It is paper writing season with the ISMIR submission deadline just four days away. In the last few days a couple of researchers have asked me for a copy of the article I wrote for the Journal of New Music Research on social tags. My copyright agreement with the JNMR lets me post a pre-press version of the article – so here’s a version that is close to what appeared in the journal.
Social tags are free text labels that are applied to items such as artists, albums and songs. Captured in these tags is a great deal of information that is highly relevant to Music Information Retrieval (MIR) researchers including information about genre, mood, instrumentation, and quality. Unfortunately there is also a great deal of irrelevant information and noise in the tags.
Imperfect as they may be, social tags are a source of human-generated contextual knowledge about music that may become an essential part of the solution to many MIR problems. In this article, we describe the state of the art in commercial and research social tagging systems for music. We describe how tags are collected and used in current systems. We explore some of the issues that are encountered when using tags, and we suggest possible areas of exploration for future research.
Here’s the reference:
Paul Lamere. Social tagging and music information retrieval. Journal of New Music Research, 37(2):101–114.