Social Tags Versus LCSH Descriptors a Comparative Metadata Analysis in the Field of Economics
The concept of ‘social tagging’ has gained popularity nowadays due to the emergence of web 2.0 technologies. Those technologies led to the practice of associating metadata with digital resources among users through collaboratively or socially for self-information retrieval. Many researchers have opined that social tags can enhance the use of library collections. The present study was predominantly carried out to compare social tags collected from the LibraryThing website with Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) descriptors collected from the Library of Congress Online Catalogue applied for thousand book titles in the field of Economics. The study also aimed to know whether social tags can be applied in the library database or not. The findings elucidate that users mostly use descriptors (47.39 %) as tags than expert’s usage of tags (12.77 %) as descriptors. Spearman’s correlation suggests that 75 per cent chance where tags and descriptors can be used simultaneously in overlapping terms. The Jaccard similarity coefficient identifies that users and experts use different terminologies to annotate the books. Users and experts use at least one common keyword for major book titles (908). Users mostly sought title based keywords but experts use mostly subject-based terminologies. The study further clarifies that social tags may be incorporated into the library databases but cannot replace LCSHs. The accessibility and usage of documents especially in the field of economics may be enhanced once the notion of social tags is incorporated with the library OPAC.
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