Encore Tagging

Community tagging is an intriguing feature in Encore. The most obvious way to use them is to create book lists of titles that you want to group together, such as award winners, reading lists, staff picks, community reads etc. Tagging is best for creating groupings that would not generally be part of a catalog record. For instance, it wouldn't make a lot of sense to tag items with "stories in rhyme" since we alrady have 6000+ books with that subject heading. On the other hand, something like "read-alouds" is not a standard subject heading but might be a useful grouping. Cuyahoga County Public Library, for example, has a classroom read-alouds tag.

In Encore, community tags work mostly like additional keywords, and sometimes a little like free text subject headings. Words in the community tags are indexed (as keywords, not as subjects) and titles will display in the results list if the word(s) in the search match words in the community tag. In terms of how it affects (keyword) search results, you can think of the community tag as an extra line in the notes field. Although the addition of community tags may, in some cases, increase search results, the addition of tags should not skew the catalogs basic relevancy ranking, which gives words in the title, author, and subject fields more weight.

Tagging is currently set up so that anyone with a library card can create a tag. It is possible to restrict tagging by patron type. Tags are not strictly monitored, but they are associated with a library card # and inappropriate tags can be deleted easily by Encore administrators. Unless we actually promoted tagging, it is unlikely that many patrons will even know the option exists for them to add tags (as of 12/17/2015 patrons have added 29 tags - 15 adult ptype, 14 juvenile). See how to create tags in Encore for insturctions on creating and deleting tags.

I have only come across one library that seems to have gone "all in" with tagging, and that is Cuyahoga County Public Library. I recommend that you take a look at their catalog. From their top menu, they have a number of Featured Lists that are created using community tags. If you dig around a little more, you will find a lot more. Try a subject search and see if if the Found in facet displays any Community Tag results. Here are just a few:

In InfoSoup, I have been experimenting with tags, mostly to better understand how they work and to try and figure out what is a good format.

Read On Wiscosin

One thing I have learned so far is that punctuation is largely ignored. I thought maybe that using hyphens and underscores would make the tags work more like a phrase and not just keywords. I was wrong. A keyword search for "on" will bring up anything tagged "Read-On-Wisconsin." In a way that is good as it makes the tags less ugly and easier to type. I also thought that it is not a bad thing if a search for "Read on Wisconsin" brings up those tagged items. Although someone searcing for "Wisconsin" may not want to see those titles, those items don't display anywhere near the top of the results list. But more about that latter.

Tagged items can be found a couple of different ways

  1. From a keyword search in Encore.
  2. From clicking on the tag at the bottom of a full record page (just above the NoveList results).
  3. From clicking on a link in the Tag facet in the left hand colunm.
  4. From a link on a web page.

1. From a keyword search in Encore

If any of the words in your search are part of a community tag, a section will appear in the Found In facet identifying how many items are tagged with that word or words. Below is an example if you searched for the word "Science" in InfoSoup

Clicking on "Community Tag" will limit the results to items that have "Science" as a word somewhere in the tag. The "46" could represent 46 titles all with the same tag, or 46 different tags for 46 different titles, all with the word science somewhere in the tag. Once you limit to community tags, you will probalby see the name of the tag(s) in the Tag facet (see below).

If the initial search includes more than one word, the Community Tag option will only display the number of titles that include all the words in the search.

In this case, there are two community tags "nsta outstanding science trade books...." and "CCBC Choices 2015 Science and Nature"  that contain the word science. Clicking on either of those tag links will refine the result to match only items tagged such. In general, Community Tags will only display in the innitial Tag facet if they represent a majority of the records returned. Other than by what might be obvious to a librarian, there is nothing to distinguish subject heading "tags" from "community tags."

If the initial search was "outstanding science" then only those items would display in the Found In Community Tag, and ony the "NSTA Outstanding Science Trade books...." would display in the Tag section.

For those that notice such things, the punctuation is controlled by Encore. Even if CCBC was capitalized in the tag, Encore will display as Ccbc. Not my fault.

2. From clicking on the tag at the bottom of a full record page

Any Community Tags will will be listed at the bottom of a full record page, below the bibliographic data and above the NoveList "You Might Also Like" section.

Clicking on these links will initiate a keyword search. The search will bring back any items matching the words in the tag, regardless of if the item has been tagged. From the following result page, you would then need to refine by Community Tag, to limit the results to tagged items only. Tag phrases, or tags with unique words, are less likely to display non-tagged items. If, after clicking on the tag, the total number of results matches the number under Found in Community tag, then you know that all your items are part of the tagged group.

Results after clicking on a Community Tag
All Results are from tagged group Results include keyword matches that are not part of the tagged group

3. From clicking on a link in the Tag facet in the left hand colunm.

Depending on the search, community tags may or may not display in the Tag facet. A keyword search for "science" would not display any of the community tags because there are other, more numerous subject headings assoicated with that search. If one, however unlikely, searched "outstanding science" then nsta Outstanding Science trade_books (students-k-12) 2015 would display in the Tag facet. Clicking on the tag would limit the search to those items that have been tagged with that word or words. In this case the tag acts as a limiter, unlike when you click on the tag from the full record page, which just initiats a keyword search.

Sometimes, however, you will also see community tags under Additional Suggestions. When the tag is here, it functions as a keyword search. If this is confusing, just remember, clicking on a community tag is really just doing a keyword search, unless you use refine by Tag to limit your initial search to results that include that particular tag.

4. From a link on a web page

You can also create links to tagged items. First do a keyword search on the tag (or click on the tag on a full record page) and them refining by "Community Tag." Then copy the the url in the address bar to use as your link. This should display only the items tagged with that specific tag. It would look something like this: CCBC Choices 2015 Science and Nature