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For the last several months, I spend some time once every while to improve the Tag Wiki of Data Science Site. In most of the cases, I look on other Stack Exchange sites if they have a decent Tag description and I use that one as well by adding/removing parts that not make sense or are poorly written.

Is this acceptable? Based on this Meta Stack Exchange question (Copying (partially) tag wiki from one site to another. Attribution and best practices?), Yes, it is.

Not adding an attribution is a reason to reject a suggestion? No. You don't have to. StackExchange is based on Creative Commons. It is clearly mentioned here, in their official page, that when you share content inside the company or organisation you don't need to add any attribution at all.

NOTE: This is not about the Rejected Tag Wiki, but a mean to prove that what happened acts against the friendly, collaborated environment that StackExchange tries to promote. Acting by own rules that don't follow common practices in SE and actions that push users away from being active.


During the last time, I got many of them rejected, while in my honest opinion, it shouldn't. Here is an example

Tag: Seaborn (no description before)

Short Description

Seaborn is a Python visualization library based on matplotlib. Its primary goal is to provide a concise, high-level interface for drawing statistical graphics that are both informative and attractive.

Rejection reason

Simply defining what a [tag] is rarely helps those using it unless the tag's name itself is ambiguous. Excerpts should describe why and when a tag should be used. See the help center for more guidance.

Long Description

Seaborn is a library for making attractive and informative statistical graphics in Python. It is built on top of matplotlib and tightly integrated with the PyData stack, including support for numpy and pandas data structures and statistical routines from scipy and statsmodels.

Some of the features that seaborn offers are

  • Several built-in themes that change the default matplotlib aesthetics
  • Tools for choosing color palettes to make beautiful plots that reveal patterns in your data
  • Functions for visualizing univariate and bivariate distributions or for comparing them between subsets of data
  • Tools that fit and visualize linear regression models for different kinds of independent and dependent variables
  • A function to plot statistical timeseries data with flexible estimation and representation of uncertainty around the estimate
  • High-level abstractions for structuring grids of plots that let you easily build complex visualizations

This tag should be used for seaborn related questions. Since seaborn heavily builds on top of matplotlib, and since many seaborn related problems can be come by using standard matplotlib techniques, it is advisable to additionally add the [matplotlib] tag to any seaborn question as well.

Rejection Reason

This edit copies a significant amount of content from an external source. Generic descriptions such as encyclopedia articles and ad copy do not provide useful guidance; try creating something useful to this community specifically, and be sure to attribute the original author. See: How to reference material written by others.


Both of them are used in StackOverflow with about 3.500 questions and 9 revisions to end up to this tag version. I strongly believe that the quality of those was high enough to get accepted. If there were things that could be added to improve the proposed text, that could be another revision on top of that.

Most of the Tags I added were accepted by other users (based on the review history) but were rejected by one specific mod. The explanation that was given was against what the linked meta-question mentioned above and I am really confused about what we should/shouldn't do to improve this community in the end.

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Thanks for bringing this concern to meta, and thanks for giving your time to make the site better.

Attribution is needed:

You state:

I look on other Stack Exchange sites if they have a decent Tag description and I use that one as well by adding/removing parts that not make sense or are poorly written.

And then ask:

Is this acceptable? Based on this Meta Stack Exchange question (Copying (partially) tag wiki from one site to another. Attribution and best practices?), Yes, it is.

But you missed a key element from the question you cited, which was:

For the tag wiki, it is possible and probably necessary to give the proper attribution according to the CC BY-SA 3.0 license requirements.

Copying without attribution is plagarism and is forbidden network wide, not simply on the tag wiki.

Customization is needed.

Another reason to not simply copy tag wikis is given in this answer by the head of community moderation.

Usage Guidance

As for the Tag Excerpt Rejection Reason, you noted it to say:

Simply defining what a [tag] is rarely helps those using it unless the tag's name itself is ambiguous. Excerpts should describe why and when a tag should be used. See the help center for more guidance.

This rejection reason is in fact a canned response, and I think is relatively clear in its explanation of the problem. But maybe your confusion comes from:

Most of the Tags I added were accepted by other users (based on the review history) but were rejected by one specific mod. The explanation that was given was against what the linked meta-question mentioned above and I am really confused about what we should/shouldn't do to improve this community in the end.

A couple of notes on this:

  • For anyone reading, I am the specfic mod.
  • Simply because the changes were accepted, does not make them correct.

A Higher Standard

Reviewing the tag wiki edits are at a higher standard and require more reputation. On Stack Overflow approving plagarized content can get the reviewer banned from reviewing. In addition, the larger site actually have review audits to help educate reviewers on site standards.

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    $\begingroup$ Those are some good references. I think we would all do well to take them to heart, myself included. $\endgroup$ – oW_ Aug 10 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Based on the answer to the linked question. You don't need to add attribution to the original tag wiki, since the author is not visible at all on that page. The linked you added on "Customization needed" talks about copying from Wikipedia or other external sources. The reason is that external sources might not fit the same subject of SE. It's totally different in our case since the text is from SE. $\endgroup$ – Tasos Aug 10 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Tasos, it is best to look at answers in the context of the question. The question is basically: Why do we have separate tag wikis for each site?. $\endgroup$ – Stephen Rauch Aug 10 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ We have different tag wikis for each site because the same tag might have a different meaning in each site. Based on how the seaborn tag is used in Data Science site, can you please mark the points that the description is wrong? If the description is wrong, then why 46 questions that fit perfectly on that are not closed? What I see here is 1) Followed the SE rules (no need of attribution in this specific case) 2) Add a description that fits perfectly in the context of the questions we have 3) Accepted by 2 other users 4) Rejected by a mod with an explanation that doesn't fit. $\endgroup$ – Tasos Aug 10 at 20:23
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The rejection reasons sound like valid criticisms to me. In particular, since this tag seems more relevant for StackOverflow, a description for this site should ideally point out when this tag should be used here specifically. Generic questions about seaborn are more on-topic on StackOverflow. Hence, a description should point out when it would make sense to use it here.

That being said, I don't feel very strongly about this because the tag didn't have any prior description and most other tag descriptions are unfortunately also very generic. In my opinion, any description is better than none.

However, it's not quite clear from your question if you added a similar attribution to what is shown in your reference, which says:

The contents of this tag-wiki originates from "julia" tag-wiki description at Stack Overflow and was edited to reflect usage guidance and advice specific for the Computational Science community.

If that would be missing, that's certainly a problem.

I think we are all human here, moderators included, so I think both opinions are reasonable. Don't take these decisions too personal. Lastly, thank you for making an effort to improve the site! Please, keep it up!

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    $\begingroup$ About seaborn used in different ways than on Stackoverflow, I tend to disagree here. I am not talking about how it should be used, but how it is actually used. If you check ALL the questions here tagged with seaborn, all of them are generic. I haven't seen any of them closed or migrated to Stackoverflow. I mean, I am totally ok to follow some rules, but only if those rules are applied in every case. That's my concern here. $\endgroup$ – Tasos Aug 10 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ That's true. Doesn't mean we can't make some changes for the future. If we use all the tags just as SO, then there is really no reason to have this site. (But again, I really don't think that tags are the most important thing in the world.) $\endgroup$ – oW_ Aug 11 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ That’s the problem. You exaggerate to cover a wrong decision. Decisions that can only kill the community. We don’t talk about ALL tags, neither it is possible to change middle way and go to the opposite direction of what questions we accept. I was the one that blacklisted for reasons (as I proved with links) that don’t make sense at all. It’s not one isolated case. $\endgroup$ – Tasos Aug 11 at 19:03

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