LibraryThing Tags and Library of Congress Subject Headings: a Comparison of Science Fiction and Fantasy Works
This study examines the extent to which LibraryThing tags match their equivalent Library of Congress subject headings and looks at whether they offer any additional information about the subject matter of the books to which they are applied. This study has a largely quantitative methodology with some qualitative aspects. The researcher harvested tags from ten books in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. The tags were then classified into categories created by the researcher and examined using descriptive statistics inside Excel. The most frequently used tags were those that matched the Library of Congress subject headings, but there were a significant number of non-matching tags that offered useful additional information about the books in the sample. Library of Congress subject headings mostly identify the basic genres that the books in the sample belonged to, but added little additional information. Integrating tagging into library OPACs would create more opportunities for library users to find books in which they are interested.