Title

Factors Influencing User-generated Vocabularies: How Basic are Basic Level Terms?

Publication Title

Knowledge Organization

Publication Date

1-2015

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.5771/0943-7444-2015-2-102

Keywords

tags, basic level terms, user-generated vocabularies, categories

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

Studies of user-generated tagging vocabularies (e.g., Yoon 2009) suggest that tag agreement across users is due to wide-spread use of basic level category terms. This study investigated whether differences in the superordinate, subordinate or basic level of abstraction were influenced by resource content. Analysis of 7617 tags assigned by 40 participants to 36 online resources representing four content categories (i.e., TOOL, FRUIT, CLOTHING, VEHICLE) found significant differences in the frequency of occurrence of subordinate and basic level tags assigned to resources in the FRUIT content category and of superordinate and basic level tags assigned to resources in the CLOTHING content category. This study suggests that variation in the level of abstraction of content related tags is natural in that perception and understanding arise out of the individual's contextualized experiences of engaging with objects.

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