Online Resources: OED Online relaunched

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News on an updated resource available to Wellcome Library readers.

Ten years after its original appearance the Oxford English Dictionary Online has been relaunched. The new OED Online has developed as a tool for exploring the English language and aims to be ‘the start of a journey, not the end’, according to Chief Editor John Simpson.

The new site has been fully redesigned and incorporates many new features, including:

– The integration of the Historical Thesaurus of the OED. Published in book form in 2009 – and hailed at the time as “one of the last great printed works of reference” – the Historical Thesaurus contains synonyms arranged in chronological order for almost every word in the OED. It’s integration means users can now be used to navigate around the dictionary by topic, to find related terms and explore the lexical history of a concept.

– A new area called Aspects of English, which will feature regular commentaries on the English language, written by the dictionary’s editors and external experts. So far, articles have included an overview of Old English, the influence of the King James Bible and the development of the language of scientific discovery (particularly with regard to cell biology and genetics).

– A section where you can browse the 1000 most quoted sources and find out which authors have the most influence (from the perspective of the History of Science, The Royal Society’s Philosophical Transacations is at number 4; Nature at number 9 and The Lancet at number 33).

– Links to other online resources such as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Authors: Victoria Sinclair and Ross MacFarlane

Ross Macfarlane

Ross Macfarlane is the Research Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library.

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