Nancy's project:summer

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Retrieved September 14, 2006

Article saved as: guy_2006
This article can be used as an introduction for tagging. It gives the definition of tagging, and it focuses on and flickr. More specifically, it is explored the distribution of the variety of words taggers use. The authors discovered that single-used tags do not prevail the tagging system, suggesting that the most popular is the merging of words to create new tags. The article also gives the most important reasons of bad tags, such as misspelling or using too personal tags with no meaning. On page 9, there is a nice list of “best practices” for tags selection. Ulises Ali Mejias suggests that tags must: (a) use plurals, (b) use lower case, (c) follow tag conventions followed by others, (d) add synonyms. For future solutions, the author suggests Scrumptious, which is a Firefox Extension that offers popular tags for every URL. The author concludes that tags sometimes may look useless, but we must change our thinking concerning folksonomy. In folksonomy the tags have a double purpose, where a user describes something using his personal thoughts and on the other hand, his tags are expected to have a meaning to the rest of the world.

  • Peterson, E. (2009). Patron preferences for folksonomy tags: research findings when both hierarchical subject headings and folksonomy tags are used. Evidence based Library and Information Practice, 4(1).
Article saved as: Peterson_2009

At the Montana State University has an archival repository for thesis and dissertations. When students submit their thesis and dissertations in the repository they are asked to provide tags, describing the content they submit. These tags are an aid for the librarians who then categorize the material according to the LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings). After a two years research, the results indicate that patrons use more tagging than in the past, but the terms they use to describe the content of the submitted material is not the same with the LCSH that a librarian uses to describe it.

  • Peters, I. & Weller, K. (2008). Tag gardening for folksonomy enrichment and maintenance. Webology, 5(3).
Article saved as: peters_2008
PDF page 3. Ontologies suggestions in a folksonomy scheme.

From the text:

Another study of Al-Khalifa et al. (2007) reports the development of the tool "FolksAnnotation" which is used for information indexing and information retrieval. The tool provides the user with tag suggestions based on terms and relations of existing ontologies which he can use during indexing and searching. The evaluation of this system results in following statement of the authors: "These results demonstrate that semantic search outperforms folksonomy search in our sample test, this is because folksonomy search, even if the folksonomy keywords were produced by humans, is analogous to keyword search and therefore limited" (Al-Khalifa et al., 2007). Finally, Sen et al. (2006) show that the tagging users can be influenced by the tags which are already assigned to a resource. Thus, users can be directed in a specific direction by providing particular tags or purporting particular levels of the tags' specificity. The authors conclude: "a new tagging system might be seeded by its designers with a large set of tags of the preferred type. Our results suggest that users would tend to follow the pre-seeded tag distribution" (Sen et al., 2006, 190).

Tagsahoy! Follows the same approach and lets the users search their tags with one search engine on different platforms (, Flickr, Gmail, Squirl, LibraryThing, and Connotea). For every website the user visits the Mozilla Firefox add-on "Tags Everywhere" displays the tag cloud for this website extracted from

A potential solution would be a personal tag repository, an individual controlled vocabulary to be used independently with the different platforms. We envision a small tool, which helps a user to collect, maintain and garden his very own tagging vocabulary. The user should be able to collect all tags he has used within different folksonomy systems (ideally with additional information on how often a single tag has been used in the different systems) and should then create his own vocabulary hierarchy, synonym collections and cross-references to related terms.
Annotation: Tag gardening refers to the process of manipulating and re-engineering folksonomy tags in order to make them more productive and effective. The improvement of folksonomies requires the following stages:
  • document collection vs. single document level: should we edit in total the whole collection or focus separately in each document.
  • Personal vs. collaborative level: do we identify individuals or collaboratively edit all tags in use
  • Intra and cross platform level: should we consider tags and how they are used across different platforms

Gardening steps: (a) correct spelling mistakes, (b) eliminate spam tags, (c) e.g. semanticweb, semanticWeb, semantic_web, which one to keep? Provide the community with instructions, (d) singular or plural.

