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Glossary proposal[edit]

This is a proposal for organizing glossaries for Wikijunior books. Please comment, make suggestions, etc.


The purpose of a glossary in a Wikijunior book is to give simple, child-appropriate definitions of potentially unfamiliar words in the context in which they are used in the book. This differs from a dictionary in that only the pertinent definition is given. For example, in a book about the human body, the word "organ" would be included as a glossary word. The definition would be "a part of the body made up of cells doing a similar job" (not "a musical instrument with a keyboard").

Visual representation[edit]

Glossary links should be designated in a way that is visually distinct from other links (as external links are, for example). Perhaps a small icon after the link would work for this.


Optimally, all key terms that are potentially unfamiliar to children in the target age group should be included in the glossary.

Question: Should only the first use of a word be glossary-linked (as would be done in an ebook) or should every entry be linked? One problem with the former is that it assumes a linear reading. The problem with the latter option is that there may be so many links that is distracting to (children) readers.

Technical implementation[edit]

Depending on others' input, I am thinking of implementing this in a way similar to the way citations are done in Wikipedia. For example, to add the word "organ" to the glossary, the markup could be something like:

The stomach is an <gloss="organ" def="a part of the body made up of cells doing a similar job">organ</gloss> that is a part of the digestive system.

Then the glossary would be dynamically generated including the entry:

organ - a part of the body made up of cells doing a similar job

Question: Would the glossary be generated at the bottom of each module, or should there be a consolidated glossary for the whole book? From a programming standpoint, the first option is probably easier? From a pedagogical standpoint (and in a print format especially), I'd prefer the latter.

Espohagus - a tube made of muscle that goes from the mouth to the stomach; food that is swallowed goes down this tube

blah blah