I was looking through questions tagged with "beta" on the main site recently. I found a large split in its usage; the majority of questions referred to the beta distribution. On the other hand, a sizable minority of questions referred to variable named beta in different contexts (for example, in a linear regression context). The existing tag excerpt referred to the beta distribution, so I removed the tag from non-beta distribution related questions. Examples of questions previously tagged as beta included:

What does $\beta$ tell us in linear regression analysis?

Is a larger beta weight a better predictor than a high t-statistic?

Estimate of parameter $\beta$

It seems that users may tag questions non-beta distribution related questions with "beta" again due to its ambiguous name. Based on the fact that the current tag deals with questions related to the beta distribution, I would like to suggest that the tag name be changed to beta-distribution.

This tag would fit in nicely with other distribution specific tags such as "normal-distribution" and "gamma-distribution". With its present name, there is a chance of a redundant tag due to mixing of question matter. What do other users think?


1 Answer 1


+1, I think this is a good idea that will help to enforce proper usage of the tag. However, I'm not sure that tag names can be edited. What may need to occur is to create a new tag [beta-distribution] and then make [beta] a synonym of it.

On a somewhat related note, it's worth pointing out that we do have two relevant tags for beta-as-coefficient: , and .

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    $\begingroup$ It is unfortunate that the tag name cannot be changed, but I think your proposed solution is good. The only doubt I have is that if people do use the "beta" tag incorrectly, it will be automatically changed to "beta-distribution"; is that correct? $\endgroup$ Aug 28, 2013 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ That's right. You'd want to be sure you've re-tagged all the improperly tagged threads first. $\endgroup$ Aug 28, 2013 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ I have made sure of that by looking through all questions. After the synonym is approved, will people be able to use "beta" any more? $\endgroup$ Aug 28, 2013 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ I found (and changed) one question using beta to refer to standardized regression coefficients. I created the beta-distribution and made it the target of beta. Now, anyone attempting to tag a thread with beta will automatically see beta-distribution appear (and all the links I placed here will be directed solely to the beta distribution tag). $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Aug 28, 2013 at 14:58

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