Using AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus Keywords for Your Proposal Will Make Your Work More Accessible
Monday, March 10, 2014
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
All 2014 Annual Meeting proposal forms ask for keywords approved by the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus that describe the content of the presentation. Keywords are not required, but they benefit a number of audiences:
The review committee may refer to them to group individual papers into well-matched panels.
AFS staff will rely on them in an effort to avoid scheduling related panels into the same time slot.
Those who attend the annual meeting may use the Keyword Index to navigate general sessions, finding the presentations that are most directly relevant to their interests.
Scholars in the future may use them to draw conclusions from the volumes of digital annual meeting material that is accumulating in the AFS archives at Utah State University and in the IUScholarWorks collection, accessible through Open Folklore.
The Ethnographic Thesaurus is the key to making the keywords work. Its controlled vocabulary makes searches more effective, since users share a common language: for instance, some proposals won't be hidden behind "costume," while others are grouped under "clothing."
However, this does mean that you must consult the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus to select your keywords -- and you should do that even before you begin the registration/proposal submission process. You will only be able to access the proposal form once, after you register for the meeting; if you leave the form before you hit "submit," you may not be able to return to the form to complete your submission without having to register again. (If you must refer to the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus in the middle of submitting your proposal, try using a separate browser or browser window.) If you lose the proposal form for any reason, contact AmericanFolkloreSociety@gmail.com.
Bear in mind that, by design, the AFSET does not include names
(of groups, languages, people, events, and places). Consider, too, that it is still developing; the AFSET Editorial Committee welcomes suggestions for additional terms. Finally, the 2014 Annual Meeting program book's Index of Keywords
will only include the subject terms that are currently approved by
the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus and
names that are not covered by the thesaurus.