The topic of read mapping is a sufficiently distinct subset of the more general class of sequence alignment topics to warrant a dedicated tag. However, we should collapse mapping and read-mapping as synonyms.

  • $\begingroup$ Mapping has distinct meaning in other subfields (e.g. family tree mapping and disease mapping). For clarity, we should not use "mapping" just for "read-mapping". $\endgroup$
    – user172818
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 1:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Similarly, "mapping" is used often with "QTL mapping". $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


Yes, having both and for the same thing doesn't make sense. However, instead of making them synonyms, I would suggest we only keep and get rid of altogether.

In general, tags whose meaning isn't clear from the tag are bad tags. In fact, is a classic example of a meta tag. Briefly, meta tags are those that:

  1. If the tag can’t work as the only tag on a question, it’s probably a meta-tag. Every tag you use should be able to work, more or less, as the only tag on a question. Meta-tags, like [beginner], [subjective], and [best-practices], are useless by themselves — they tell you nothing at all about the content of the question.

  2. If the tag commonly means different things to different people, it’s probably a meta-tag. In a cruel, ironic twist, the meaning of the tag [subjective] itself … is actually subjective. Ditto for [best-practices] and [beginner]. Best practices to whom? Beginner by what criteria? These tags are impossible to define by anything remotely resembling an objective metric. In comparison, the the meaning of tags like [java], [c#], and [javascript] are crystal clear to all but the nuttiest of nutbags.

As user172818 pointed out in the comments, the term "mapping" has different meanings in different subfields. Therefore, "mapping" by itself doesn't tell us anything useful about the question; it needs to be combined with another tag (, or whatever) in order to be informative. Therefore, it is not a useful tag and should just be removed.

The simplest way to remove tags is to just edit the questions that have them. If no questions are tagged with a given tag, the tag will be deleted from the system automatically. If, in future, we see the tag returning, we can ask for it to be blacklisted.

Since there were only 6 or so questions tagged with , I went through them retagged those that were about accordingly. However, this question:

probeset to probeset mappings between Affymetrix arrays

is about mapping between different types of affymetrix arrays. Here, I removed and created a new tag . I don't think it would be worth creating something as specific as or similar.

The others were all about and are now tagged accordingly. The should now disappear and I suggest we let it fade into oblivion.

  • $\begingroup$ I thought I had added some info about the "mapping" tag, but I see that the "read-mapping" tag did not conserve this info. Or maybe I'm mistaken. $\endgroup$
    – bli
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ @bli oh damn! I'm sorry, that's my fault! The info wouldn't be conserved no, the read-mapping tag was a new tag, not a synonym so it wouldn't bring in information from elsewhere. I didn't notice you had added information to the mapping tag's wiki when I removed it. I hope it wasn't too much work. $\endgroup$
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 9:32
  • $\begingroup$ I found the info back in my activity history: "When dealing with associating sequencing reads to a matching position in a set of reference sequences (typically a genome)." I'll add it to the "read-mapping" tag $\endgroup$
    – bli
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 9:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @bli cool! Sorry for making you repeat your work, that's never fun :( $\endgroup$
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ These few words were not a lot of work :) $\endgroup$
    – bli
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 9:37

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