How does Terminology Services Contribute to Quality Information?


How does Terminology Services Contribute to Quality Information?

In order to have quality, information must be understandable to the user. Well-defined, well-documented terminology is critical to this process. Is the definition of hazardous waste the same across federal and state laws and regulations? If not, what are the differences? Can data about acid deposition be aggregated with data about acid rain? Developing clear, unambiguous meaning for EPA’s terminology is the core business of Terminology Services.

Terminologies change, meanings change; therefore, it is critical that those changes be reflected in a timely and reliable manner so that the comprehension is not compromised. Terminology Services, through its system of stewardship and web service capabilities, is able to keep terminology current and reliable.

Quality terminologies must be accessed in a variety of ways to meet the needs of users. Terminology Services has public access, editor access directly to the terminology tool, and Web services to push and pull updated terminologies for use in search engines, records management, keyword lists, and program office glossaries. Customized glossaries can be created by selecting desired terms from any or all of EPA’s terminologies. This versatility of delivery makes environmental terminology more discoverable, accessible, and valuable to EPA and its customers.


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How is the Quality of the Information within Terminology Services Ensured?

Terminology Services relies on industry standard terminology management software (e.g., Synaptica KMS) and collaboration software to provide functionality needed to help ensure development of quality content. Stewardship procedures to ensure quality are built into the creation and editing of terminology content.

Creation of quality terminology: Terminology Services has functionality needed to create well-formed and fully-documented terminology. The terminology tool does not allow deletion of terms; rather, it archives them so terms are never lost. Using collaboration software helps ensure complete documentation of the decision process during the development of terminology. Stewards who have expertise in the target subject area ensure the creation of quality terminology products.

Ensuring quality in terminology content: Terminology Services provides a readily accessible repository of EPA content which can be continually improved through the addition of metadata. Terminology stewards keep content current, correct errors, and monitor for quality issues.

Access and Use: Terminology Services provides tools to develop and edit terminology, a web interface to access and download relevant terminologies (and/or a subset of terminologies) and Web services for machine-to-machine export and import of terminology structures.


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