The solution for massive, complex content analysis projects

TagWorks was designed by a social scientist to analyze large sets of documents using complex conceptual schemas. This web-based system can help you finish your giant project up to ten times faster.

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How does TagWorks work?

  1. Gather your corpus of documents and specify what you want to find into a conceptual scheme.

  2. The TagWorks team works with you to convert your conceptual scheme into a branching hierarchy. Next we create an assembly line of tasks guiding the annotation efforts of online crowd workers.

  3. Upload your documents into TagWorks.

  4. Expert members of your team perform TagWorks-generated tasks for your documents. This work will establish a “gold standard” set of high-quality tags that TagWorks will use to to test and qualify crowd workers.

  5. Open the starting gates and introduce your thousands of documents to thousands of crowd workers or volunteer citizen-scientists.

  6. TagWorks automatically compares each crowd worker’s tags to at least three others’, formalizing and exploiting intersubjective epistemology to produce validated results.


What can TagWorks do?


Complexity at scale

With TagWorks you can tackle complex, large-scale projects with ease. Efficiently annotate, tag and classify tens of thousands or millions of documents with hundreds of categories of information.


Up to 10x faster

Complete what would normally be a decade long project in a year. Tagworks removes the need to train wave-after-wave  of research assistants, saving you time and money.


The power of the crowd

TagWorks allows you to easily enlist thousands of crowd workers to extract the information you need. In most cases, anyone who can pass a reading comprehension test can contribute.


Eliminates task management

TagWorks automates worker, document, and task management, allowing Principle Investigators to principally investigate instead of spending so much time training team members and directing traffic.


Validated results

TagWorks is open and transparent, making it simple for others to review and validate your results. You can easily see the full provenance of your data and share it with your peers.


Web based

TagWorks is completely web based, so no software installation or management is required. This also allows crowd workers and other collaborators to have easy access to your project.


Who uses TagWorks?


Columbia University’s History Lab is using TagWorks to annotate an archive of 1,000,000 diplomatic reports.


The University of Texas School of Information is using TagWorks to categorize mentions of open source software in thousands of articles.


Public Editor is using TagWorks to transparently assess the credibility of news articles and news organizations with the help of thousands of volunteers.


Where did TagWorks come from?


Sociologist Nick Adams came up with the initial design of TagWorks when he faced the challenge of closely annotating over 8,000 news articles describing the events of the Occupy movement. Adams wanted to do a qualitative analysis of this large corpus of documents using a complex categorization scheme, but the job seemed impossible. The work couldn’t be done by computers and manual textual analysis by a group of trained and supervised research assistants would take too long, cost too much money and, maybe worst of all, keep Adams in the role of trainer and manager for years.


Adams was not alone. Many ambitious attempts at complex content have faced this challenge and have done one of the following:

  • Drastically reduced the size of the corpus.

  • Drastically reduced the complexity of the categorization scheme.

  • Taken years to do the analysis.

  • Given up.


Adams kept looking for a solution until he came up with a way to break down nearly any massive job of manual textual analysis into small, simple tasks that the average person could do with very little training. This revolutionary assembly line approach was turned into TagWorks by a team of engineers led by co-founder Norman Gilmore.

Now scientists and researchers like you can use TagWorks to lead massive projects and gain new insights into complex patterns of social, political, economic, legal and financial behavior.


 When Is TagWorks The Right Solution?


When it is

If you have a large (or even gigantic) corpus and/or you have an intricate conceptual scheme with dozens or even hundreds of classifications, TagWorks may be the solution you are looking for.

When it isn’t

If you have less than 500 documents to analyze and/or you have a simple conceptual scheme with a handful of categories, there are a number of other tools that can meet your needs.  


If you’d like to learn more about the suitability of TagWorks for your project, get in touch and we’ll set up a free consultation.


Get started

TagWorks is currently in Beta. If you're interested in using TagWorks for your research project, please fill in the form below and we'll be in touch.

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