Making Hyrax more inclusive through controlled vocabulary choice Public Deposited

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A lightning talk at Samvera Virtual Connect 2019 described thus: What if the Hyrax web application were to support and include, by default, controlled vocabularies from marginalized communities? Currently Hyrax supplies a default set of descriptive metadata fields for describing uploaded objects. This set of fields includes Keyword (a required field) and Subject (an optional field). Neither of these fields are controlled by a vocabulary of terms upon install. The Questioning Authority (QA) gem exists as an option to configure and apply controlled vocabularies for use with fields such as these in Hyrax. While QA can be configured to work with nearly any vocabulary, the current vocabularies offered through the gem when it is installed include LCSH/NAF/GFT/MPT/DGT, FAST, Geonames, MeSH, Agrovoc, DBPedia, NALT, and Getty (AAT, TGN, ULAN). These are widely used mainstream sources for topical subject and genre description but also tend to reflect the current dominant mainstream power structure in the United States (white, male, straight, able-bodied, middle-class, Christian, Anglo). Should we increase the list of vocabularies available, by default, in the QA gem? Should we go beyond that and enable vocabulary choices on the default Subject and Keyword Hyrax fields? This lightning talk will discuss these questions and consider vocabulary options that would provide more inclusive descriptive capabilities.

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