There are a lot of questions on SE asking

what a professional in a specific branch should/has to know?

What are common short terms/phrases one can use for tagging/searching such topics/questions? Im thinking of phrases like standard knowledge, but this is as far as I know not very common in English. Any common foreign words expressing this?


3 Answers 3


Essentials is a good word for this:

basic, indispensable, or necessary elements

The basics is a similar term:

something that is fundamental or basic; an essential ingredient, principle, procedure, etc.: to learn the basics of music

Fundamentals would sound well in a scientific context:

a basic principle, rule, law, or the like, that serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part: to master the fundamentals of a trade.

  • +1 thanks. Like this very much. Now im wondering whether basics or essentials is more common in science? :)
    – Hauser
    Oct 25, 2011 at 15:24
  • 3
    When talking about science fundamentals come to mind, too.
    – Unreason
    Oct 25, 2011 at 15:30
  • 2
    How about 101?
    – RegDwigнt
    Dec 22, 2011 at 15:04

A high register, rarer term is


Prerequisites are what you need to now before you study something; the requisites are what you need to know for the thing of study.

  • +1 thanks. Imo this one is esp. used in context of job descriptions to name what detailed and practical knowledge someone needs necessarily to do research. There seem to be some fine nuances between all those terms mentioned so far concerning what someone should know in detail, by heart, at least be aware of, heard of. So requisites fits imo best basics distinct problems like e.g. machine translation, as you need to know different fundamentals in linguistics/programming... to do research
    – Hauser
    Oct 25, 2011 at 16:12

Principles would be one of the most potential terms helpful in search.

Also, you can think of all the book titles beginning with 'Principles of...', 'Elements of...', 'Fundamentals of...', etc., which is actually the reason they are so titled.

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