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    Preparing Terminology Standards: The Importance of Providing Essential Linkages and Usage Information

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    One of the internationally recognized principles of terminological research is that terms should be cited in context; it is the context which provides needed information on the application and environment of a term as well as useful insights into the extension of its meaning. Terminology standards, however, either constitute simple lists of equivalents or rely on brief definitions (often translations in the case of multilingual standards) to distinguish terms. As a result valuable usage information is sacrified which in turn reduces the potential effectiveness of such standards as means of promoting improved communications.

    This paper will therefore concentrate on how to avoid this loss of usage information when drafting standards by compensating for the lack of contexts in other ways. Adoption of a methodical approach is advocated, and aspects to be covered include defining the objective of a standard, choosing the terms, selecting a review group or committee to approve the terminology, providing examples and contrastive relationships to illustrate concepts, achieving a balance between technicality and generality in the wording of definitions, establishing linkages between definitions to reflect conceptual relationships, annexing incorrect or obsolete terminology, and ensuring adequate cross-referencing of entries.


    terminology, definitions, standardization linkages, usage information, data bank

    Author Information:

    Davidson, J
    Section chief and team leader, Canadian,

    Sitarski, M
    Section chief and team leader, Canadian,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E02.10

    DOI: 10.1520/STP30143S