A Categorical Comparison between User-Supplied Tags and Web Search Queries for Images

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Conference Proceeding

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Although social tagging has received attention in the LIS field as a promising information organization mechanism, there is little research comparing user‐supplied tags and search queries. For using user‐supplied tags as an alternative or supplementary tool for existing image representation schemes, there should be evidence which demonstrate to what extent there are similarities and/or differences between user‐supplied tags and search terms. Based on these considerations, this study investigates categorical differences between user supplied tags and Web search queries. Using Shatford's categories, the study identifies categorical characteristics of tags and queries. Using the 1st level of categories, a rough comparison was made. User‐supplied tags contain Generic terms for the majority, but Web search queries include Specific terms, rather than Generic terms. For a more detailed comparison between tags and queries, the 2nd level of categories from Shatford's was adopted. In most of subcategories, the categorical comparisons between tags and queries demonstrate considerable differences. Although this result is based on a small size of data sets, the result of this study can impact the way of social tagging systems and indexing/ranking systems of Web search engines for images.

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Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, v. 45, issue 1, p. 1-3