Solutions: (a) tag popularity, (b) vocabulary control, tag clustering and hierarchical structures. We can apply some design and set the relationships between the tags. Based on the clouds we can consider the most used word as the descriptor and then create hierarchies of homonyms or synonyms. Apart from organizing the folksonomies, we can also use thesauri or ontologies to improve the disambiguation of tags. Administrator: is faced with questions such as which tags are the mostly used? Which ones should I take into consideration first.

  • Weller, K. & Peters, I. (2008). Seeding, weeding, fertilizing- different tag gardening activities for folksonomy maintenance and enrichment. Proceedings of I-SEMANTICS ’08.
Article saved as: weller_2008

Ontologies provide a useful basis for the creation of a semantically richer KOS and for the refinement of existing classifications, thesauri and ontologies. A refinement of the folksonomy tags seem to be a good solution for folksonomies that want to combine the dynamics of a freely chosen tags with the steadiness and complexity of controlled vocabularies. This article gives references for methods already developed that conduct these techniques automatically. Levels of folksonomies formatting:

  • Basic formatting: elimination of spam tags
  • Tag popularity: look from the tag clouds which tags are the most popular and which are not
  • Vocabulary control, tag clustering and hierarchical structures: synonyms (a) connect synonym tags together (b) distinguish synonyms and (c) define relations between the index terms providing semantic navigation e.g. when search for cats to connect with Siamese, Short Hair etc.
  • Interactions with other Knowledge Organizations Systems: combine folksonomies with existing ontologies or thesauri
  • Distinguishing different tag qualities and purposes: folksonomies include tags for different purposes. For example apart from a tag that describes the content, there are tags that describe authors, type of medium. For example in the OATP I use a tag like to define that the type of material is audio. Thus we have to have some additional structuring accordingly. The distinguishing of different tag qualities can be done in form of facets, categories or fields.

Manual tag gardening should better be done by a team of people who have rules for the gardening and not collaboratively for the community. Users may ruin the gardened tags. To save the tags, a solution can be a personal tag repository or a controlled vocabulary.

  • Spiteri, L. (2007). The structure and form of folksonomy tags: the road to the public library catalog. Information Technology and Libraries, September
Article saved as: Spiteri_2007
The researchers chose three sites, Delicious, Furl and Technorati. They gathered the tags used in these three sites and then examined each tag. The examination of the tags was under the instructions of the National Information Standard Organization (NISO), which provides instructions for the creation of controlled vocabularies. According to these instructions, the researchers defined for each tag (a) term choice, (b) grammatical form of terms, (c) nouns and (d) selection of the preferred form. Therefore it was looked whether a tag is consisted of more than one terms, whether a tag is a noun, adjective, a verb and so on. When the tags were collected and their meaning was ambiguous their definition was looked in three resources, Merriam-Webster dictionary, Wikipedia and the Google dictionary. The category of nonstandard terms was created for tags that belonged in the category of slang or that could not be found in the dictionary.

The NISO guidelines recommend that:

  • homographs- terms with identical spellings but different meanings- should be avoided in the selection of terms e.g. jaguar animal and jaguar car
  • terms should represent a single concept expressed by a single or multiword term
  • unique entities may represent the names of people, places, organizations, products and specific events.
  • NISO defines nouns into two categories: (a) count nouns (how many?) and (b) mass nouns (how much?). It is recommended that count names appear in the plural form and mass nouns in the singular form.
  • Spelling: (a) warrant: most widely accepted spelling words should be adopted, (b) authority: spelling should follow the practice of well-established dictionaries or glossaries
  • Abbreviations, initialisms and acronyms: the full form of terms should be used. Abbreviations or acronyms should be used only when they are so well-established that the full form of the term is rarely used.
  • Neologisms, slang and jargo terms in general should not be included in standard dictionaries and should be used only when there is no other widely accepted alternative.

  • Weller, K. (2007). Folksonomies and ontologies: two new players in indexing and knowledge representation. Online Information 2007 Proceedings.
Article saved as: weller_2007
The possibility to use self-defined knowledge relations is one major characteristic of ontologies. The relations of the terms in ontologies are:
(a)Equivalence: handles synonyms and quasi-synonyms
(b)Hierarchical: core relations for defining the structure of a knowledge domain
(c)Associative: unspecified but indicated connections between concepts that have any kind of relation value
Protégé OWL editor: relations can be defined as transitive, functional, and symmetric. Inverse relations are bound together. Cardinalities may be applied to relations, for instance by stating that an article must have at least one author or a dog must have exactly four legs.

