A consistent way of classifying the terms for specialty research topics and cultural areas where anthropologists work is now available to help locate relevant publications and people. This classification system, also known as an anthropological taxonomy, was developed through a partnership between the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) at Yale University. Built to grow and learn from use, the taxonomy will help people searching among AAA publications, meetings, the Open Anthropology Research Repository, and member profiles.
AAA worked with experts specializing in thesauri, indices, and taxonomies to compare HRAF’s Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM) and Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the past decade of keywords used in the American Anthropologist, the flagship journal of the AAA, to update existing terms and add new ones. The taxonomy will be fully implemented soon as a search tool, and AAA will make periodic updates to ensure that the most current terminology and areas of research are being utilized.