Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Which Tags Do We Remember in Personal Information Management?

an article by Hyungil Suh (Electronics Telecommunications Research Institute, Daejeon, Korea) and Jeungmin Oh and Wan Chul Yoon (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon) published in International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction Volume 32 Issue 7 (2016)


In recent years, as the amount of data grows, personal information management has become essential as well as challenging for everyday lives. Tagging, an alternative or complement to classifying into tree-structured directories, allows users to classify a single information item in multiple categories. Due to its flexibility, tagging system has become popular and a number of studies have been conducted.

Most of the previous research investigated the quality of tags with various tools such as questionnaires. However, the actual usage behavior of tag-based browsing and retrieval of stored information has rarely been studied. In this study, we examined the effects of tag attributes on the user behavior in browsing self-tagged documents under personal information management settings.

Three attributes, tag commonness, tag frequency and tag position, were identified. A controlled experiment with tasks of tagging and retrieval to trace users’ behavior revealed that the tags with higher tag commonness, higher tag frequency, and lower tag position were more likely to be used. The tags with lower tag commonness and lower tag frequency helped users recognize a desired document among a list of candidates.

Among the three attributes, tag position was found the most influential. The findings of this study are expected to enhance the understanding of the quality tags and help information designers in building an effective tagging environment.

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