Project Details List of key-words for polymer science journal

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 February 2011
End Date:
03 June 2019
Division Name:


To collect the list of most representative key-words that cover all aspects of polymer science, which will be presented to publishers and editors of polymer science journals as an IUPAC Polymer Division recommended list of key-words.


Searching of scientific literature is at present based mainly on electronic search machines identifying key-words that are supplied by authors of the publications. The selection of key-words that best describe the content of the publication is therefore very important. Some publishers of polymer science related journals (e.g.Wiley) provide a recommended list of key-words from which authors of the paper may select most relevant terms, some others do not. In the latter case authors are asked to provide a few key-words according to their best understanding. Different authors may use different gradations of importance of the best terms describing the content of their publication which may introduce some ambiguity and make the literature search less accurate. In addition some terms describing newly discovered phenomena may be not included in existing list of key-words.

The aim of the project is to collect a list of the most important terms from all areas of polymer science (polymer chemistry, polymer physics, polymer technology, polymer properties) and to assemble them into representative list of terms that could serve as an IUPAC Polymer Division recommended list of key-words in publications devoted to polymer science. Such list of terms will be created by collecting the most relevant terms identified on the basis of:

  • available list of key-words
  • terms selected from most cited publications in polymer science within last 10 years
  • terms selected from papers published in polymer journals with highest impact factor
  • terms defined in published IUPAC terminology recommendations in polymer science

On behalf of the Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology, over more than two years a careful study has been conducted to establish the feasibility of such a project and has concluded that the polymer field lends itself almost uniquely for such a venture to be successful and result in a valuable tool for authors and publishers alike. This study has already resulted in preliminary lists organized to form a base upon which the project can build.


July 2011 – project announcement published in Chem. Int. July August, p. 18

Sep 2018 update – A technical report has been submitted to PAC that provides a list of the most important terms from all areas of polymer science including polymer chemistry, polymer physics, polymer technology and polymer properties. These have been assembled into a representative list of terms that serves as an IUPAC recommended list of keywords for polymer science.

June 2019 update – “List of keywords for polymer science (IUPAC Technical Report).” Pure Appl. Chem. 2019; 91(6): 997–1027. Online 21 May 2019;

Project completed

Page last update 3 June 2019