Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-9971
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9994
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Differing theoretical and methodological views and working-group needs have spawned a wide diversity in the content, layout and internal structure of terminological entries in database environments, which in turn complicates standardization and data interchange. Major criticisms lodged against the data element list provided in ISO 6156 (MATER) prompted the authors to conduct an empirical examination of over thirty existing databases to ascertain which data elements are truly used in practice (as opposed to those which are espoused or rejected in theory). Their results reveal that designation of data elements, like other terminological products, are subject to the vagaries of polysemy and synonymy. They conclude that, given the widespread differences in approach evidenced in existing databases, the most practical approach to data element concerns during interchange is to compile an open-ended dictionary of common data element types for use as a mapping device during the data preparation stage.


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