Proposing and voting on new topics

Last Updated: Nov 22, 2016 05:47PM PST

Proposed Topics

On Experts Exchange, Topics are a way to help ensure that questions and other content can be categorized appropriately and more likely to be found by the members most interested.

Since Experts following or setting up saved searches for particular topics is a primary way that they’re notified of new content, Experts Exchange does not allow entirely free-form topic creation. Otherwise, it’s quite possible that no one would ever see your question! There is, however, a community process for proposing and voting on new topics to be formally adopted.

Once a topic has been proposed, it may be selected for use when adding topics to a question or other content. A proposed topic does not have its own dedicated topic page and may not receive as much attention as official topics, but with enough votes, a proposed topic will become official. Once it’s official, points in the topic will be retroactively applied to all content that had been tagged with the proposed topic.

Adding a proposed topic to a question

Accessing the Proposed Topic system

The Proposed Topic system can be accessed by going to Browse -> Topics and following the Propose a Topic link, or by going directly to the following page:

Anyone can see this page to view the list of Proposed Topics and voting results, however, to participate in the voting process a member must be at least Level 5 (50,000 pts).

Clicking on a Proposed Topic label will also get you to the Proposed Topics page, but will filter the list to only the relevant topic.

Filtering & sorting the list

Several options are available to adjust how you see the list of proposed topics. If you’re interested in searching for specific a word or phrase, you can enter text into the search field to filter the list to only those proposed topics that match. You can also filter to only show topics that you have not yet voted on.

Additionally, the list can be sorted by most to least used, most to least votes, name, or date submitted.

Filtering the proposed topics list

Sorting the proposed topics list

Filter for showing all proposed topics or only ones you haven't voted on:

Learning more about a proposed topic

A key indicator of whether or not a proposed topic would work well on Experts Exchange is how frequently members may have already tried to use it. Clicking on a proposed topic in the list will show additional information about this usage. Links for up to five pieces of content the proposed topic has been attached to are displayed. The section will also display a total count for the number of search results that appear when the proposed topic is used as a search term and a link to running that search.

Please note that search results counts are not real-time and may be delayed by up to 24 hours.

Click on a proposed topic to see the expanded view


For each proposed topic, there are three voting options: yes, no, or link to existing topic. Vote yes if you would like to see the proposed topic as an official Experts Exchange topic, no if you don’t, or link if you feel the proposed topic is best served as a synonym of a topic that already exists.

When voting for a synonym, other members may have already suggested the official topic to link to. You can vote for one of those if available, or provide your own suggestion.

Once you’ve voted, the button color will change to show what you selected. You can also change your vote if you wish.

Voting options

Voting for topic to link to as a synonym​

Expanding a proposed topic will also show the synonym voting results, if any​


A synonym is an alternate label for a topic, such as the acronym “QA” as a synonym for the topic “Quality Assurance”. Synonyms are used when searching for a topic; if the text of the synonym is provided, the system will return the official topic name that the synonym is linked to.

Selecting a topic based on synonym

Proposing a new topic

Level 5 members and above can propose a new topic from the proposed topics page. Proposed topics must be at least one character, cannot contain angle brackets (“<” or “>”), and must not already be in use, proposed, or rejected.

Once successfully submitted, your newly proposed topic will appear in the list for you and others to vote on.

Proposing a new topic


Becoming an official topic or synonym

Once a proposed topic has received enough votes with a clear lead, it’ll move out of the proposed status and either become a new official topic, a synonym of an existing topic, or rejected. The voting threshold algorithm (used to determine when a proposed topic should transition) is likely to be adjusted over time, depending upon usage and feedback.


Have feedback on this system or found a bug? Let us know here!

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