Structure of the terminological database

The terminological database is a collection of terminological entries (concepts). Each terminological entry possesses one or more language section(s) and one or more term section(s). A concept is thus described by n terms in n languages. Furthermore the concepts are linked by conceptual relations. Each data item in the database refers to a category of data defined by the ISO 12620 standard or specifically defined for TermSciences.

List of elements and their meaning

terminologicalEntryTerminological entry (concept)
conceptIdentifierComputer identifier for the terminological entry
languageSectionLanguage section made up of all the terms in a given language
languageIdentifierUnique identifier for a language. Possible values: fr, en, sp, al, etc.
termSectionTerm section – one section per term
termTerm; all the terms in the same section are considered to be synonyms
administrativeStatusStatus of a term in its original vocabulary (e.g. Preferred term in the MeSH). Possible values: preferredTerm; deprecatedTerm, etc.
transactionUsed to specify the update of term (input, modification, deletion), see list of values below
dateUsed to specify the date a term was updated
originatingInstitutionOrigin of an element, generally the name of an institution
originatingDatabaseNameThe name of the terminological resource the term came from; a vocabulary or thesaurus from an institution
broaderConceptGenericBroader concept; used here to describe the "is a" type of relation but sometimes used for the "part of" type relations. Certain broader concepts are contextual meaning they are specific to a user in a given field (see domainExpert)
relatedConceptRelated concept
domainExpertThis defines a specific field of knowledge in which the concept is used.
subjectFieldThe field a terminological entry comes from originally; one or more scientific fields to which the concept is related
applicationSubsetField of application of a concept
associatedConceptNon-hierarchical theme-based relation between two concepts. Here it corresponds to the semantic category a concept belongs to (e.g. Chemical compound, Illness etc.)
definitionDescribes a concept to differentiate it from other concepts in the same scientific field. Valid for all terms in a given terminological entry
sourceBibliographic data on the origin of a data item such as a definition, etc.
partOfSpeechGrammatical category of a given term (Part of speech)
grammaticalGenderGender of the term (masculine, feminine, neutral)
grammaticalNumberNumber of the term (singular, plural)
lexTermTypeType attributed to a lexeme or term. Can include several different values: abbreviation, full form, formula, etc.
contextExtract from a text which shows the term in context. In this case, the term will be displayed between two "annot" markers
noteApplication note. Gives other information on any part of a lexical resource. Can complete a definition.
elementWorkingStatusStatus of a terminological entry currently being ratified for scientific approval

List of values and their meaning

consolidatedElementApproved terminological rntry
workingElementA terminological entry that is being modified
starterElementA terminological entry that has been added
archivedElementA terminological entry that has been deleted
preferredTermPreferred term in a given vocabulary.
deprecatedTermA term that has been "relegated" (former preferred term) in a given vocabulary.
supersededTermObsolete term in a given vocabulary.
modificationTransaction corresponding to the modification of a term
inputTransaction corresponding to a term that has been added
abbreviationAbbreviation of a term; it is linked to an expanded form
fullFormFull form of a term; linked to the shortened version

View an summary diagram

In the XML structure, two basic elements can be distinguished:

  • a struct element which when combined with a "type" attribute permits the representation a site of the structural skeleton;
  • a feat (feature) element which, when also combined with a "type" attribute, permits the specification of a feature of the node containing it.

There is also:

  • a mechanism for grouping features together using the brack (bracket) element
  • a representation of annotations which the value of a feature might contain using the annot element.
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