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Biopharmaceutical Resources
Evolving terminology for emerging technologies
Suggestions? Comments? Questions?
Mary Chitty
Last revised January 09, 2020

Sources used in compiling definitions include web only, print only and web/ print resources. Not everything is on the web. See also How to find other unfamiliar terms. 

Websites and Books
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Glossary of Terms, Acronyms and Abbreviations

AO-VNMR Glossary, Albin Otter, Chemistry Dept. Univ. of Alberta, Canada.  About 50 terms.

ATSDR Glossary, Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, 2009

Bains, William, Biotechnology A-Z, Oxford University Press, 2003. About 400 entries/definitions. 

Bandolier EBM Evidence Based Medicine Glossary

Bioinformatics definitions CMGM, Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine, Stanford Univ. 2000. 1000 + definitions.

BioLINC Glossary, NHLBI dictionary, National Cancer Institute, NIH, US,  4,000 plus terms.

CDISC, Glossary Terms Version 7.0  [download]

CDISC, Acronym, Abbreviations and Initials, 2010 

CenterWatch Glossary, 1995 - 2018, 100+ definitions Glossary of Clinical Trials Terms, National Library of Medicine, 2005. 

Creighton, Thomas E., Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1999. 4 volumes.

Cochran Collaborative Glossary  2018. 

Contract Pharma Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Terms, revised annually 500 plus terms 

DDBJ/ ENA/ GenBank Feature Table, 2018

Dorland’s Medical Dictionary Online, Elsevier

Ensembl Glossary 

Encyclopedia of Analytical Instrumentation, Brian Tissue, Chemistry Hypermedia Project, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, US, 1995- 2003.

FAO Term Portal  Food and Agricultural Organization, Searchable database,  Not just for food or agriculture.

FDA, CDER, Glossary Drugs@FDA Glossary, Independent Institute, 2016 

FOLDOC Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, Denis Howe,   Part of

Glick, David M., Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2014 

GO Term definitions, Gene Ontology Consortium TM ,  

Harper, Douglas, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001-2018 

Holmgren Lab, Life Science Glossary, Northwestern Univ. 2004 Extensive collection of developmental biology, genetic, cell biology, molecular biology, molecular genetic, and biochemistry definitions.

Howe, Walt, Glossary of Internet Terms,  2012

Human Genome Variation Society, Nomenclature 2013

Insight Pharma Reports , Cambridge Healthtech

Intel Glossary 

International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation SEE SNOMED

International Society for Stem Cell Research, Glossary,

IUPAC  Glossary of Terms used in Bioinorganic Chemistry, Recommendations, 1997. 450+ definitions.

IUPAC, Terminology for biorelated polymers and applications, 2012

IUPAC  Glossary for Chemists of terms used in biotechnology. Recommendations, Pure & Applied Chemistry 64 (1): 143-168, 1992. 200 + definitions.

IUPAC  Nomenclature for chromatography, L.S. Ettre, editor, Pure and Applied Chemistry 65: 819-872, 1993.  450+ definitions. 

IUPAC Glossary of Terms Used in Combinatorial Chemistry, D. Maclean, J. J. Baldwin, V.T. Ivanov, Y. Kato, A. Shaw, P. Schneider, and E. M.. Gordon, Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 71, No. 12, pp. 2349-2365, 1999. 100+ definitions.

IUPAC Compendium of Chemical Terminology: Recommendations, compiled by Alan D. McNaught and Andrew Wilkinson, Blackwell Science, 1997. "Gold Book" 6500+ definitions.   Does not include Glossary of Bioinorganic Chemistry (1997) or Glossary of Medicinal Chemistry (1998). 

IUPAC Glossary of terms used in Computational Drug Design, Part I, 1997

IUPAC Glossary of Terms used in Computational Drug Design, Part II 2015 

IUPAC Poole, C., Mester, Z., Miró, M., et al. (2016). Glossary of terms used in extraction (IUPAC Recommendations 2016). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 88(5), pp. 517-558.  doi:10.1515/pac-2015-0903

IUPAC Definitions of terms relating to mass spectrometry (IUPAC Recommendations 2013)

IUPAC Recommendations for nomenclature and symbolism for Mass Spectroscopy, Pure and Applied Chemistry 63:1541-1563, 1991. About 275 definitions.

IUPAC Glossary of terms used in medicinal chemistry. Part II (IUPAC Recommendations 2013)

IUPAC Glossary of terms in Biomolecular Screening 2011

IUPAC, Glossary of terms related to pharmaceutics, Pure and Applied Chemistry 81, 971–999, 2009, 168 definitions  

IUPAC  Glossary of Terms used in Photochemistry, 3rd ed. 2006 

IUPAC Glossary of Terms used in Physical Organic Chemistry, Recommendations 1994. 700+ definitions.

IUPAC Glossary of Terms in Quantities and Units in Clinical Chemistry, Biochim Clin 1995; 19: 471-502. Around 300 definitions  Pure & Applied Chemistry 68: 957- 1000, 1996

IUPAC Terminology of Stereochemistry Recommendations, 1996. 250+ definitions.

