For the purposes of the Portfolio of Open Digital Standards, the following terms and definitions apply. Individual documents within the Portfolio of Open Digital Standards may define additional terms. The Merriam-Webster® Collegiate Dictionary should be referenced for terms used in the Portfolio of Open Digital Standards that are not defined.

Guidance on Definitions

The following guidelines should be followed when creating new terms and definitions:

  1. New terms and definitions included in standards should be written in plain English using clear and concise descriptions. Terms themselves should not be used in their own definitions.

  2. Needless customization should be avoided so that definitions have as broad an application as appropriate.

  3. New definitions that serve to add a new definition to an existing term(s) of the same name should be different enough from the other term(s) so as to justify the addition. Having more than two or three acceptable definitions for any term is discouraged.

  4. Terms and definitions that are included in standards but that are taken from other sources must be accompanied by an appropriate permission acknowledgment. The sources should be identified in a parenthetical statement that immediately follows the term/definition.

  5. Definitions should have no commercial connotations and should be completely non-proprietary.

  6. Acronyms and abbreviations should be included in a separate container

Please consult additional guidance on terms and definitions in the Publications Handbook.