quickTerm is a life cycle management system for terminology based on the SDL MultiTerm or Acrolinx database. It extends the reach of a termbase to many different users by making it more accessible and “non-terminological”. In addition, quickTerm enables the terminology team to develop complex, company-wide terminology workflows and to efficiently manage the terminology life cycle.
Here you can watch a short video on quickTerm.
The Goal: Company-Wide Terminology
Terminology enables clear, unambiguous communication. It reduces misunderstandings, both internally as well as externally with clients, partners or suppliers. Companies can thus save time and money in the process of providing content and information. At the same time, terminology increases the quality and precision of communication, leading to a consistent brand image and higher customer satisfaction. Terminology therefore has become a focal point of successful companies and their content strategies. It provides a stable foundation on which to build their global communication. However, a standardized termbase is only a first step towards establishing a company-wide terminology process with a broad base of user participation.
One of the key success factors of all successful terminology projects is the constant self-marketing by the terminology team in their company. Our innovative web platform provides a perfect tool for them: It offers simple terminology access and enables all users to actively participate in the workflow. Social web-like features such as a Term Quiz, a Term of the Week and being able to “like” entries create an edutainment fun factor.
quickTerm is the Solution
quickTerm is a collaborative life cycle management system for terminology. It can either be based on the termbase technology of SDL MultiTerm or Acrolinx. The advantage is that no redundant data is created. Instead, all the terminology data continues to be stored in MultiTerm or Acrolinx, where it is immediately available for the translation process and also for terminologists. However, quickTerm adds a plethora of new usage scenarios using its “non-terminological” presentation and collaborative features. Also, it provides the terminology team with a platform for handling complex, team-based terminology workflows within a company.
quickTerm allows you to
- Roll out terminology across an enterprise efficiently and tailored to the various target audiences
- Reduce the complexity of terminology, thus empowering more “general” users to also benefit from the company´s terminology
- Access terminology and even other information sources from within any Windows application, via web browsers, tables or smart phones
- Enable all users to participate in requesting, defining, approving and even changing terminology
- Extend your terminology data to all languages of your company through a translation, proofreading and validation process
- Put terminology in the limelight of attention over and over again by offering “edutainment”-like elements such as Term Quizzes, Terms of the Week, but also frequently liked or recommended entries, in order to keep the momentum of terminology going
Quick and Easy Terminology Searches
quickTerm makes it easy for anyone to find the right term for the right concept.
For starters, quickTerm offers different search methods, depending on the way you work:
- Users can search for a text highlighted in any Windows application by simply pressing a hotkey – without having to sign into another application and re-type the search string.
- quickTerm Web allows you to bring the terminology search to the Intranet or even Internet. This can be done either through anonymous access or through dedicated user accounts, or both. Particularly when users participate in workflows, they will need to be managed in user groups with individual accounts. quickTerm Web can be conveniently customized to match your Corporate Design, so that users feel right at home and your terminology portal can be seamlessly integrated in the company Intranet.
- quickTerm Mobile even allows you to access the termbase via your smartphone with small screen sizes. This might be interesting for workflows like voting on terms, but of course also for the occasional look-up of a certain term, or even quickly suggesting a new entry altogether.
Of course, quickTerm supports all the search modes of MultiTerm, such as fuzzy or full text search.
Additional Search Strategies
In addition to searching for a term, quickTerm also supports a way to graphically display a hierarchical concept system or classification tree, similar to an ontology, via the so-called filter tree. This enables the user to navigate through a “logical” tree structure and find the right term even if he has no idea what text to search for. For instance, a filter tree could allow you to navigate from the product group to the product and on to the product components in order to find all related terms. If a user does not find what he is looking for in the termbase, then quickTerm also allows you to tie in additional search providers to automatically search additional data sources. These can be publicly available sources such as on-line dictionaries or encyclopedias, such as Leo or Wikipedia. In addition, you can also link internal data sources such as a Sharepoint Document Search to quickTerm. What’s more, repeatedly unsuccessful searches are also logged automatically so they can be systematically processed by terminologists.
Clear and Intuitive Presentation
Termbases in a company are generally prescriptive: The goal is to standardize the corporate language. Therefore, it is important to clearly indicate to the user which terms for a given entry are allowed in what context and which terms are not allowed. This starts with the hitlist following a search. Our experience has shown that a simple list of found terms is not enough, because this does not yet mean that all these terms are actually allowed. Therefore, quickTerm can display additional information about the terms and clearly indicate which ones are allowed and forbidden, for instance by using colors or shades of gray. When it comes to the presentation of the entry itself, very often a linear structure – as is used in MultiTerm – is not intuitive enough for an infrequent user. In quickTerm you can customize the presentation of terms, enabling you to find the ideal form of presentation for all usage scenarios. As an example, quickTerm can always move allowed terms to the top of each language. It can color-code allowed terms green and forbidden terms red, or maybe in a smaller font. It can even use status icons to make it completely intuitive. To top it off, quickTerm allows a very granular filtering of terms within an entry. For instance, you can choose to hide terms in languages that have not yet been approved. Or you can hide or display individual terms according to status or any metadata in the termbase.
