Project Details Update of IUPAC Glossary of Physical Organic Chemistry

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
01 June 2009
End Date: 
23 May 2022


To update the Glossary of Terms Used in Physical Organic Chemistry, which was published in Pure Appl. Chem. 1994, 66, 1077 [doi:10.1351/pac199466051077] and as a Web version in 1997 (


The Glossary of Terms Used in Physical Organic Chemistry had been compiled by a multiauthor committee under the direction of Paul Muller, and under the auspices of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Physical Organic Chemistry. It was published in Pure Appl. Chem. 1994, 66, 1077-1184. In 1997 it was converted to a World Wide Web version by Gerard P. Moss and Charles L. Perrin (

It is now timely to update the Glossary to include new terminology that has developed, to revise ambiguities, to respond to inquiries, and to make this glossary consistent with the Glossary of Terms Used in Theoretical Organic Chemistry, published in Pure Appl. Chem. 71(10), 1919-1981 (1999) [doi:10.1351/pac199971101919], with the Glossary of Terms
Used in Photochemistry, 3rd ed., published in Pure Appl. Chem. 79(3), 293-465 (2007) [doi:10.1351/pac200779030293], and with the Basic Terminology of Stereochemistry, published in Pure Appl. Chem. 68, 2193-2222 (1996) [doi:10.1351/pac199668122193].

The availability of a web-based version is an opportunity to make the glossary a living and evolving document that will continually be useful and accessible. The Task Group will not only revise the existing Glossary but also establish procedures for continual revision and expansion.


> project announcement published in Chem. Int. Nov-Dec 2009

June 2016 update – A draft of the updated Glossary is being reviewed by for members of the Task group. Additions, comments, and revisions have been accumulated and the entirety awaits a thorough reconciliation. Informal discussions did occur at ESOR and ICPOC meetings to review issues and resolve disagreements. A final workshop is planned in conjunction with the 2018 ICPOC24 meeting in Portugal.

May 2021 update – The provisional recommendation is available for comments till 30 Sep 2021 >

April 2022 update – See feature article in Chem Int, April 2022, p. 10 ‘Physical Organic Chemistry in the 21st Century: A Q1 Progress Report’ by Ian H. Williams

May 2022 update –  The “Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 2021)” is published as Pure and Applied Chemistry, vol. 94, no. 4, 2022, pp. 353-534.

Project completed

Last update 24 May 2022