Tagging personal information: A contrast between attiudes behavior

Ofer Bergman, Noa Gradovitch, Judit Bar-Ilan, Ruth Beyth-Marom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations
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In a previous work we tested users' preferences with systems that allow to store and retrieve information either using tags or folders. In the current study we asked participants sampled from the same population about their attitudes towards tags by using a questionnaire (N = 168). We then compared the results regarding attitudes gathered in this study with the ones testing actual behavior gathered in our previous one. Overall, results showed positive attitudes towards tagging and multiple classification. These finding are in sharp contrast with our previous behavioral study which showed clear preference for folders and single classification: Our participants tended to agree with statements such as "most people use folders only due to habits", "if users were taught to use tags they would prefer them over folders", and "In 20 years children born today will use mostly"; however in our previous study in which we taught our participants to use tags there was a clear behavioral preference for folders over tags. Most participants in the present study thought that giving several classifications to personal information is a good idea, while our previous results showed that even when tags were used, multiple classification was exceptional. Furthermore, our current participants tended to agree that "the use of tags is more efficient than folder use" while in our previous study retrieval was faster without tags. We conclude this paper with suggestions regarding future research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Place of conference:Montreal, Canada


  • Folders
  • Personal information management
  • Tags


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