IUPAC, Glossary of bioanalytical nomenclature - Part 1: General terminology, body fluids, enzymology, immunology Recommendations 1994 

IUPAC, Glossary for toxicokinetics of chemicals, 365 terms. Published Pure & Applied Chemistry 76 (5): 1033-1082, 2004


IUPAC, Glossary of terms used in theoretical organic chemistry, 1999

IUPAC Nomenclature in laboratory robotics and automation, 1994 

IUPAC Postgenomic Chemistry  Pure and Applied Chemistry 77 (9) , 1641 - 1654, 2005

IUPAC, International Federation of Clinical Chemistry, Committee on Molecular Biology Techniques in Clinical chemistry, Committee on Nomenclature, Properties and Units, Properties and units in Clinical Molecular Biology, 2004 Pure and Applied Chemistry 76 (9): 1799-1
Jackson Lab, Mouse Genome Informatics Glossary

King, Robert C. and William D. Stansfield, Dictionary of Genetics, Oxford University Press

Lackie, JM and JAT Dow, Dictionary of Cell & Molecular Biology, Academic Press, 3rd ed., 1999. 7,000+ definitions.   

Lewin, Benjamin Genes IX  2011, Extensive glossary 800 + definitions  

Lyons Robert H., A Molecular Biology Glossary: A Quick and Dirty Reference to Terms Used in Molecular Biology, Univ. of Michigan DNA sequencing core, 1998.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, Sybil Parker, editor 2000. 105,000 terms. 

MeSH Medical Subject Headings, (PubMed Browser) National Library of Medicine, Revised annually.  MeSH has over 28,000 descriptors in MeSH with over 90,000 entry terms…." In addition to these headings, there are more than 240,000 Supplementary Concept Records (SCRs) within a separate file. 

MeSH Qualifiers with Scope Notes, National Library of Medicine,  

Mouse Genome Informatics Glossary, Jackson Lab, US,  250+ definitions. 2006  

NIH NCBI Chemicals and bioassays

NIH NCBI National Center for Biotechnology Information, Glossary, 1996. 13 definitions.

NCBI BLAST Glossary, 2011

NIH National Library of Medicine,  Genetics Home Reference glossary, 2018 

NIH NHGRI (National Human Genome Research Institute), Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms, 250+ definitions. Includes extended audio definitions.

NIH, Office of Extramural Research, Grants and Funding Glossary & Acronyms 2013  
    NIH Acronym list, 2013

NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology, Dictionary of Algorithms, Data Structures and Problems, Paul E. Black, 1998 updated 2017

OED Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 1989 plus supplements 1993-1997. 3rd edition:

Online Medical Dictionary, MondoFacto 2008-2010 

OneLook Dictionaries, Bob Ware  Index to 900+ online dictionaries.

ORD Office of Rare Diseases, NIH, Rare Diseases Terms, 2003,  300 + definitions

Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oxford University Press,  Online version 2008  

Pelikan, Edward, Glossary of terms and symbols used in pharmacology, Boston University Medical School, US, 1998 - 2004, about 300 definitions. 

Photonics Dictionary, Laurin Publishing Co. Inc. 8,000 plus definitions

PhyloCode Glossary, Ohio Univ. US, 2000 - 2006.  42 definitions.

Quinion, Michael Affixes prefixessuffixescombining forms and infixes.

Quinion, Michael  World Wide Words: investigating international English from a British viewpoint, Michael Quinion. 1996 - 2017  

RePORT Expenditures and Results (RePORTER)  NIH  SBIR awards

SGD Saccharomyces Genome Database Glossary Terms,

Schlindwein Birgid, Hypermedia Glossary of Genetic Terms, 2006. 670 definitions.

Science glossaries Science "Functional Genomics Resources": Educational resources: A guide to some useful online glossaries  Categories cover genetics and genomics, general biology and molecular biology, post-genomics biotech and bioinformatics, medical genomics and specific organisms. Includes Genomic glossaries.

SNOMED  SNOMED International determines global standards for health terms.

SWISS PROT Keywords SEE UniPROT Knowledge Base Keywords

UCMP Glossary of Natural History Terms: Vol. 1, Phylogenetics terms, Univ. of California, Berkeley [US] Museum of Paleontology, 2009

UMLS National Library of Medicine, (US) Unified Medical Language System (UMLS), 2009-2016. About 800,000 concepts and 1.9 million concept names in over 60 different biomedical source vocabularies.   

W3C Glossary and Dictionary  as of May 2010, it is no longer maintained, but the archived copy of its content remains available.

UNI-PROT KnowledgeBase keywords   Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Geneva Switzerland, European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton, UK, PIR Protein Information Resource, 2018

Web search glossary, Google 60 definitions

Webopedia, 2018 Information Technology encyclopedia, 1999-2018.   Part of[Onelook

Wikipedia  Not always definitive, but a good starting point for overviews on many topics. 

WordSpy, Paul McFedries 2018  

Zhang, Yong-he and Meng Zhang, A Dictionary of Gene Technology Terms, Parthenon Publishing Group, 2001, 3,000 + definitions   

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