OER Graduate Assistant University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora, Colorado
Background: A wealth of research, analysis, and advocacy has been done in the realm of library and information science regarding Library of Congress subject headings and the treatment of marginalized populations, specifically the LGBTQ+ community (Berman, 1971; Adler, 2009; Johnson, 2010; Ferris, 2018). A similar initiative has not been undertaken for Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). Since the modern incarnation of MeSH was introduced in 1960, the terms related to the LGBTQ+ community have changed and increased in number. In many cases, these changes correspond to changing attitudes and understanding in both US society and the medical community.
Description: This poster will present changes to LGBTQ+ MeSH terms in the form of an interactive timeline. This timeline will include annual changes and additions to MeSH terms in both indexing and terminology. The changes will be contextualized by milestones in medical literature, societal and legal events, as well as pop culture. Trends in usage of terms will also be presented. For example, the term “Sexual and Gender Minorities” was introduced in 2018, and in 2019, 408 articles were indexed using that MeSH term. Alongside these events will be the 2017 election of Danica Roem, the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state legislature in the United States. Events will be presented chronologically but will be color coded to differentiate between MeSH changes and societal changes.
Conclusion: The purpose of this poster will be to illuminate the history of LGBTQ+ related MeSH terms in a contextualized timeline. It will hopefully lay the groundwork for future analysis and advocacy. Because the format will be interactive, and open-ended, participants will be able to move through the timeline independently and observe trends and themes. Medical librarians use MeSH on a daily basis and this poster will help them gain a new perspective and frequently used tool.