May 28, 2022

Research Paper: “Testing Assumptions About Social Tagging Systems: A Case Study of the Social Tagging System BibSonomy”

The following paper was recently shared on arXiv.


Testing Assumptions about Social Tagging Systems: A Case Study of the Social Tagging System BibSonomy


Stephan Doerfel
University of Kassel

Daniel Zoller
University of Würzburg

Philipp Singer
Technical University Graz

Thomas Niebler
University of Würzburg

Andreas Hotho
University of Würzburg

Markus Strohmaier
University of Koblenz-Landau and GESIS


via arXiv


Social tagging systems have established themselves as an important part in today’s web and have attracted the interest from our research community in a variety of investigations. The overall vision of our community is that simply through interactions with the system, i.e., through tagging and sharing of resources, users would contribute to building useful semantic structures as well as resource indexes using uncontrolled vocabulary not only due to the easy-to-use mechanics.

Henceforth, a variety of assumptions about social tagging systems have emerged, yet testing them has been difficult due to the absence of suitable data. In this work we thoroughly investigate three available assumptions – e.g., is a tagging system really social? – by examining live log data gathered from the real-world public social tagging system BibSonomy.

Our empirical results indicate that while some of these assumptions hold to a certain extent, other assumptions need to be reflected and viewed in a very critical light. Our observations have implications for the design of future search and other algorithms to better reflect the actual user behavior.

Direct to Full Text Paper (12 pages; PDF)

See Also: Visit the BibSonomy Web Site

See Also: Related Publications by Stephan Doerfel

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.