something annoying like that, that won't ever help anyone find it). Those are not adding value, and thus should be avoided.

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