Vocabularies are linguistic resources that make it possible to access knowledge through words. They can constitute a mechanism to identify, describe, explore, and access all the digital resources with informational content pertaining to a specific knowledge domain. In this regard, they play a key role as systems for the representation and organization of knowledge in environments in which content is created and used in a collaborative and free manner, as is the case of social wikis and blogs on the Internet or educational content in e-learning environments. In e-learning environments, electronic vocabularies (e-vocabularies) constitute a mechanism for conceptual representation of digital educational resources. They enable human and software agents either to locate and interpret resource content in large digital repositories, including the web, or to use them (vocabularies) as an educational resource by itself to learn a discipline terminology. This review article describes what e-vocabularies are, what they are like, how they are used, how they work, and what they contribute to the retrieval of digital educational resources. The goal is to contribute to a clearer view of the concepts which we regard as crucial to understand e-vocabularies and their use in the field of e-learning to describe and retrieve digital educational resources.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited