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Towards user-centered indexing in digital image collections

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Purpose ? User-created metadata, often referred to as folksonomy or social classification, has received a considerable amount of attention in the digital library world. Social tagging is perceived as a tool for enhancing description of digital objects and providing a venue for user input and greater user engagement. This article seeks to examine the pros and cons of user-generated metadata in the context of digital image collections and compares it to professionally created metadata schema and controlled vocabulary tools. Design/methodology/approach ? The article provides an overview of challenges to concept-based image indexing. It analyzes the characteristics of social classification and compares images described by users to a set of images indexed in a digital collection. Findings ? The article finds that user-generated metadata vary in the level of description, accuracy, and consistency and do not provide a solution to the challenges of image indexing. On the other hand, they reflects user's language and can lead toward user-centered indexing and greater user engagement. Practical implications ? Social tagging can be implemented as a supplement to professionally created metadata records to provide an opportunity for users to comment on images. Originality/value ? The article introduces the idea of user-centered image indexing in digital collections.
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Keywords: Collections management; Digital storage; Image processing; Indexing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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