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BEV BUTULA: The word on online dictionaries

By: BEVERLY BUTULA//July 17, 2014//

BEV BUTULA: The word on online dictionaries

By: BEVERLY BUTULA//July 17, 2014//

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Dictionaries can be an important tool during research. Topic- or agency-specific dictionaries provide additional insight that the researcher may not find within a standard edition.

I recently wrote about online versions that I have used in the past. As a result of that post, I received a few suggestions of other online dictionaries and glossaries (below). Thanks for the suggestions and please add in the comments any others that legal researchers may find of value.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

The CMS website supports two tools worth noting. The first is a list of commonly used acronyms. The second is an extensive glossary of words and phrases.

American Meteorological Society’s Glossary of Meteorology

The glossary contains more than 12,000 terms. Per the website, “The Glossary of Meteorology purports to define every important meteorological term likely to be found in the literature today. It attempts to present definitions that are understandable to the generalist and yet palatable to the specialist. … Finally the Glossary provides an excellent opportunity to collect and define terms that are either obscure or very local in nature.”

Glossary of Key Information Security Terms

This online document is authored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The document was created “to provide a summary glossary for our publications and other relevant sources.” It is a searchable PDF file. It appears that until a new edition is published, additions or revisions to terms within the document are posted to their website.

Glossary of Energy Terms

The California Energy Commission provides a nice glossary of terms. The researcher can browse by letter to locate terms of interest. An additional benefit of this site is that it provides links to several other energy and power industry glossaries. One link it provides leads the user to Techtionary, “the World’s First and Largest Animated (rich media) Library/Magazine on Technology,” which contains more than 3,000 tutorials on data, telecommunications, networking, power systems, and much more.


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