How to Organize the Annotation Systems in Human-Computer Environment: Study, Classification and Observations

  • Anis KalboussiEmail author
  • Nizar Omheni
  • Omar Mazhoud
  • Ahmed Hadj Kacem
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9297)


The practice of annotation is a secular and omnipresent activity. We find the annotation in several areas such as learning, semantic web, social networks, digital library, bioinformatics, etc. Thus, since the year 1989 and with the emergence of information technology, several annotation systems have been developed in human-computer environment adapted for various contexts and for various roles. These ubiquitous annotation systems allow users to annotate with digital information several electronic resources such as: web pages, text files, databases, images, videos, etc. Even though this topic has already been partially studied by other researchers, the previous works have left some open issues. It concern essentially the lack of how to organize all the developed annotation systems according to formal criteria in order to facilitate to the users the choice of an annotation system in a well-defined context and according to unified requirements. This problem is mainly due to the fact that annotation systems have only been developed for specific purposes. As a result, there is only a fragmentary picture of these annotation tools in the literature. The aim of this article is to provide a unified and integrated picture of all the annotation systems in human-computer environment. Therefore, we present a classification of sixty annotation tools developed by industry and academia during the last twenty-five years. This organization of annotation tools is built on the basis of five generic criteria. Observations and discussion of open issues conclude this survey.


Annotation system Metadata Annotation Tag Human-computer environment Classification Survey 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their extensive comments and suggestions that helped us improve this paper.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anis Kalboussi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nizar Omheni
    • 1
  • Omar Mazhoud
    • 1
  • Ahmed Hadj Kacem
    • 2
  1. 1.ReDCAD Research Laboratory, Sfax University and Higher Institute of Computer Science and ManagementKairouan UniversityKairouanTunisia
  2. 2.ReDCAD Research Laboratory and Faculty of Economics and ManagementSfax UniversitySfaxTunisia

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