LibraryThing for Libraries: How Tag Moderation and Size Limitations Affect Tag Clouds

Sandra Johansson, Koraljka Golub
2019 Knowledge organization  
The aim of this study is to analyse differences between tags on LibraryThing's web page and tag clouds in their "LibraryThing for Libraries" service, and assess if, and how, the LibraryThing tag moderation and limitations to the size of the tag cloud in the library catalogue affect the description of the information resource. An e-mail survey was conducted with personnel at LibraryThing, and the results were compared against tags for twenty different fiction books, collected from two different
more » ... ibrary catalogues with disparate tag cloud sizes, and LibraryThing's web page. The data were analysed using a modified version of Golder and Huberman's tag categories (2006). The results show that while LibraryThing claims to only remove the inherently personal tags, several other types of tags are found to have been discarded as well. Occasionally a certain type of tag is included in one book, and excluded in another. The comparison between the two tag cloud sizes suggests that the larger tag clouds provide a more pronounced picture regarding the contents of the book but at the cost of an increase in the number of tags with synonymous or redundant information.
doi:10.5771/0943-7444-2019-4-245 fatcat:3btifru6jjftviga5d6lyxqwqa