I  U  P  A  C

News & Notices

Organizations & People

Standing Committees







Links of Interest

Search the Site

Home Page




Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation Division (VIII)


Number: 2001-031-1-800

Title: Alignment of nomenclature in areas of overlap between the preferred names for organic nomenclature and the revision of the nomenclature of inorganic chemistry

Task Group
T. Damhus

Members: H. Favre, R. Hartshorn, G.P. Moss, and W.H. Powell

Completion Date: 2002 - project completed

To ensure minimum actual inconsistency in nomenclature recommendations, maximum alignment of approaches and principles, and appropriate cross-referencing between the areas covered by both the organic Preferred Names document and the inorganic Red Book I revision, both due for completion ultimo 2001.

There is considerable overlap between the areas of chemistry covered by the nomenclature recommendations of the so-called Preferred Names document currently being completed under the auspices of Commission on Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry (CNOC) and by the revision of Red Book I on inorganic nomenclature undertaken by Commission on Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry (CNIC). For example, both documents provide names for homogeneous and heterogeneous parent hydrides and de-rivatives of these (such as anions which may further act as ligands in coordination compounds); for inorganic oxoac-ids and organic derivatives of these; and for organometal-lic compounds.

The former document can be considered a revision of the Blue Book on organic nomenclature. Both revisions are due for completion by the end of this year (2001). Whereas the CNOC document endeavours to provide preferred names for a large number of the compounds it covers, the Red Book revision will probably not yet contain preferred names, but CNIC has been asked to consider selecting preferred names in the future and consequently has had potential preferred names under consideration while working on the Red Book.

Several times during the last few years, and most lately at a joint meeting between CNOC and CNIC during the IUPAC General Assembly in Brisbane, discrepancies in the approaches to systematic nomenclature taken by CNOC and CNIC and in specific recommendations given in the two documents mentioned have been pointed out. Unfortunately, until now (and this includes the Brisbane general assembly schedule) time has not allowed for a thorough discussion of the problems between the two parties. It is of utmost importance, however, that such a discussion be conducted now (i.e. in the fall of 2001) to ensure maximum alignment of approaches and specific recommendations and, where consensus seems impossible to achieve, at least appropriate cross-referencing between the two documents. The problems are far too vast to be dealt with as minor amendments to the two documents at a later stage.

The task group met 29-30 September 2001. Major decisions about necessary revision of one or the other document in order to achieve maximum alignment have been taken.
> Read meeting report: pdf file - 125KB

During the remainder of 2001, the actual revisions will have to be made. Only when the texts are in place, can the cross-referencing and appropriate footnotes be made to fine tune and fully align the two texts, so it is anticipated that this part of the project must take place concurrently with the review process in the Spring of 2002.

Final report
Subsequent discussions revealed that not all controversial matters had been resolved, and a further meeting was held in Cambridge in January 2002. Sufficient progress was made to enable work on the Red Book and the Blue Book to proceed towards completion.
> Read meeting report: pdf file - 131KB

Read about it in CI ...
Aligning the Revised Red and Blue Books and Preparing for IUPAC Preferred Names
by T. Damhus, Chem. Int. Nov. 2002

Last update: 10 July 2002


Questions or Comments about this Project
Please contact the Coordinator

Page last modified 16 February 2003.
Copyright ©1999-2003 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Questions or comments about IUPAC, please contact, the Secretariat.
Questions regarding the website, please contact web manager.