Motivations and intentions of flickr users in enriching flick records for library of congress photos

Margaret E.I. Kipp, Jihee Beak, Inkyung Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study is to understand users' motivations and intentions in the use of institutional collections on social tagging sites. Previous social tagging studies have collected social tagging data and analyzed how tagging functions as a tool to organize and retrieve information. Many studies focused on the patterns of tagging rather than the users' perspectives. To provide a more comprehensive picture of users' social tagging activities in institutional collections, and how this compares to social tagging in a more personal context, we collected data from social tagging users by surveying 7,563 participants in the Library of Congress's Flickr Collection. We asked users to describe their motivations for activities within the LC Flickr Collection in their own words using open-ended questions. As a result, we identified 11 motivations using a bottom-up, open-coding approach: affective reactions, opinion on photo, interest in subject, contribution to description, knowledge sharing, improving findability, social network, appreciation, personal use, and personal relationship. Our study revealed that affective or emotional reactions play a critical role in the use of social tagging of institutional collections by comparing our findings to existing frameworks for tagging motivations. We also examined the relationships between participants' occupations and our 11 motivations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2364-2379
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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