The hyperGlossary is a way for an author to easily add linked glossaries to specific texts or domains and for a reader to access those definitions.

When Authoring

The problem the hyperGlossary system addresses is that of author’s having written about important aspects of their work and then having to re-introduce it in new documents can be cumbersome and can be a barrier for an outsider when reading the author’s work.

Being able to create linked glossary entries can also be useful for the author to develop a visually connected view of their own work.

When Reading

When reading work outside of your field or simply needing deeper insights it can be useful to see what the author has to say about specific keywords.


  • The goal is to make the experience of defining terms (through text and connections with other text) and checking definitions quick, smooth, easy and enjoyable, in order to enable a new kind of connected writing

Criteria. The system must

  • Provide the means to embed full glossary in a published document with links to a hyperGlossary server to check on updates when document is read
  • Provide the ability to ‘import’ definitions or point to them
  • Interoperate with wordpress or other storage system to save the entries in a open format so that they can be accessed through other means
  • Support video and audio as part of entries
  • Interoperate with Knowledge Graphs


The initial implementation is expected to be using wordpress to store one definition per post. Blogged discussions have taken place on jrnl.global/category/features/hyperglossary



I remember Doug Engelbart one day noting to me that it was difficult for him to write new papers since so much was written before and he was concerned about repetition. We have all also come across text written for an audience where the author had an expectation of familiarity which we did not have. Both of these concerns can be addressed through the employment of more distributed and connected writing, where canonical subjects and topics of pertinence for the author can be clearly explained and re-used by the reader at will, somewhat mirroring the code-reuse of programmers.

The hyperGlossary therefore, aims to increase the readers comprehension without the author having to repeat concepts in all documents. The author simply writes at the level appropriate and adds glossary entries to allow a reader access to further information and perspective.

Frode Hegland
london 2018