To tag or not to tag?

Academic Article


  • Purpose - The purpose of this article is to provide a quantitative analysis of the extent to which folksonomies replicate the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) to see if folksonomies would successfully complement cataloger-supplied subject headings in library catalogs. Design/methodology/approach - The paper compares social tags and LC subject headings for ten books from various library-related applications including next generation OPACs and LibraryThing by ranking tags and subject headings using scales modified from research by Golder and Huberman, Voorbij, and Kipp. Findings - Social tagging does indeed augment LCSH by providing additional access to resources. Research limitations/implications - Several of our applications lacked tags for the books we chose in our study. Tags are primarily taken from LibraryThing. Practical implications - A hybrid catalog combining both LCSH and a folksonomy would result in richer metadata and be stronger than the sum of its parts, giving patrons the best of both worlds in terms of access to materials. Originality/value - This paper supplies quantitative support for the use of folksonomies in a library's catalog. The data also supports many of the previous theories proposed in literature about folksonomies and social tagging. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Library Hi Tech  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Thomas M; Caudle DM; Schmitz CM
  • Start Page

  • 411
  • End Page

  • 434
  • Volume

  • 27
  • Issue

  • 3