This page contains common library technology acronyms with their meanings.
AAP – Authorized Access Point, text string that names the item for a BIBFRAME Authority (bf:authorizedAccessPoint).
AACR2 – Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition, a set of cataloging rules succeeded by Resource Description and Access (RDA).
AD FS – Active Directory Federation Services, a Microsoft service that allows for single sign-on (SSO).
APC – Article Processing Charge, a fee charged to an author by an open access journal to publish an article.
API – Application Program Interface, “a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building applications and providing a way to interact with online services”.
AWS – Amazon Web Services, a cloud Web services hosting platform used by several library vendors including ProQuest and Springshare.
BIBFRAME – Bibliographic Framework, a new model for bibliographic description to replace MARC.
CAPTCHA – Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, a test that aims to protect web forms from entry by bots.
COinS – ContextObjects in Spans, bibliographic metadata added to HTML in a webpage.
COUNTER – Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources, standards for recording and reporting online usage statistics.
CSS – Cascading Style Sheets, a language used for describing the presentation of a web document (usually in HTML).
CSV – Comma-Separated Values, data items in table record consisting of one or more fields, separated by commas.
DDA – Demand Driven Acquisition, a system where an e-resource is purchased after a pre-specified number of uses trigger its purchase. Replaces Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA).
DOAJ – The Directory of Open Access Journals.
DOI – Digital Object Identifier, a persistent inter-operable identifier under International Organization for Standardization standard ISO 26324.
DNS – Domain Name System, a decentralized system for looking up domain names for conversion to IP addresses.
DRM – Digital Rights Management, access control technologies used to restrict access to certain rights-holders.
EAD – Encoded Archival Description, an XML standard for encoding archival finding aids by the Library of Congress and Society of American Archivists.
EDI – Electronic Data Interchange.
EPUB – Electronic Publication, a standard for ebooks and other electronic publications by the International Digital Publishing Forum.
ERM – Electronic Resource Management, system used to track electronic resources such as databases, ebooks, and e-journals.
FAST – Faceted Application of Subject Terminology, a “faceted subject heading schema” by OCLC with the LOC, used as an authority file.
FOAF – Friend of a Friend, describes people and their relationships using an RDF schema.
FOLIO – The Future of Libraries is Open, an open-source library services platform currently in development.
FRBR – Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, model of metadata that includes four levels of representation: work, expression, manifestation, and item.
HILCC – Hierarchical Interface to Library of Congress Classification, structured menu for LC Classification subject access on the Web.
HTML – Hypertext Markup Language, a markup language for describing web documents.
III – Innovative Interfaces, Inc., a library software vendor.
ISO – International Organization for Standardization, independent developer of voluntary International Standards.
LCNAF – Library of Congress Name Authority File, “provides authoritative data for names of persons, organizations, events, places, and titles”.
LDAP – Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, a method of user authentication.
LITA – Library and Information Technology Association is a division of the American Library Association (ALA).
LMS – Learning Management System, used to manage educational courses. (Occasionally Library Management System.)
LOCKSS – Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe, multiple electronic backup system for preserving library materials.
LOD – Linked Open Data, Linked Data which is published under an open-access license.
LSP – Library Services Platform, a term for a suite of library applications which might include an ILS, ERM, and discovery service.
MADS/RDF – Metadata Authority Description Schema in Resource Description Framework, a data model for authority records.
MFHD – Multi-Format Holdings Data, a holdings record containing location and call number (sometimes pronounced “muffhead”).
MOOC – Massive Open Online Course, a web-based course, often with very large enrollments.
OA – Open Access.
OAI-ORE – Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange, standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of Web resources.
OAI-PMH – Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, a model for extracting metadata from an open repository.
OCLC – Online Computer Library Center, Inc., a nonprofit provider of library services for cataloging, discovery, and resource sharing.
OCR – Optical Character Recognition, the process of converting scanned text into text-based documents for reading and indexing.
OER – Open Educational Resources, freely accessible materials such at open access textbooks, articles, and educational videos.
OWL – Web Ontology Language, “a Semantic Web language designed to represent rich and complex knowledge about things, groups of things, and relations between things”.
PDA – Patron Driven Acquisition, see DDA (Demand-Driven Acquisition).
PURL – Persistent Uniform Resource Locator.
RDA – Resource Description and Access, a unified cataloging standard which is replacing AACR2 and based on FRBR (see above).
RDF – Resource Description Framework, a W3C standard for describing Web data.
RDM – Research Data Management.
REST – Representational State Transfer, the software architectural style of the Web.
RFID – Radio Frequency Identification Technology, the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data from tags typically affixed to print library materials.
SaaS – Software as a Service.
SAML – Security Assertion Markup Language, XML standard for single sign-on (SSO).
SMS – Short Message Service, for sending text messages on mobile phones.
SPARQL – SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language, used to retrieve Web data in RDF format.
SSH – Secure Shell, usually used to refer to a remote computer login to run system commands.
SSL – Secure Sockets Layer, a security technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a webserver and a browser, succeeded by Transport Layer Security (TLS).
SSO – Single Sign-on, typically using your institution login credentials to access third-party database and websites.
SUSHI – Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative.
TLS – Transport Layer Security, a security technology for establishing an encrypted connection between a webserver and a browser, replacing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
URI – Uniform Resource Identifier, string of characters that points to a resource (with a URL being the most popular type).
UX – User eXperience.
VIAF – Virtual International Authority File, a global file of standardized bibliographic creator names with links by OCLC.
VPN – Virtual Private Network, a secure network connection that allows a remote user to access an organization’s internal network.
W3C – World Wide Web Consortium, “an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web”.
WCAG – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
XML – eXtensible Markup Language, a language for encoding documents in both a human-readable and machine-readable text format.
XSL – eXtensible Stylesheet Language, a language used to transform and render XML documents.