Mitigating Bias in Metadata
A Use Case Using Homosaurus Linked Data
Controlled vocabularies used in cultural heritage organizations (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) are a helpful way to standardize terminology but can also result in misrepresentation or exclusion of systemically marginalized groups. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is one example of a widely used yet problematic controlled vocabulary for subject headings. In some cases, systemically marginalized groups are creating controlled vocabularies that better reflect their terminology. When a widely used vocabulary like LCSH and a controlled vocabulary from a marginalized community are both available as linked data, it is possible to incorporate the terminology from the marginalized community as an overlay or replacement for outdated or absent terms from more widely used vocabularies. This paper provides a use case for examining how the Homosaurus, an LGBTQ+ linked data controlled vocabulary, can provide an augmented and updated search experience to mitigate bias within a system that only uses LCSH for subject headings.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Juliet Hardesty and Allison Nolan
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