Ontologies supporting folksonomies: one way is to have an ontology and let users tag using this ontology. This is not a very must supported idea, as it takes away the freedom and convenience of social tagging. The best is to provide *recommendations* of suggested tags. Example: if a user types in Tottenham, an ontology-based system might suggest to also use the upper-term “London” and leave it to the user to decide if he is going to use this tag or not. Ontology building and users collaboration: the community can actively perform certain steps in an ontology development process. (a) basic level: the community works with an existing ontology and suggests new terms, (b) sophisticated: let he community build the ontology from scratch. For this purpose a specific platform will be needed for that particularly supports the planning and the conceptualization phases within the ontology development.

  • Arch, X. (2007). Creating the Academic Library folksonomy: put social tagging to work at your institution. C&RL News, February.
Article saved as: arch_2007

This is a very general article. It gives the tagging services such as UCite and Connotea and also It talks a bit how users can tag and spam tagging, which he calls as spagging.

  • Neal, D. (2007). Introduction: Folksonmies and image tagging: Seeing the future? Bulleting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, October/November.
Article saved as: neal_2007
Annotation: This article does not include very relevant information. It talks about folksonomy as a term and who invented it. It gives the tools people can use to tag and talks about tagging and Amazon and the advancement of the quality of the Amazon service. It gives extra reading, examples of tagging applied in libraries and a consolidated list of websites mentioned in the special section on Folksonomies.

  • Sinclair, J. & Cardew-Hall, M. (2008). The folksonomy tag cloud: when is it useful? Journal of Information Science, 34(1), 15-29
Article saved as: sinclair_2008
This article is not very useful for our purpose. It is a research article, where the researchers gave the participants two different ways of looking for information. Either they would find information using the tag cloud or the traditions search interface. The results indicate that the tag clouds are more helpful for general searching and the traditional search interface is more helpful for more expertise information.

  • Corcho, O., Fernandez-Lopez, M. & Gomez-Perez, A. (2003). Methodologies, tools and languages for building ontologies. Where is their meeting point? Data and Knowledge Engineering, 45, p. 41-64
Article saved as: corcho_2003
This article provides the existing bibliography on ontology building. Although the information presented is very useful, since it compares software and their abilities it is not recent, dated 2003. Therefore, OWL is not included in the description, as it just had released and the researchers had not used it extensively.
When a new ontology is to be build the question emerging are:
  • which methods and methodologies should I use?
  • Which tools give support to the ontology development process
Three concepts of identifying the main concepts in an ontology:
  • top-down approach: in which the most abstract concepts are identified first, and then specialized into more specific concepts
  • bottom-up: in which the most specific concepts are identified first and then generalized into more abstract concepts
  • middle-out approach: in which the most important concepts are identified first and then generalized and specialized into other concepts

Before selecting the tool to build a ontology, it is important to consider:

  • inference services: attached to the tool, which include: (a) constraint and consistency checking mechanisms, (b) type of heritance, (c) automatic classifications, (d) exception handling and execution procedures.
  • Software architecture and tool evolution: which considers which hardware and software platforms are necessary to use the tool, its architecture, extensibility, storage of the ontologies, failure of tolerance, backup management, stability and tool versioning policies. From that perspective the most tools more towards Java platforms (WebOnto, OILEd, OntoEdit, Protégé 2000, WebODE).
  • Interoperability: with other ontology tools, merging tools, information systems, and databases
  • Methodology: that the tool gives support to. E.g. WebODE gives support to METHONTOLOGY and the OntoEdit to On-To-Knowledge.
  • Cooperative and collaborative construction of ontologies. WebOnto has the most advanced uses
  • Usability aspects: related to help system, edition, visualization
Article’s conclusion:
  • There is no correspondence between ontology building methodologies and tools
  • There are many similar ontology building tools available. However, they are not usually able to interoperate. Tools are usually created as isolated modules that solve one type of problems, but are not fully integrated with other activities of the ontology lifecycle.