Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Comparing social tags with subject headings on annotating books: A study comparing the information science domain in English and Chinese

Wu, D and He, D and Qiu, J and Lin, R and Liu, Y (2013) Comparing social tags with subject headings on annotating books: A study comparing the information science domain in English and Chinese. Journal of Information Science, 39 (2). 169 - 187. ISSN 0165-5515

[img] Plain Text (licence)
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (1kB)


The literature often views the emergence of social tagging as a potential alternative method to controlled vocabulary for organizing and indexing large-scale information resources. In this paper, we present an in-depth examination of the relationship between social tagging and controlled vocabulary-based indexing and organization in two unique contexts: the information science domain and when comparing data gathered from both English and Chinese sources. Our results show that the information science domain has more overlap between social tags and controlled vocabulary-based subject terms. This is reflected in the higher percentage of overlapping terms between tags and subject terms, as well as in the strong similarity (measured by Jaccard's coefficient) in frequently used keywords among tags and subject terms. However, social tags in the information science domain still possess limitations in terms of uncontrolled terms, where inconsistencies and noisy usages exist. Our results also show that language difference does have an impact on social tagging. The numbers of Chinese tags overall and per book are less than those of English tags. The most frequently used English tags are single-word terms, which are different from multi-word controlled vocabulary terms. In comparison, the character difference between the most frequently used Chinese tags and Chinese subject terms is just one character (3 vs 4). However, English and Chinese users do share many similar behaviours when they tag books in the information science domain. Many of the most frequently used tags are shared between the two languages and the patterns of overlap between topical tags and subject terms are also similar between the two languages. Overall, despite the application limitations for social tagging in cataloguing and indexing, we believe that tagging has the potential to become a complementary resource for expanding and enriching controlled vocabulary systems. With the help of future technology to regulate and promote features related to controlled vocabulary in social tags, a hybrid cataloguing and indexing system that integrates social tags with controlled vocabulary would greatly improve people's organizational and access capabilities within information resources. © The Author(s) 2012.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wu, D
He, Ddah44@pitt.eduDAH440000-0002-4645-8696
Qiu, J
Lin, R
Liu, Yliuy@pitt.eduLIUY0000-0002-6388-9674
Date: 1 April 2013
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Information Science
Volume: 39
Number: 2
Page Range: 169 - 187
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1177/0165551512451808
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0165-5515
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2013 15:09
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2020 20:55


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item