From 2004 to 2008, a team of folklorists, ethnomusicologists, librarians and information specialists worked under AFS coordination to develop the initial version of the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus, an online resource that provides a standard vocabulary for describing work in folklore studies and related fields. Using a standard vocabulary as the source for keywords or indexing terms will make your work more easily accessible to other scholars. This development effort was supported by a grant from the Scholarly Communications and Information Technology program of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The AFSET is currently available freely online on the website of the AFS-Indiana University Library partnership Open Folklore (www.openfolklore.org/et/).
After a further period of revision and refinement, the AFSET is now coming into use as the standard indexing tool for the Journal of American Folklore and for the AFS annual meeting. JAF will begin asking authors to use the AFSET to provide keywords for their contributions starting with issue 502, which will appear in fall 2013. In 2013, we are encouraging the use of keywords from the AFSET to describe Providence annual meeting presentations; in 2014, we will require that Santa Fe meeting proposals include AFSET keywords.
No information resource can completely describe the entire world, and the AFSET is no exception. You can make a contribution to the field, and make the AFSET a more comprehensive and useful resource, by recommending terms that more specifically describe your work for inclusion in the AFSET. Please send your recommended terms to the AFSET Editorial Committee by using the "Contact Us” function on the AFSET web page noted above. The committee also welcomes your comments about using the AFSET.