Thursday, July 10, 2008

Notes: Tagging tagging. Analysing user keywords in scientific bibliography management systems

An interesting paper on JoDI about tagging in bibliography management system.
Tagging tagging. Analysing user keywords in scientific bibliography management systems
Christian Wolff, Markus Heckner, Susanne Mühlbacher
Journal of Digital Information, Vol 9, No 27 (2008)

Some outcomes:

a category model for tags in a scientific bibliography management scenario. This model covers linguistic features, the relation between tags and the text of the tagged resources, as well as functional and semantic aspects of social tags.
Here is an image of the model that I copied from the paper:

This is actually a really cool model for tags. I've been so far using three categories from MovieLens and Golder (2006)/Huberman (2005) studies; Factual, subjective and personal. I've noticed, though, that I've added many sub-categories for the Factual ones.

Like in this model, I've discovered very similar types in tags. Especially the "Functional Category Model" is interesting : it has 2 sub-classes:
  • subject related (e.g. resource related and content related) and
  • non-subject related, personal tags (e.g. affective, time and task related, tag avoidance=no tags).

Other things:
The ”typical tag” is a single-word noun, taken from the title of the respective article
(identical or variation), thus directly related to the respective subject.
Yep, we have many of these too! When I talk about these I refer to the non-obviousness metric from Farooq et al. (2007).

In contrast to previous studies the number of non-subject related tags remains rather low in the scientific data we observed and the full potential of tagging systems to describe qualities or aspects of resources does not seem to be used. But the absence of tags like cool, interesting, to_read does not mean that users who tagged the resource do not think it is cool, of interest or worthy of reading, but simply that the users did not express their ideas they may have or may not have about the resource.

This is interesting too. I think each audience tags differently. Our target audience are teachers, about 35-55 years old. They do not seem to go around tagging learning resources with tags like cool, etc.
Compared to author keywords, social tags tend to introduce less and simpler con-
cepts: Altogether, only one third of the social tags matched with (the far more numerous) authors’ keywords. Moreover, tags tend to be more general and users tag their articles more general and with less words than authors.

This is also interesting. There are some studies that have compared the tags and expert indexer keywords and have found even less overlap, if I remember right.

I love this one, it is so much the case:
Additionally, it shows that the respective system environment, e.g. tag suggestions, has a major influence on the tagging behaviour in terms of spelling errors, tag usage and creation of a specific tagging languages. This extends the number of the main influential factors on tagging behaviour being personal tendency and community influence through the additional component system influence.

They also flag out as an interesting study area the comparative studies across tagging platforms. I've looked at different tagging systems for educational resources a bit. This version is an old one, but I post it anyway:

Vuorikari, R., Poldoja, H. (submitted). Comparing tagging and its purposes across learning resource repositories. pdf

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