ASTM Committee E49 deals with standard classifications, guides, practices, and terminology for building and accessing computerized material and chemical property databases. The terminology associated with the documents developed in this committee can be traced to a number of different sources: 1. Terms arising from E49 and its subcommittees. 2. Terms already identified by ASTM generally as well as by other individual ASTM committees. 3. Terms associated with data, data capture, and databases generally.
While these classification groups are not necessarily orthogonal, assignment of any term to any one of these groups establishes a path by which to obtain a completed term structure and other agreed upon characterizations to ensure appropriate usage and unambiguous interpretation. Terms falling in the first category have received primary attention of the terminology subcommittee of E49. The principal areas of activity involving terms in this category include: 1. Identification of terms to be studied. 2. Formulation of definitions. 3. Terms harmonization. 4. Completion of standardized term record structure. 5. Pragmatic classification of identified terms. 6. Creation of consistent thesaurus relationships. 7. Formulation of a terminology policy for E49.
Some examples will be given of the results of this activity in identifying terms of interest, classifying them, developing a specification for a standard term record structure, and then completing the structure for the identified terms. The benefits E49 expects from its terminological work are outlined as well as its plans for the future.