# Use of PACS2010 classification scheme for tagging?

+ 0 like - 8 dislike
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Since this is a research-oriented site, why not use the standard classification and tagging system for research physicists and astronomers?...

Also, for paper-specific posts, I humbly submit the following suggestion.

The goal of TP SE was to make this the default site - (or amongst the default sites) - for research (theoretical and mathematical) physicists to post and respond to questions. So, I think, adopting the STANDARD classification / tagging scheme from the outset might help us maintain our objective and perspective as we - hopefully - gain new members, et cetera.

Ref: PACS2010

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retagged Mar 7, 2014
Does anyone even know the PACS scheme by heart? I always have to look it up.

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Truthfully, I'm not a fan of PACS, mostly because of the level of detail, and I think it adds in a bit of ambiguity as it is easy to nit-pick over which exact category something belongs to. Also, it changes periodically. That said, restricting ourselves to 2 digit PACS codes (the top two levels) would not be so bad. It'd still require looking up, though.

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Would you mind moving your suggestion about questions on papers to a separate question, so it can be judged by itself?

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+1 "... restricting ourselves to 2 digit PACS codes (the top two levels) would not be so bad"... Good idea! I would definitely second that.

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I think the PACS numbers are pretty useless -- they don't exist for a lot of topics, other topics have ridiculously detailed breakdowns, and the whole thing has very little similarity to how anyone would choose to classify their work, I think. Anyway, does anyone ever use them? I only see them when I submit to a journal and I just pick the broadest possible thing because it's a pain to figure out the right choice.

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+ 14 like - 0 dislike

Frankly, I think using PACS codes would be a bad idea. They are opaque, meaning that you essentially need to look up the code to know what it means, and they are overly detailed meaning that we would have a very high number of top level tags. To be honest, I don't even remember the codes I've used on my own papers.

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answered Sep 15, 2011 by (3,575 points)
Probably. ... But we should follow some sort of already-standardised system (i.e. arXiv at the minimum (-- but, my suggestion is inSPIRE for hep/math-ph + some others for the other areas)): it would a) make us more appealing to professional / practicing physicists from the outset- (and much more likely to get the sort of user-base we're seeking), b) forum-management more maintainable - short-, medium-, and if we stay around long enough, definitely long-term (i.e. less tagging / re-tagging, etc.), and c) -(in regards to my proposal for integrating papers into the system)- make it consistent...

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... with that too.

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@UGPhysics, that argumentation won't hold. Mathematics has a standard Classification of subjects as well (MSC2010 for example), yet MO doesn't use it and still attracts alot of professional Mathematicians

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I agree. Frankly, I think most physicists find these codes a bit of a pain. And SPIRES stuff isn't relevant to many areas of physics anyway.

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... The reason for my proposal is: a good tagging system / structure will aid in later archiving, searching through, et cetera the posts. -- Plus, - and maybe more importantly - if you make the 'entryway' to posting here somewhat esoteric in nature, you can avoid a lot of off-topic posts from the outset. ... The "crackpot" factor - as everyone knows - is definitely higher for physics-related posts than for maths. .. We should factor that into consideration. ... Having a develop-as-we-go system may well end up degrading the quality of the site in the longer-term.

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(This is an open forum which is Google search indexed: there will be many visitors apart from the intended audience-- and many more posts which wouldn't fit with the site's target audience. ... Generally, physics forums inevitably tend to attract questions that would not fit with the purpose of the site.) --- You can trust me on this. I've visited a good number of forums to know this firsthand.

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(I.e. You have to be FAR more rigorous about moderation than for sites like MO. And since there's no central administrator [as in MO], the effort needed to 'moderate' would be much greater.)

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