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BEV BUTULA: Putting the ‘search’ in ‘research’

When I am conducting research, I will often look for federal agency-created dictionaries and glossaries. They not only provide me with proper definitions, but often will assist me in locating other key terms.

Below are a few that I have used in the past. In a future post, I will highlight some others.

Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms: This publication has two sections. The first includes terms and definitions. The second is a listing of abbreviations and acronyms. The user can use the online search tool or download the PDF version.

O*Net Online: Many individuals may have previously used the Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles. While the old version of Dictionary of Occupational Titles is still available, it has been replaced by O*Net. Researchers can use the O*Net Crosswalk Search or conduct a general occupation search from the main page.

The Department of Transportation dictionary: It includes “over 6,000 terms and acronyms related to transportation. The terms and acronyms were obtained from various transportation publications and databases which exist within the federal government, private organizations, Canada and Mexico.” A nice additional feature is the source list, which provides the various sources used to compile the dictionary. The Department of Transportation also has an extensive glossary of shipping terms. The document, available as PDF, is more than 100 pages.

Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process: A publication from the Government Accounting Office, this document is useful for anyone researching the budget or its process. The preface states that it “emphasizes budget terms, but relevant economic and accounting terms are also defined to help the user appreciate the dynamics of the budget process and its relationship to other key activities (e.g., financial reporting). It also distinguishes between any differences in budgetary and nonbudgetary meanings of terms.”

The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Library: The library provides links to a wide array of dictionaries and glossaries. These resources are not created by the federal government, however the website clearly identifies the author of each. Items include a drinking water glossary, along with various food, cooking, and baking dictionaries.

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