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Resource Recommendations to systematically develop a foundation via Self study in Astrophysics/Astronomy? had the (25 questions) tag which I didn't see. Instead I just added the (20 questions) tag.

Now it has both.

reference-request has no usage guidance, but resource says:

Questions asking "What is a good book about X?" or more generally, "What should I read to learn about X?", typically where there is not a single authoritative reference. Also requests for multimedia, like video lectures.

Question: What is the difference between resource and reference-request tags? Do we need both? What is good usage guidance for reference-request that defines it and differentiates it from the other?

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    $\begingroup$ Resource is the older one, so it was probably intended to capture such requests, and someone who was unaware of the tag likely created reference-request later because that was the pattern they were more familiar with from another site. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Apr 27 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage I just realized that that someone might be me? This now feels vaguely familiar; knowing that there was a resource-request tag in Space SE I may have "discovered it missing" here without checking to see if there was something serving its purpose already? Now that they are merged I can't easily see, but it might have been here? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 6 at 22:01
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I was the OP of the question that uhoh mentioned in the question and I just used the "resource" tag to search for questions similar to mine. The presence of two similar tags of the same meaning is just misleading and may cause the creation of more duplicate and redundant questions.

So, unless the two tags do have different meanings, is it possible to merge it?

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    $\begingroup$ This seems like a good idea to me too, thanks! There could be a theoretical distinction (reference might be a citation of a publication, resource might be a book or website) but I don't think that distinction would be useful, and instead they'll probably get both used somewhat randomly. I agree merging is probably a good idea. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 8:59
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh My suggestion would be to either 1) merge the newer reference-request into the older resource or 2) merge both into a new resource-request, to be more explicit and capture the broader usage you mention in your comment. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Apr 28 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage both sound good to me; I like how the second one works but either is fine. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Since no one jumped in with a contrary opinion, I went ahead and merged according to option #2. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Apr 29 at 12:14

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