Empowering Digital Libraries Users through Combining Taxonomies with Folksonomies Page: 1
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Empowering Digital Libraries Users through Combining
Taxonomies with Folksonomies
Daniel Gelaw Alemneh
Digital Libraries Services,
University of North Texas Libraries
Daniel.Alem neh @unt. edu
The increase in the number and heterogeneity of digital
resources has led cultural heritage institutions to develop
tools, workflows, and quality assurance mechanisms that
allow effective digital resource management. This poster
assesses the current landscape in digital libraries as well as
best practices and identifies emerging trends in information
indexing. It also explores the potentials of and controversies
surrounding user supplied tags or keywords in terms of
complementing established controlled vocabularies in a
diverse and collaborative environment.
Index, tags, digital libraries. Social networking
Digital libraries and supporting technologies have now
matured to the point where their contents are incorporating
complex and dynamic resources and services. Given the
proliferation of scholarly digital contents, research in
almost every discipline is becoming more data-intensive
and current users demand access to various formats
regardless of temporal and spatial restrictions and the types
of devices used.
Advancement of digital technologies is shaping creation,
access, use and preservation of information resources in
ways that are so profound that traditional methods and
concepts of access and organization are becoming less
Various emerging (Web 3.0) applications, driven by
semantic web technologies such as OWL, RDF, SPARQL,
SWRL, etc., indeed offer powerful data organization,
combination, and query capabilities. Some of the trends that
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ASIST 2012, October 26-31, 2012, Baltimore, MD, USA.
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Department of Information Studies, University at
Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
are already taking shape include:
* Huge multimedia digital libraries instead of documents
* Complex retrieval systems instead of matching queries
and document representations
* Visualization of the information space instead of a
ranked list of search results
* Human information behavior instead of information
* Users as both creators and consumers of information
* Bottom-up/user assisted indexing instead of "top-
down" approach to indexing by trained professionals
As more users move into the more self-structured digital
environment, a new paradigm for user experience will be
Indexing and Representation
An index term is simply a systematic representation of an
information-bearing object (text, images, audio, video, etc)
which points users to specific items on topics of interest. In
other words, it is an information retrieval tool. As noted by
Caropreso, Matwin and Sebastiani, (2001), one of the key
issues for information retrieval (IR) and all other content-
based text management applications is document indexing.
The generation of an accurate indexing term, i.e. a
representation of an information-bearing object, is
fundamental to the discovery, use, and reuse of digital
resources. Indexing enhances the accessibility and value of
a resource, provided that it is based on a thorough analysis
of the resource. A good index helps users find what they
need, even when they are not sure of what they need or
To fully understand what a good index is, it is necessary to
be both micro- and macro-minded. On the micro level, we
concern ourselves with the specific mechanics of creating
an index term. On the macro level, indexing could be
thought of as part of a larger context of an information
retrieval system. At the basic level, retrieval of information
then involves the user expressing an information need in the
form of an information retrieval request by using terms
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Alemneh, Daniel Gelaw & Rorissa, Abebe. Empowering Digital Libraries Users through Combining Taxonomies with Folksonomies, paper, October 2012; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122173/m1/1/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .