Monday, November 03, 2008

Searching with Tags

Searching with Tags: Do Tags Help Users Find Things? by Margaret E.I. Kipp appears in Proceedings 10th International Conference of the International Society for Knowledge Organization, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
This study examines the question of whether tags can be useful in the process of information retrieval. Participants were asked to search a social bookmarking tool specialising in academic articles (CiteULike) and an online journal database (Pubmed) in order to determine if users found tags were useful in their search process. The actions of each participants were captured using screen capture software and they were asked to describe their search process. The preliminary study showed that users did indeed make use of tags in their search process, as a guide to searching and as hyperlinks to potentially useful articles. However, users also made use of controlled vocabularies in the journal database.

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