ISO 704

ISO 704 - Terminology work—Principles and methods

It is an ISO standard, which establishes the basic principles and methods for preparing and compiling terminologies both inside and outside the framework of standardization, and describes the links between objects, concepts, and their terminological representations. It also establishes general principles governing the formation of designations and the formulation of definitions. Full and complete understanding of these principles requires some background knowledge of terminology work.

The principles are general in nature and this document is applicable to terminology work in scientific, technological, industrial, administrative and other fields of knowledge.

ISO 704:2009 does not stipulate procedures for the layout of international terminology standards, which are treated in ISO 10241.


ISO 704:2009



ISO/TC 37 is a technical committee within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that prepares standards and other documents concerning methodology and principles for terminology and language resources.

Title: Terminology and other language and content resources

Scope: Standardization of principles, methods and applications relating to terminology and other language and content resources in the contexts of multilingual communication and cultural diversity

ISO/TC 37 is a so-called "horizontal committee", providing guidelines for all other technical committees that develop standards on how to manage their terminological problems. However, the standards developed by ISO/TC 37 are not restricted to ISO. Collaboration with industry is sought to ensure that the requirements and needs from all possible users of standards concerning terminology, language and structured content are duly and timely addressed.

Involvement in standards development is open to all stakeholders and requests can be made to the TC through any liaison or member organization (see the list of current members and liaisons of ISO/TC 37:)

ISO/TC 37 standards are therefore fundamental and should form the basis for many localization, translation, and other industry applications.

ISO 860

ISO 860 Terminology work – Harmonization of concepts and terms is an ISO standard that deals with the principles which are the basis upon which concept systems can be harmonized and with the development of harmonized terminologies, in order to improve the efficiency in interlinguistic communication.

This standard specifies a methodology for the harmonization of concepts, definitions, terms, concept systems, and term systems. It is a natural extension of ISO 704.

The standard addresses two types of harmonization: concept harmonization and term harmonization. Concept harmonization means the reduction or elimination of minor differences between two or more closely related concepts. Concept harmonization is not the transfer of a concept system to another language. It involves the comparison and matching of concepts and concept systems in one or more languages or subject fields.

Term harmonization refers to the designation of a single concept (in different languages) by terms that reflect similar characteristics or similar forms. Term harmonization is possible only when the concepts the terms represent are almost exactly the same. The standard contains a flow chart for the harmonization process and a description of the procedures for performing it.

Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology

The Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology (JCGM), is an organization in Sèvres that prepared the "Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement" (GUM) and the "International vocabulary of metrology – basic and general concepts and associated terms" (VIM). The JCGM assumed responsibility for these two documents from the ISO Technical

Advisory Group 4 (TAG4).

List of International Organization for Standardization standards, 1-4999

This is a list of published International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and other deliverables. For a complete and up-to-date list of all the ISO standards, see the ISO catalogue.The standards are protected by copyright and most of them must be purchased. However, about 300 of the standards produced by ISO and IEC's Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) have been made freely and publicly available.

Terminology model

A terminology model is a refinement of a concept system. Within a terminology model the concepts (object types) of a specific problem or subject area are defined by subject matter experts in terms of concept (object type) definitions and definitions of subordinated concepts or characteristics (properties). Besides object types, the terminology model allows defining hierarchical classifications, definitions for object type and property behavior and definition of casual relations.

The terminology model is a means for subject matter experts to express their knowledge about the subject in subject specific terms. Since the terminology model is structured rather similar to an object-oriented database schema, is can be transformed without loss of information into an object-oriented database schema. Thus, the terminology model is a method for problem analysis on the one side and a mean of defining database schema on the other side.

Several terminology models have been developed and published in the field of statistics:

Terminology model for classifications

Terminology model for statistical variables

Reference model for statistical metadata

ISO standards by standard number

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