Project Details Glossary of terms used in combinatorial chemistry

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 July 2004
End Date:


To prepare a Glossary for the field of Combinatorial Chemistry, revise the 1999 IUPAC Technical Report on the same subject [Pure Appl. Chem. 71(12), 2349-2365 (1999)], and bring it to IUPAC Recommendation status. This will provide an authoritative, on-line resource for Combinatorial Chemistry nomenclature.


This project is intended to capture and define terminology used in the field of Combinatorial Chemistry. An initial Technical Report on this subject was published in 19991 In the intervening period this relatively new field has continued to innovate and produce new terminology. In addition, a reasonable period of time has elapsed for the earlier definitions to be revised in light of comments received and the current status and direction of the field.

The earlier Technical Report has been extremely well received. The original Pure and Applied Chemistry paper was reprinted in the American Chemical Society Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry, (the most authoritative journal in the field)2, accompanied by an Editorial encouraging adoption of the Glossary as a tool to enhance communication in the field. Significantly, this recognized de facto agreement between IUPAC and ACS. 200 reprints were distributed at the 2000 Gordon Conference on Combinatorial Chemistry and response was overwhelmingly positive. The Glossary was later translated into German and reprinted for a third time in Angewandte Chemie.3

The importance of this field, and the existence of a well-received Technical Report make the push for IUPAC Recommendation status important and timely.


  1. Glossary of Terms Used in Combinatorial Chemistry (Technical Report) Pure Appl. Chem. 71(12), 2349-2365 (1999)
  2. J. Comb. Chem. 2(6), 562-578 (2000)
  3. Glossar von Begriffen der Kombinatorischen Chemie Angew. Chem. 114(5), 893-906 (2002)


Sep 2004 – project announcement published in Chem. Int. Sep-Oct

Oct 2017 update – The task group has a working draft and is discussing the introduction of additional terms from the recent literature. A face to face meeting to finalize the glossary and complete the project is planned for early 2018.

Page last updated 13 Oct 2017