Workflows: Reaching a Common Terminology
quickTerm is a collaborative workflow system, which lets you closely track and control all processes required to request, define, create, change and “translate” your terminology.
In order to always know what happened to each entry, quickTerm of course logs each and every step in the process. And if you want to, quickTerm can even write these workflow steps directly to the termbase (for instance “Entry approved by Mr X on September 9, 2024”). However, quickTerm is not a Wiki-based system that allows any user to directly edit content, trusting in the “self-correcting” power of the crowd. Instead, it moderates all created and changed content by running them through a centralized process. Therefore, quickTerm can ensure that the terminology is being created, researched and approved collaboratively, but still adheres to centralized restrictions and guidelines. This controlled user interaction and participation enhances the acceptance of terminology by all users, and thus ensures that your terminology will actually be used.
Tasks and Requests
quickTerm manages both requests and tasks in its workflow concept. Requests are inputs by the end users and go to the terminology to be acted upon. Such requests are:
- Term requests, including alternative terms for existing concepts
- Feedback about existing entries
- Precise change requests
- Translation requests
The terminologist will receive these requests and act upon them. That way, the termbase can grow and remain up-to-date. The terminologist can also delegate these requests to specialists, approvers or translators as workflow tasks. Or, of course, terminologists can create their own tasks. These tasks are:
- Edit tasks
- Approval tasks
- Translation tasks
Task Lists and Means of Communication
Each user in a workflow, for instance terminologists, approvers or translators, will see all their tasks in their Assigned Tasks. This “To-Do-List” contains all the tasks which are currently assigned to the user to act upon them. When the user selects one of these tasks, quickTerm will display the corresponding entry and, if possible, will mark what the user has to do (change, translate, define…) All users who are assigned the task can communicate with one another by means of an extensive “chat” feature. For instance, a user can ask a colleague or the terminologist a question. This colleague will be notified by mail, will see the question in his Assigned Tasks and can answer it directly in the chat. Users can also simply put their thoughts on a certain entry down as a comment before approving or rejecting the entry. So there is always a flow of communication between the individual users working on a task.
To start with, all workflows are language-specific. That means that an entry might already be approved in one language, be in approval in another language and maybe not even exist yet in a third one. In addition, terms, languages or entries that should not be displayed to a specific user will not be retrieved during a search. This means that you can control precisely which users will be able to see which contents. In addition, all workflow participants are organized in groups. Tasks get assigned to groups either manually, for instance by the terminologist, or automatically by reading the entry and choosing a group based on certain information in the entry, such as a subject field or a division label. Workflows can also be cascaded, meaning that a certain group can be set as the “main” group which will always be the last and decisive group in a workflow. Each group in quickTerm reaches a “group result” about each entry. For that you can either define how many votes have to be cast in total, or how many positive votes are required. Or you can define that just the first vote is already enough as a group result. Additional features in the voting procedure involves abstaining from the vote, or automatic reminder mails when a deadline is approaching or has passed already. A user group can also “subscribe” to individual workflows to make sure they are informed about changes in the termbase. For instance, marketing groups can be automatically notified about approvals or changes to certain entries. It is also possible to have an approved entry automatically sent to re-approval after a certain period of time. Each workflow task that was started by the terminologist will also return to the terminologist for final approval, just as current best practices in terminology work suggest. The terminologist can also intervene in any workflow, can restart it, cancel it, or simply monitor it.
Ontology and Terminology in Knowledge Management
Ontology-based knowledge management is an area with many similarities to terminology management, but also shows remarkable differences.
While termbases can define, categorize and even group concepts via meta data such as subject, division etc., ontologies represent and manage extensive relationships between many different concepts. For instance, they can manage hierarchical relationships within product groups or products, but also semantic relations between concepts, such as subordinates, superordinates or antonyms.
While ontologies are great at representing these relationships, they are normally monolingual and not capable to represent linguistic knowledge such as when to use or not to use which term for a given concept This of course has long been resolved in terminologies.
Concept Map Editor
quickTerm bridges the gap between these two worlds by introducing the notion of concept maps. They enable you to put an “ontological” view on top of a termbase. You can visually link any number of concepts in our Concept Map Editor by means of drag & drop. You will be able to freely define what types of relations you want to use. These relations are stored in quickTerm as separate logical entities. This avoids extremely annoying “broken links”. It also means that these relationship entities can be exported for re-use in other systems by using open standard ontology exchange formats.
Concept Map Browser
Concept Maps are equally important to the end user: They allow you to immediately and intuitively understand the context of an entry and its logical place in a concept system. For instance, a user can immediately see other concepts that are somehow related to the current entry, not only linguistically related, but also logically or semantically: You can display all super- or subordinate concepts (even if linguistically they are totally different), but also antonyms or any kind of freely definable relation.
