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 IUPAC seeks advice on
organic nomenclature development

The codification and development of the Nomenclature of Organic Compounds is one of the best known activities of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The Commission on Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry (CNOC) was one of the first Commissions to be established following the creation of IUPAC in 1919.

Building upon the recommendations of the 1892 Geneva Convention, CNOC has developed rules over the years leading to the 1979 Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry and to the 1993 Guide to IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Compounds.

Work by CNOC on the development of rules (to be applied in conjunction with computer programs) leading to a IUPAC preferred name for every organic compound is well under way and should be published in the near future.

The Organic Division of IUPAC, anxious to respond rapidly to the needs of the international community of organic chemists, is beginning a study of nomenclature needs for the 21st century and, at the same time, wishes to evaluate the perception of the community of the work already done.

To that effect, we request your opinions on these subjects. Please feel free to draw this invitation to the attention of anyone else you consider might wish to comment.

In particular, we should welcome your views on the following:

1. The need for revision of present nomenclature recommendations.

2. The need for further development of systematic nomenclature.

3. The future roles of systematic and trivial nomenclatures in the transmission and retrieval of chemical information in:

    • the primary research literature
    • abstracts and indexes
    • chemical databanks
    • the chemical industry
    • legislative material

Please send your contribution to this project by e-mail (preferably) or conventional mail to Alan McNaught (
adm@rsc.org) The Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 4WF, UK), before December 31, 1998.

Your needs will be at the heart of the work of IUPAC and direct its progress in the coming years; now is your opportunity to express them.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of our request.

Jean-Claude Richer
Alan D McNaught
IUPAC Division of Organic Chemistry


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