The primary objective of Infoterm is to foster, coordinate and support cooperation in the field of terminology worldwide. The scattered, fragmented and duplicated efforts throughout the world and the lack of cooperation that were increasingly felt as a problem in the 1950s and 1960s were the main reasons why UNESCO established Infoterm by contract with the Austrian Standards Institute (ASI) in 1971. See History of Infoterm
The Infoterm activities started on a small scale in 1971 and have expanded over the years. During the 1980s and 1990s
- several international and regional terminology associations and networks were
- numerous national terminology institutions, centres and networks were founded
with the direct or indirect assistance of Infoterm.
From its beginning, Infoterm has also functioned as a terminology documentation centre. This role has been gradually reduced as from 2000 in as far as it has been taken over by its cooperation partners DEUTERM, the German Terminology Information and Documentation Centre at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, on the one hand, and the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Vienna, whereto the Eugen Wüster Archive has been transferred, on the other. It has also been taken on by many terminology experts, through collaborative efforts, via the World Wide Web.
Over the last decades, the field of terminology has seen an extension towards more activities and applications in combination with
- corporate and national language policies,
- translation and localization,
- standardization of content as well as methods, system design and services
concerning structured content,
- multilingual product data management,
- learning technologies,
- ontology R&D,
and many others where multilingual structured content is an issue. This development is reflected in today’s activities of Infoterm.
At present, Infoterm focuses its cooperation activities around its member organizations and institutions as well as cooperation partners for the benefit of the international terminology community, which is increasingly joining the above-mentioned activities.