Library Technology Acronyms

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.

EDS – EBSCO Discovery Service, a discovery service offered by EBSCO.

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.

JSON – JavaScript Object Notation, “a lightweight data-interchange format” and standard.

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.

ORCID – Open Researcher and Contributor ID, a unique and persistent digital identifier. (Read more about ORCID.)

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.