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Terms & Acronyms

Use this search to retrieve specific terms or acronyms and their definitions.

Users may select the type of search (begins with, contains, exact match).

From the Search Results page, the user may click on a link to go directly to the vocabulary containing the term.

Note: Not all terms and acronyms within the system have definitions.

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Vocabulary Catalog

The Vocabulary Catalog enables users to find and retrieve an entire vocabulary, such as a glossary or an acronym list.

A glossary is comprised of terms and associated definitions pertaining to a particular subject or field.

An acronym list provides the meaning of acronyms related to a particular subject of field.

Users may browse vocabularies by topic or by the organization who owns the vocabulary.

The Search Results page displays all vocabularies that match the search query or browse selection. Clicking on the vocabulary name will open that vocabulary.


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Taxonomy

A taxonomy is an ordered and systematic classification of terms whose components are ranked into level of subordination according to specific rules.

This taxonomy page provides a drop down menu to select the taxonomy to be searched. Upon selection of the taxonomy, the facets for that taxonomy will be available in the following drop down menu.

The results display gives you the following options:

  • Full Hierarchy with Definitions and Scope Notes - Use this option to find and retrieve if definitions are available.
  • Full Hierarchy without Definitions and Scope Notes - Use this option to find and retrieve in an indented hierarchical order.
  • Expandable Hierarchy - Use this to find and retrieve words in a flat list that can be expanded by clicking into broader and narrower hierarchies.

When Searching the Web Taxonomy enter a search in the search box, the results display provides the term, definitions, scope notes, code, location, and preferred term. The following options are provided with:

  • Location - A breadcrumb view of where a term is located within the hierarchy. Selecting the location will query the system to show hierarchical results of the term (as described above).
  • Related Terms - An association of some sort between two terms. By clicking a related term the system will query a search using that term and the results will change based on that selection.

The drop down provided at the top of the results page can be used to change the results at any time.


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EPA Science Vocabulary

The EPA Science Vocabulary is a vocabulary of scientific and technical terms spanning EPA’s research areas, with definitions, provenance and relationships provided.

The EPA Science Vocabulary is comprised of 18 top tier vocabularies (see tier 2) that can span to a 4th tier list of sub-vocabularies. The selection from the 2nd tier will determine if the dynamically generated 3rd tier will display and the same for the 4th tier.

The results display gives you the following options:

  • Full Hierarchy with Definitions and Scope Notes - Use this option to find and retrieve if definitions are available.
  • Full Hierarchy without Definitions - Use this option to find and retrieve in an indented hierarchical order.
  • Expandable Hierarchy - Use this to find and retrieve words in a flat list that can be expanded by clicking into broader and narrower hierarchies.

When searching the EPA Science Vocabulary enter a search in the search box, the results display the term, acronym, definitions and scope notes, and preferred term. The following options are also available:

  • Location - A breadcrumb view of where a term is located within the hierarchy. Selecting the location will query the system to show hierarchical results of the term (as described above).
  • Related Terms - An association of some sort between two terms. By clicking a related term the system will query a search using that term and the results will change based on that selection.

The drop down provided at the top of the results page can be used to change the results at any time.


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Exporting Search Results

The user has the option to export the results of any search in the file types RTF, XML, HTML, or PDF.

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Disclaimer/Terms of Use/Citing Terms & Definitions

Disclaimer:

The definitions provided in Terminology Services and EPA Science Vocabulary do not constitute the Agency's official use of terms and phrases for regulatory purposes, and should not be used to alter or supplant those found in any other federal document. Official terminology may be found in the laws and related regulations as published in such sources as the Congressional Record and Federal Register.

Terms of Use

As a work of the U.S. Government, Terminology Services and EPA Science Vocabulary are in the public domain within the United States. Most of the terms in the Terminology Services and EPA Science Vocabulary do not have copyright restrictions. If there is copyright, that information will be noted. Any terms or material reproduced should acknowledge Terminology Services and/or EPA Science Vocabulary and the website as the source for the content.

Citing Terms & Definitions

When citing terms and/or definitions from Terminology Services and/or EPA Science Vocabulary, the source should be cited as:

Some of the definitions in Terminology Services and EPA Science Vocabulary have sources cited at the end in brackets. For proper credit to be given, the cited source in brackets should not be removed or modified.

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