I'm just trying to find a reference for what the term "library" or "framework" means in programming.

Are there any ways to find such terminology in papers? I've searched many papers, they all use the term "library" or "framework", but they don't define what the word means. Am I doing something wrong?

I'm guessing it would not be okay to define the word myself, but that I'll need a reference for it.

  • 2
    Look for a technical dictionary or encyclopedia? Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


If you have institutional access to the IEEE Xplore Digital Library you can find the definitions given by various standards.

Both framework and library are present in several standards. For example, from IEEE Std 610.12-1990, IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology:

software library A controlled collection of software and related documentation designed to aid in software development, use, or maintenance. Types include master library, production library, software development library, software repository, system library. Syn: program library.

  • I've also seen papers reference other standards, such as ISO and BSI. Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:38
  • @101010111100 Yep. Actually there are relationships between the various standard organizations, and some definitions can be equally found in different standards. Among the various possibilities, I suggested to look at IEEE because access to its digital library is probably more common with respect to others (e.g., I don't have institutional access to ISO standards). Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 17:30
  • You are probably right. In my field, we don't use standards like these, so I don't have first-hand experience with any of them and I can't comment on availability or what is defined where. Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 18:12
  • @MassimoOrtolano Is it general knowledge that you'd need to search for these terms in standards, or is there any particular way you have found that it is available in a standard? Thanks :). Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 23:31
  • @KevinVanRyckegem Tomorrow I'll add a few search instructions, because it's not so evident how to find those definitions ;-) Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 0:30

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