Dashboard: Version Control and Key Performance Indicators
quickTerm can periodically take snapshots of a termbase in order to closely monitor its development and any changes to the data itself. For instance, quickTerm can compare two different states of the termbase contents and list all entries that have changed from one state to the next. The terminologist can then drill down into each entry, all the way to the individual field that was changed. And you can revert the selected field, or an entire language, or the entire termbase to a certain state. Or you can send the respective entries to re-approval or re-translation. The dashboard also gives the terminologist a chronological view of the growth of the termbase. The numbers obtained from these views can then be used to create benchmarks or document the work of the terminology team. These key performance indicators contain performance data about all processes and give a “general picture” of tasks, such as average workflow duration, quantity, efficiency, etc. Key performance indicators can also be created regarding the data quality itself, such as the number of entries that do not yet have a definition.
Terminology in Times of the Social Web 2.0
All successful terminology projects have one thing in common: Constant termbase marketing by the terminology team to promote its use. They normally need to push the termbase into the center of attention again and again, charmingly reminding everyone of its existence. This is particularly important if terminology processes shall be collaborative. Because only if you can demonstrate your “crowd” an additional benefit in their daily work will they stay engaged in the process. This is where we can look at the collaboration projects in the various web 2.0 initiatives.
Social media teaches us how people actively and voluntarily participate and work for a common goal. The “social terminology” features of quickTerm try to use the lessons learned from the social web and apply them to terminology: Use “edutaining”, fun but also interesting and motivating add-ons to the termbase to repeatedly attracting everyone´s attention to the termbase and motivate them to participate.
Term Quiz, Term of the Week etc.
One approach is the Term Quiz. It allows terminologists to prepare questions and organize them in quizzes. These questions may, but do not necessarily have to be directly related to the termbase. At the end of the quiz, quickTerm will check the answers and summarize them to provide a learning experience. And for all termbase-related questions a direct link can directly link to the respective entry and make the users go directly to where you want them: in your termbase. An additional add-on is the Term of the Week. It allows the terminology team to prepare specific content and present it prominently in quickTerm. This content may relate to current topics, answers to frequently asked questions, or simply interesting and valuable information. The user can then jump from the Term of the Week directly into the termbase. Facebook-like features such as “liking” an entry allows users to draw the attention of their colleagues to particular entries. Terminologists, on the other hand, can also “recommend” certain entries. Both of these lists are presented to the users in quickTerm, allowing them to directly click the links and jump to the respective entries. All of these “social” features try to apply lessons learned from other collaborative platforms and stimulate interest in terminology through a more “edutaining” approach. All of this contributes even more to the self-marketing efforts of the terminology team and ultimately increases terminology visibility and acceptance in the company.
Terminology is only useful if you can make sure it is actually being used. And that is exactly what checkTerm can do for you: This sophisticated solution checks terminology in your texts – via the clipboard, in your intranet, through plug-ins e.g. in MS Word, or directly in SDL Trados Studio. checkTerm uses a morphological engine which correctly identifies declinations, composites etc. and accurately pinpoints rejected or missing terms as well as variants. Read more about checkTerm.
When it comes to creating and scaling first-rate content, seven of the ten most well-known brands around the world rely on Acrolinx. Use Acrolinx to plan, create, and analyze your content. Tailored to your target groups, it will be quick to find, easy to read, and engaging. Acrolinx is the only software platform that can “read” content and helps authors to improve it and find the right “tone of voice”.
SDL MultiTerm’s highly customizable database structure can be adapted precisely to your requirements. In fact, SDL MultiTerm is the only commercially available tool that can handle the demands of professional terminology management. MultiTerm’s tight integration into the SDL translation environment automatically provides the translator with the necessary terminology.
Terminology is one of the prerequisites for precise and consistent communication about your brands, messages, product features, and functions. The company will benefit from this both in the short and long term; consistent source texts are vital for the automation of your translations and thus cost savings. More information on the question of ROI is just a click away:
One of the key success factors of all successful terminology projects is the constant self-marketing by the terminology team in their company. They need to keep bringing attention to the termbase, especially if the terminology process is to be collaborative. Motivate the user “crowd” to stay engaged with extra offers and additional benefits such as term quizzes or terms of the week.
If you want your users to actually engage with your terminology, it must be presented in a pragmatic, fast and easy to understand way. It is also essential to create clever search features, with an intuitive display of results. And the right features for everyone, depending on the way they work and their preferences. You can even add enriched content with terms of the week or term quizzes
Social media teaches us how people can be motivated to actively and voluntarily participate and work towards a common goal. quickTerm’s “social web” functions put this insight into practice purposefully and effectively, supporting your terminology work. Features like term quizzes or terms of the week attract attention! You will be amazed how passionate your colleagues will become about terminology!
Establishing a termbase that will be used throughout your company is more complex than collecting and entering technical terminology. A properly implemented termbase will reflect how you anticipate using the data. Who at your company will develop or approve terminology, and who will use it? Our specialists will analyze and advise based on your exact needs, before delivering the perfect solution.
Do you want tailored guidance and prompt support response times? Then you can rely on us! We provide support both for the SDL Trados products we market and for the software solutions we develop in-house, such as quickTerm, smartQuery, globalReview, and expertTools. In order to support the products from our other partners, we negotiate direct support and maintenance contracts on your behalf.