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Title:Comparing Library of Congress subject headings to keyword searches involving LGBT topics: a pilot study
Author(s):Colbert, Jessica Lynn
Advisor(s):Knox, Emily J.M.
Department / Program:Information Sciences
Discipline:Library & Information Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Subject access
Controlled vocabulary
Library of Congress subject headings
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
Abstract:Subject access to homosexuality and other LGBT or otherwise queer topics has a complicated history. Because language used for concepts can change depending on who you ask, controlling this vocabulary is a difficult task, though an admirable one. The aim of this study is to provide a sample of language that patrons use to search for these topics. This sample can then be used to update Library of Congress Subject Headings, or to aid in reference interviews when suggesting keywords. This study used semi-structured interviews to gather qualitative data. This data was then transcribed, coded, and compared to existing Library of Congress Subject Headings and Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms. The results of the study imply that the language used by patrons when searching for LGBT topics is different than the language used by the Library of Congress to control access to that information. However, due to the research experience of the research participants, this discrepancy in language does not keep them from successfully performing research on these topics. More research is needed in order to determine a larger statistical sample, as well as to develop broad generalizations about language used.
Issue Date:2017-04-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Jessica L. Colbert
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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