"A testbed is a platform for conducting rigorous, transparent, and replicable testing of scientific theories, computational tools, and new technologies" (Wikipedia).

While Wikipedia seems to prefer "testbed", Merriam-Webster and Oxford prefer "test bed". I have seen "testbed" predominantly in the scientific literature I have been reading. Should I mirror the literature or add the additional space?

I have read this great Q&A which focuses mostly on hyphenation usage. Rather I am looking for guidelines for open versus closed forms. Most of the answers address this indirectly, giving descriptive rather than prescriptive answers. Many answers also allude to the differing standards of hyphenations in different contexts.

  • @choster the answers seem in question seem to focus on hyphenation in compound words. I have personally noticed that many new tech-related words drop spaces (sometimes ungrammatically). See cybersecurity, plugin and email – nabulator Jan 1 '19 at 18:49
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    A "test bed" is a bed in a furniture showroom. – Hot Licks Jan 1 '19 at 19:10
  • An Ngram graph of "test bed" versus "testbed" for the period 1900–2005 shows that "test bed" was the more common form annually in publications included in the Google Books database until about 1985, after which the single-word form "testbed" has been more common. Either spelling thus seems valid. When real-world usage differs from dictionary prescription, the dictionaries (usually) catch up eventually. – Sven Yargs Jan 1 '19 at 19:38
  • There are at least two factors driving the evolution of separated words into a single word, at least with technical expressions. First, the liklihood that a technical term will be used as variable name in a computer program. Second, the need to apply further modifiers, as the term becomes more heavily used. – Global Charm Jan 1 '19 at 20:03