Workshopping Queeries: Linked data vocabularies and ethical cataloging


Linked data, also called Web 3.0, is the practice of structuring information in a way that both computers and humans can easily understand, and it holds revolutionizing potential and implications for libraries, archives, and museums. As institutions from state universities to the National Library of Medicine and the Library of Congress rush to implement and define it, questions of representation and limitations are too often ignored. Avoidance of these questions in Web 1.0 and 2.0 had (and continue to have) dismaying effects. Rather than allow history to repeat itself, minoritized groups have staged an intervention into these new technologies, offering a variety of options for alternative representation and organization. This workshop will offer tangible benefits to newcomers by introducing the work and purpose of linked data, but it will also offer alternative approaches and strategies useful for experts. The presenters—who serve on the board of the international LGBTQ+ linked data vocabulary Homosaurus—will offer a wide range of applications drawing from their work in archives and digital humanities (Watson) and biomedical informatics (Kronk) After an introduction, we will discuss use cases for the Homosaurus in GLAMs (including platforms such as Omeka, Scalar, and MARC) as well as in biomedical research. Next, we will showcase accessing the Homosaurus through the GSSO (Gender, Sex, and Sexual Orientation ontology) and using it for natural language processing (NLP) tasks, such as text detection, document classification, and tagging. Finally, we will demonstrate practical uses to linked data by tagging documents available in MEDLINE as well as material from the AIDS History Project collection at UCSF. Throughout, the presenters will discuss around shifting terms and identities, both in the context of clinical medicine and queer history.