Tag curation guidelines and best practices


(Andrey Fedorov) #1

As agreed in Should we delete topics that end up not containing any useful information?, it would be nice to establish improved procedures for curating the forum content to help users find most relevant topics and filter out redundant and incomplete posts.

Some of the suggestions included:

  • introduce some guidelines on how to assign tags to topics
  • encourage users to provide their feedback by using “thumbs up” and marking topics as solved
  • improving the topic views by utilizing “sort by activity” option

For the reference, here is the page with all the tags we ever used: https://discourse.slicer.org/tags.

I agree “FAQ” tag is a good idea. This would NOT replace the existing FAQ on the wiki. But it could help to not only find answers to commonly encountered issues, but also identify which of the topic discussions should be reused in FAQ wiki, and how existing FAQ items could be improved.

I can also think about a tag that could mark posts as “un-helpful” or unclear/incomplete, to avoid confusion of those who find topics via google search. We should strive to link complete solutions when duplicated questions are asked, as we are doing for the most part anyway.

I guess another (relatively easy) rule could be to check the list of all tags before assigning a tag to a conversation, and maybe even go over the existing tags and rename those that look like synonyms.

Probably a lot of tag curation would need to be done by forum administrators, not users, so it does not need to bee too too simple.

Please add your thoughts!


(Csaba Pinter) #2

All sounds good, thanks @fedorov! As there are no objections, I’ll start tagging such topics with FAQ if I encounter one.


(Andrey Fedorov) #3

How about also the “incomplete”, and possibly “duplicate” or “redundant” tags? Would those make sense? They would essentially be assigned to the topics that would be considered for deletion, if we were to follow the originally suggested idea.


(Csaba Pinter) #4

I went through the tags, and although haven’t done any actual curation yet, I have a question. What about the tags that are used as synonims? For example the tags “reslice” and “reslicing” are both assigned to the same topic.
https://discourse.slicer.org/tags/reslice
https://discourse.slicer.org/tags/reslicing
I lean toward keeping only one to keep the number of tags down, but I can see cases when less obvious synonims could be used for easier lookup (e.g. contouring/segmentation). Any thoughts?


(Andras Lasso) #5

I think we should merge synonyms. If we have too many/similar tags then I don’t think they are useful.

Note that new users (Trust level 1, maybe 2) cannot add new tags, so there is a good chance that we can keep the tag list clean.


(Andrey Fedorov) #6

I agree. This is mostly the task for forum administrators to manage tags themselves, and their assignment to topics.

I also thought about some kind of a scheme to suggest to help assign meaningful tags, but could not think of one that would be concise and comprehensive at the same time. This would require more thought, and maybe we should just build it as we go. Maybe a good place to start is to establish some kind of hierarchy of the existing tags, but I did’t put too much thought into that.


(Andras Lasso) #7

We can just let the tag list grow and occasionally prune it.


(Andrey Fedorov) #8

Yes, this would be fine, and this is a practical approach.

What I was thinking is how to help guide tag assignment. For example, we could distinguish by whether question is about the application or about the processing approach, there are different modalities, and different processing tasks. If we had that organization, instead of users coming up with keywords, we could have a “decision tree” to more consistently tag content. In the longer term this (maybe!) might be helpful to simplify content management and improve quality.

It could be interesting to try to organize existing tags along those lines. If I ever get to do that, I will update the topic…


(Csaba Pinter) #9

I removed that one specific duplication. I agree with @lassoan, if we just look at the tag list, especially the single-topic tags, then we could just merge the ones that are practically the same.

The decision-tree approach sounds interesting, and it would probably be useful if it was easy to find and people bothered looking it up when they start assigning tags. Would it entail creating “meta-tags” for the decision points in the tree? Like “processing”, “data management”, etc.


(Csaba Pinter) #10

I just added a few ‘faq’ tags. I think in general whenever we link another topic to answer a question, we should tag the linked one as FAQ.
@lassoan You’re answering the most questions in general, so if you agree, then please keep this in mind :slight_smile: