Project Details Revision of "Principles of Chemical Nomenclature"

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 January 2007
End Date:
01 May 2013
Division Name:
Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation
Division No.:


To produce a new version of the original book “Principles of Chemical Nomenclature – A Guide to IUPAC Recommendations”, in the light of nomenclature developments since its publication in 1998. (Leigh, G.J.; Favre, H.A. and Metanomski, W.V.; Blackwell Science, 1998 [ISBN 0-86542-6856] )


The IUPAC colour books are currently in a state of revision, especially the inorganic Red Book (published 2005), the organic Blue Book (expected 2007; project 2001-043-1-800), and the macromolecular Purple Book (project 2002-048-1-400). The original book was aimed at pre-University and first-year University students and their teachers, and the new version will have a similar audience. However, it is intended to widen the scope a little, to include more biochemical nomenclature, more organometallic nomenclature, and some treatment of Preferred IUPAC Names (PINs; see both projects 2001-043-1-800 and 2006-038-1-800) and the IUPAC International Chemical Identifier (InChI).

G.J. Leigh will be general editor; a writer and reviewer will contribute to each main section – see assignment below. Much of the material and the format of the original version will be retained; this is a revision, not a rewriting.

Introductory chapters:
written by G.J. Leigh
reviewed by N.G. Connelly

written by R. Hartshorn
reviewed by T. Damhus

written by H. Favre
reviewed by J. Nytrai

written by A. Hutton
reviewed by E. Nordlander

written by M. Hess
reviewed by J. Kahovec

written by G.P. Moss
reviewed by H.B.F. Dixon

written by A.D. McNaught
reviewed by S. Heller


{1998 content: Introduction; Definitions; Formulae; Naming of substances; Aspects of the nomenclature of organometallic compounds; Macromolecular (polymer) nomenclature; Biochemical nomenclature; Nomenclature in the making; Appendices; Index — full text pdf 1.70MB, with bookmark by chapters and sections}

July 2007 – project announcement published in  Chem. Int. July 2007, p. 23

Dec 2011 – A Guide to IUPAC Recommendations, 2011 Edition was published by the RSC on 25 November 2011, ISBN 978-1-84973-007-5. Like the first edition of 1998, it is directed towards teachers and students of chemistry in schools and universities, but it should be equally useful to people such as government officials concerned with customs and taxation. See RSC shop more details.

Jan 2012 – book announcement published in Chem. Int. 34(1), 2012, p. 26

Initiated in March 2012, a series of short notes and briefs about the Principles of Chemical Nomenclature have been published in CI – see

Project completed

Last update 29 May 2013