Review of Content Standard

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Review of Content Standard
ISO 1087-1:2000

Terminology work – Vocabulary – Part 1: Theory and Application
January 2006

    1. This review is intended to assess the potential utility of content standards for use and potentially for inclusion in an ISO 11179-based metadata registry. The review is directed primarily toward the utility of the standard itself, rather than to matching the standard with specific agency programs. The review covers issues such as the subject area, currency, quality, authority, and acceptance of the standards. These are factors that need to be taken into account no matter what the programmatic application of the standard may be.

1. Summary

This International Standard establishes a basic vocabulary for theory and application of terminology work. It does not embrace the vocabulary dealing with computer applications in terminology work, which is covered by ISO 1087-2.

2. Identification of Standard

2.1. Title

Terminology work – Vocabulary – Part 1: Theory and application

2.2. Acronym


2.3. Web page(s), Identifier, or Contact Information:

2.3.1 Web page(s)

2.3.2 Identifier

ISO 1087-1:2000

2.3.3 Contact Information

Infoterm Office Austria
International Information Centre for Terminology
Aichholzgasse 6/12
A-1120 Vienna, Austria

Tel.: +43-1-817 4488

Fax: +43-1-817 4488-44



Director: Christian Galinski, E-Mail:

2.4 Authority

2.4.1 Creator

TC 37/SC 1, Principles and methods

2.4.2. Acceptance as authoritative

TC 37 is the ISO committee on terminology. Other subcommittees:



TC 37/SC 1/WG 2

Harmonization of terminology

The convener can be reached through: DGN

TC 37/SC 1/WG 3

Principles, methods and vocabulary

The convener can be reached through: SCC

TC 37/SC 1/WG 4


The convener can be reached through: SCC

TC 37/SC 1/WG 5

Concept modeling in terminology work

The convener can be reached through: IBN

2.5 Publisher

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

2.6 Language(s)

English and French.

3. Content description

3.1 Subject area of content and area of application

The main purpose of this terminology standard is to provide a systemic description of the concepts in the field of terminology and to clarify the use of the terms in this field. The compilation of this vocabulary provided a forum for analyzing, discussing and co-ordinating key concepts found in ISO/TC 37 standards. This standard is addressed to, not only standardizers and terminologists, but to anyone involved in terminology work, as well as to the users of terminologies.

3.2 Kind of content

The terms in this document are listed in a systematic order under a number of general headings.

The layout follows the directions given in ISO 10241. The entry has the following structure:

– entry number

– preferred term(s)

– admitted term(s)

– deprecated term(s)


– example(s)

– note(s)

Entry number, preferred term and definition are the mandatory elements of each entry. Other elements appear only when appropriate.

The notation used throughout the document is as follows:

– concepts are indicated by single quotes

– designations (terms or appellations) are in italics

characteristics are underlined

– types of characteristics are doubly underlined

  • preferred terms which are defined elsewhere in the document and which occur in the definition or note of some other preferred term are given in boldface and are followed by their entry number between parentheses.

Annex A contains the alphabetical index of preferred and admitted terms.

Annex B contains concept diagrams, which represent the relations among the concepts defined in the Vocabulary.

It should be noted that the examples of terms are specific to the English language in the English version and to the French language in the French version.

3.3 Audience(s)

Terminologists, although the business world is becoming increasingly aware of the need to manage terms for interchange in commerce.

The systematic organization and definition of concepts as well as the administration of the concept representations is called terminology management. Increasingly private industry as well as public administration – not to mention big organizations in the third sector – are applying terminology management methods and systems.

Terminology standardization can be subdivided into two distinct – however, complementary - types of standardizing activities:

  • Standardization of terminologies

  • Standardization of terminological principles and methods

Nearly every technical body in standardization must standardize its terminology regularly or once in a while. Thousands of organizations beyond standardization are unifying their terminology on a larger or smaller scale. Many international, regional or national authorities harmonize terminologies, if existing unified or standardized terminologies conflict with each other.

ISO/TC 37 “Terminology and other language resources” is standardizing basic principles, requirements and methods concerning terminology and language and content resources.

3.4 Related Standards/3.5 Standards Dependencies

See the Cmap, “Terminology Standards Relationships”

3.6 Content Quality


4. Currency of Content

4.1 Date


4.2 Versions, Updates/4.3 Currency

This version is current. It replaces the previous version published in 1990.

5. Acceptance

At the beginning of the 20th century, the scope of terminology standardization activities necessitated the formulation of principles and methods for terminology work.

In recent years, the focus of ISO/TC 37's activities has shifted towards applied methods, especially computer-assisted ones, and to their application within standardization and similar activities. Active links exist to a large number of international and transnational organizations and institutions, as well as to other ISO/TCs, and to Technical Committees belonging to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).

On 18 August 2000 at the Plenary meeting of ISO/TC 37 in London, it was decided to open up the scope of TC 37 to respond to the necessities of the language industry. This decision was confirmed by a large majority of TC 37 members in January 2001. The new title is "Terminology and other language resources". The new scope: Standardization of principles, methods and applications relating to terminology and other language resources. In August 2001, it was decided to establish a further SC 4, Language resource management.

6. Content details

6.1 Size statistics (estimated)




ISO 1087-1:2000 PDF version (en/fr)

5418 KB


CHF 138,00

ISO 1087-1:2000 paper version (en/fr)


CHF 138,00

The paper version has 41 pages.

6.2 Format / Schemas(s)

See above.

6.3 Media / Download

See above.

6.4 Licensing Issues

This is an ISO standard and subject to copyright.

6.5 Documentation

See the Infoterm website.

International Network for Terminology:

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