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The standardized definitions of the American Society for Testing and Materials reflect a significant effort by many specialists working in numerous technical committees. The compiled set of ASTM terms and their definitions include attribution and source information as well as other important data associated with the definitions.
Enhanced awareness of terminology in recent years has led to an increase in the number of terms presented in the Compilation of ASTM Standard Definitions. This increase is associated with a larger number of multiply defined terms. Because of this and the several functions served by the Compilation, a need has become evident to attempt an enhancement of terminology management capability. With the recognition that definitions are amenable to being cast as database records, explorations have been conducted on structuring definitions of terms in this form.
The objective being developed by a working group of ASTM's Committee on Terminology is to convert the Compilation to a database structure. The desired goals include the need for simplicity and user transparency, economy of implementation, and, most importantly, usefulness to the technical committees and ASTM as a whole in the Society's terminology management effort.
A description is presented of a draft database record structure that is intended to address some of the important issues of this ongoing effort. Examples of applications are also discussed.
terminology, terminography, standardization, definitions, semantics, lexicography
Chairman, Oak Ridge National LaboratoryWorking Group-11 of the ASTM Committee on Terminology, Oak Ridge, Tennessee