6 ottobre 2016

How would a collaborative platform improve terminology work?

Terminology work has never been a solitary activity: terminologists need subject matter experts while subject matter experts often need the input from language specialists.Collaborative platforms can bring researches and experts closer together in a common strategy.

I found my presentation I submitted for my ECQA certification in terminology management. In that presentation (see below) I proposed the idea for a collaborative platform to improve terminology collaboration.

Since then, nothing particularly impressive has been created, Most translators, terminologists, content creators do not store terminology in a database. Instead, the tools of choice (or necessity) are either spreadsheets or tables. Terminology management from a content creation perspective is most often a manual process. The terms are gathered manually. The terms are entered into the spreadsheet or table manually. The terms are maintained manually. And the terms are looked up manually.
These manual processes are extremely cumbersome. Terminology managed via spreadsheet is almost always out of date. Who has time to work on the terminology list? Usually, the term list is largely ignored until someone realizes that it is useless.

However, I have a clear image in mind of how I would implement a collaborative terminology platform.

The expectations of quantity and speed of terminology deliveries have changed over the last years, and so have technologies: emails have shortened the distance between a resource and the terminologist but they are more enough!

The opportunity of collaborative platforms for terminology management is remarkable: contribution, feedback and voting mechanisms can produce valuable input for many terminology scenarios. Of course, not all terminology tasks can be carried out on a collaborative platform.

A collaborative platform adapted to terminological needs would be so much useful to improve collaboration on terminology work. In being a networked, multiuser platform, it would contain functionalities enabling participants to share their knowledge quickly and efficiently. Ideally, terminologist can take the input by their colleagues and use it to produce terminological entries to be stored in termbanks and termbases.

The main asset of collaborative platforms is the amount of knowledge contained, access to which would not normally be open to a terminologist in his/her office.

A collaborative platform would also reduce the use of emails for terminology work in order to avoid the "depths" of email inboxes: valuable terminology conversations stay trapped in emails, being inaccessible by anyone else who might benefit from them. A collaborative platform captures this implicit knowledge so that it is never lost. Communication is thus made transparent by shifting communication scenarios into the content and social collaboration platform.

Benefits from using a collaborative platform for terminology work:
  1.  Single point of access for documentations on terminology projects;
  2. discussion groups;
  3. easily sharing information through blog posts, wiki, discussion fora;
  4. sharing terminology resources;
  5. improving collaboration with subject matter experts for validation,
  6. information integration and indexation of resources - a collaborative platform offers a combination of real-time data coming from the input of the users. A search functionality would suggests search results as the user types – pages, blog posts, files and documents, users everything would be immediately available.