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

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 September 2001
End Date:
18 July 2002


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 necessaryrevision of one or the other document in order to achieve maximum alignmenthave been taken.
> Read meeting report: pdf file- 125KB

During the remainder of 2001, the actual revisions will have to bemade. Only when the texts are in place, can the cross-referencing andappropriate 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 concurrentlywith the review process in the Spring of 2002.

Final report
Subsequent discussions revealed that not all controversial matters hadbeen resolved, and a further meeting was held in Cambridge in January2002. Sufficient progress was made to enable work on the Red Book andthe Blue Book to proceed towards completion.
> Read meeting report: pdf file -131KB

Read aboutit in CI
Aligningthe Revised Red and Blue Books and Preparing for IUPAC PreferredNames
by T. Damhus, Chem. Int. Nov. 2002