News Editors

Resources for USC News Editors and Authors

Categories vs Tags

Categories help readers find content on broad areas of interest, such as articles about health. Using the analogy of a book, categories are like table of content sections for the site that help readers find content they are generally interested in. USC News uses categories like Science/Technology and Policy/Law. Scroll down for a full list of categories.

Tags help readers find content on specific topics of interest, such as articles about paleontology or stem cell research. Continuing the analogy of a book, tags are like index terms that help readers find detailed content on one subject.

Tags help organize content on a more granular level than categories. Consider tags to be breadcrumbs for readers. They guide them to other stories they might be interested in.


Reader Sally Jones likes a story about how marine biologist Joe Smith studies the effect of climate change on beaches in Los Angeles. Sally will probably like other stories on the environment or about the work of marine biologists. She might also be interested in other stories about Los Angeles. Tags for this story include Marine Biology, Environment and Los Angeles. But Joe Smith isn’t a good tag, because Sally is probably interested in the topics – not in Joe Smith himself.

If you’re submitting a story, video or slideshow, please submit your suggested tags when you upload your content on our online form.

Pick 1-2 categories and 1-5 tags for your content. There is no one right way to categorize or tag all stories. These terms are intended to help readers follow a particular topic of interest.

Articles can be tagged a variety of ways but there will be terms that apply more strongly than others. Since there’s a limit of 2 category and 5 tag terms, please think about the words that would be most helpful in identifying what the article is about.

You can find our latest list of categories and tags for USC News stories in the Taxonomy section of this site.