Social Tags of Select Books Written by Mahatma Gandhi a Comparative Study of Library Thing Tags and OCLC Fast Subject Headings

  • Sachin Katagi Karnataka University, Dharwad
  • Dr. Bhakti Gala Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar - 382 030
Keywords: Information retrieval systems, Folksonomies, Social tagging, OCLC fast subject headings, Controlled vocabularies, Library thing, Metadata, Mahatma Gandhi


Retrieval to specific information is critical to user satisfaction in today’s semantic web environment. Users use various terms, nomenclatures and words for aiding mnemonic value to identify concepts for future access and sharing with community members. Social tagging has emerged as a popular option for the millennials to address this issue Tagging is a convenient way used by today’s users for naming their web resources in their own terms. In this study a comparative study was carried out between the standardised Online Computer Library Centre (OCLC) Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) Subject headings and the popular user-generated tags observed on the LibraryThing website for select books written by Mahatma Gandhi, the iconic Father of Modern India, who was also a prolific writer. M K Gandhi wrote many books, letters, newsletters, essays and edited journals on various subjects like health, vegetarianism, diet, religion and social reforms. A close examination of the subject headings and tags given by users to works authored by M K Gandhi reveal that there is a vast amount of difference between the standard terms assigned using OCLC FAST Subject Headings and tags assigned by the users. The study reveals that neither subject headings nor tags are perfect systems by themselves, but they may complement each other in library catalogues. The inclusion of user-generated keywords into catalogues will greatly enhance representation, organisation and retrieval of resources in a library environment.

Author Biographies

Sachin Katagi, Karnataka University, Dharwad

Mr. Sachin Katagi completed his Master of Library and Information Science from the Central University of Gujarat. He is a recipient of Indian Library Association- Dr K Padma Umapathy and KS Umapathy Fellowship in Library and Information Science, Travel Grant Recipient of Indian Public Library Conference (IPLC) 2017, new Delhi and he also received the “Best Poster” award in the LIFE IISER Pune International Conference in 2017. His areas of Interests were Folksonomy, ETDs etc.

Dr. Bhakti Gala, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar - 382 030

Dr Bhakti Gala is an Assistant Professor at the Central University of Gujarat, India. She obtained her doctoral degree in library and information science from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara. Her research interests include information literacy, public libraries, metadata, digital scholarly communication and digital libraries. Her areas of research interests are Metadata, Open Access, Information Literacy, Public Libraries and Digital Libraries. she is also the recipient of the 2014 ASIS&T SIG III Best International Paper Contest award.

How to Cite
Katagi, S., & Gala, D. B. (2020). Social Tags of Select Books Written by Mahatma Gandhi a Comparative Study of Library Thing Tags and OCLC Fast Subject Headings. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 40(01), 34-39.
Research Paper