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A couple weeks ago I was tidying up the tagging of glacier-related questions on Earth Sciences SE.

The number of questions with the [glaciology] tag is currently 102 according to the search result count:

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However, when I check the question count for the tag it says it has only 85 questions:

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This number is relevant because it establishes the order tags show up in the tag list and also determines tag eligibility for tag badges.

The discrepancy between 102 and 85 questions seems to arise from 17 questions with the tag [glacier] that is a synonym of [glaciology]:

Enter image description here

However, there seems to be a bug here as well. Because 14 of those 17 questions tagged [glacier] are ALSO tagged [glaciology], the question count for [glaciology] should then be 99, not 85. It seems that a question tagged with a tag does not increase the question count for that tag if also a synonym of it is tagged.

I checked the numbers above by scrolling through all the returned questions, but @Rene provided an nice SEDE query providing the same values, and also the baffling result that all questions seem there to add up to 87, while a search of the [glaciology] tag throws 102 results as shown in the first image above.

To make this even more confusing, if you go trough all those 102 questions, it turns out that there are only 90 of them. If you set it to display 15 questions per page, the first two pages have 15, the third have only 13, the fourth, fifth and sixth pages have 12 and the last page have 11 questions. All this questions add up to a total of only 90 (87 with the [glaciology] tag, plus 3 with the [glacier] tag only). If not a bug, there is something very weird going on here.

In any case: Shouldn't the question count and tag badge eligibility consider all the questions with the tag AND its synonyms?

  • The thing here is that they are synonyms, but they are not merged. If a moderator merges them (in case it is necessary), all the count on [glacier] will be transferred to [glaciology]. See What are tag synonyms and merged tags? How do they work?. Also related: Don't track tag badges for synonymized tags – fedorqui says Reinstate Monica Mar 30 at 19:00
  • @fedorqui Thanks, I'll read that. Check the edits I just did for something that seems to be a bug related to this. – Camilo Rada Mar 30 at 19:02
  • Could you provide a link to the searches you did for this alleged bug? The search engine tends to replace the synonyms. – fedorqui says Reinstate Monica Mar 30 at 19:06
  • @fedorqui I found impossible to search for [glacier] that was replaced with [glaciology]. So I manually checked all the 102 questions tagged with either tag. And I only found three that have the [glacier] tag ONLY. – Camilo Rada Mar 30 at 19:09
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    I am not really sure how this is being counted. To add more info, in earthscience.stackexchange.com/tags/synonyms you can see how many renames have been performed. In this case, 5. This means that on 5 times, after the creation of the synonym, someone typed [glacier] and the system automagically added the [glaciology] tag. That being said, I don't know what can be causing the inconsistency you found. – fedorqui says Reinstate Monica Mar 30 at 19:21
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    @CamiloRada not sure if you do this often but instead of hand checking you can often query SEDE for that info. There is a chatroom here where you can reach me or a few others with enough knowledge of both sql and the datamodel to help you do the bulk of the initial research. – rene Mar 30 at 20:19
  • @rene Thanks for that! That helps. However, how it can be that "only glacier" (3) + "only glaciology" (70) + "both" (14) = 87 but when you search for [glaciology] there are 102 results??? : earthscience.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/glaciology – Camilo Rada Mar 30 at 20:29
  • @CamiloRada yeah, I can't answer that but there is some magic going on with tags that I recall saw Animuson answer or comment on but I can't find the source of it, nor do I recall if it was the same issue. – rene Mar 30 at 20:32

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