Are there conventions for linking educational terminology definitions within DITA content?

Linking educational terminology definitions within DITA content is a valuable practice for providing learners and educators with quick access to clear explanations of key terms. DITA enables this through conventions that facilitate the seamless connection between terms and their definitions. Here’s how it’s typically done:

Definition Elements

In DITA, a common approach is to create specialized definition elements for educational terms. These definition elements are usually stored in separate files, such as a glossary or glossary topic, and can be referenced from within DITA content as needed. This approach helps keep definitions up-to-date and consistent across documents.

Linking to Definitions

When an educational term appears in DITA content, you can link to its definition using a referencing mechanism. For instance, the <termref> element can be used to reference the definition of a term, making it easy for readers to click or navigate to the detailed explanation. By using this convention, educational organizations ensure that learners and educators have quick access to clear and consistent definitions when encountering specific terms.


Here’s an example of how DITA allows for linking educational terminology definitions within content:

<termref keyref="term:software" />

In this example, the <termref> element references the term with the key “software.” This key corresponds to the definition stored in the glossary or glossary topic. When readers encounter the term “software” in the content, they can click on it to access its definition.