See 2022 version of this information revised by ICTNS and published in PAC: “Preparation, formatting and review of IUPAC Technical Reports and Recommendations, IUPAC-sponsored books, or other items carrying the IUPAC label” Pure and Applied Chemistry, vol. 94, no. 11-12, 2022, pp. 1257-1267.

The following procedure is intended to offer an opportunity for worldwide comment on, and possible revision of, Provisional Recommendations on terminology, nomenclature, symbols, and conventions from Task Groups and other IUPAC bodies, while at the same time ensuring that they may be approved for publication and adoption as rapidly as possible. The procedure also describes the proper process for review of IUPAC Technical Reports, Recommendations, and IUPAC-Sponsored Books.

Upon completion of an individual project, the IUPAC Task Groups or other body may publish one of two types of documents in Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC), or as a book:

  1. IUPAC Technical Reports
  2. IUPAC Recommendations
  3. Book

In special circumstances, and on recommendation of the officers of ICTNS (Inter-divisional Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature and Symbols), the two types of document may be published sequentially, allowing easier reference to each other, but the resulting documents each labeled properly as Technical Report or Recommendations must include their own abstract, keywords, and reference section. The review process is different for these two types of documents.

A “Technical Report” is a report on the subject of a specific study, such as:

  • compilations and critical evaluations of data, or of parameters and equations
  • critical assessments of methods and techniques
  • guidelines for the presentation of methods of analysis; or for the calibration of instruments
  • determinations of specific elements or compounds in selected samples in special environments
  • studies of the biodegradability of materials
  • chemical process control aspects
  • evaluations of properties of specific materials

A “Recommendation” results from studies on nomenclature, symbols, terminology, or conventions, and its purpose is to recommend for a specific field unambiguous, uniform, and consistent nomenclature and terminology, usually presented as:

  • glossaries of terms for specific chemical disciplines
  • definitions of terms relating to a group of properties
  • nomenclature of chemical compounds and their classes
  • terminology, symbols, and units in a specific field
  • classifications and uses of terms in a specific field
  • conventions and standards of practice for presenting data in a specific field

Republication/Translation of IUPAC Recommendations

Pure and Applied Chemistry is the primary journal of IUPAC, in which all such recommendations should normally appear first. However, IUPAC encourages:

    • Republication or reproduction of any Recommendation or Technical Report or its storage and/or dissemination by electronic means. No formal IUPAC permission is needed on condition that an acknowledgment, with full reference to the source along with use of the copyright symbol ©, the name of IUPAC, and the year of publication are prominently visible.
    • Publication of a translation into another language is subject to the additional condition of prior approval from the relevant IUPAC National Adhering Organization.

IUPAC Technical Reports

Assurance of the technical quality of the report is the responsibility of the Division that manages the project. (Certain projects are managed by a Standing Committee; the procedure is the same, with “Committee ”understood to apply in lieu of “Division”.) The Inter-divisional Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature and Symbols (ICTNS) provides oversight of this process through the member of ICTNS from that Division.

The manuscript should be prepared in conformity with the PAC Guidelines* and should be submitted by the Task Group Chairman (TGC) using the online manuscript submission service, Manuscript Central. To submit a manuscript the TGC should inform the Secretariat that a manuscript is ready for submission and the Secretariat will provide access to Manuscript Central. The Division President or his/her designee will review the manuscript using Manuscript Central. For projects involving collaboration between Divisions, the Secretariat will provide access to the manuscript on Manuscript Central to the other Divisions for comments to be provided to the responsible lead Division. When satisfied with the manuscript, the Division President will approve it, the manuscript will then be reviewed, using Manuscript Central, by the Officers or other core members of ICTNS. They will check the Technical Report for its compatibility with existing IUPAC recommendations on terminology, nomenclature, and symbols. The necessary corrections and changes will be communicated directly to the authors, who are expected to modify the manuscript accordingly. The final manuscript is to be resubmitted using Manuscript Central for publication in Pure and Applied Chemistry.

* Pure Appl. Chem., vol. 94, no. 11-12, 2022, pp. 1257-1267. (& superseding the earlier ‘Guidelines for Drafting IUPAC Technical Reports and Recommendations’) 

IUPAC Recommendations

As with Technical Reports, assurance of the technical quality of a document intended as Recommendations is the responsibility of the Division that manages the project. However, ICTNS is more directly involved in approval steps, as follows:
  1. The manuscript should be prepared in conformity with the PAC Guidelines. As with Technical Reports, the manuscript is submitted using Manuscript Central, it is then reviewed by the Secretary of ICTNS, who will ensure that it is in general conformity with ICTNS guidelines.

  2. With this approval, the Division President or his/her designee, the Officers of other interested IUPAC bodies, and about 15 independent experts in the appropriate subject area, including journal editors if possible, are asked to review the manuscript, in most cases using Manuscript Central. The names and addresses of the 15 experts chosen should be sent to the Secretariat so that they can be asked to provide reviews using Manuscript Central; the names will also be transmitted to the Officers of ICTNS.
  3. As soon as the Division President has given approval, the Secretariat will post the title and synopsis on the IUPAC Web site as Provisional Recommendations, schedule the synopsis for publication in Chemistry International (CI) and in PAC, and send electronic copies of the manuscript to all National/Regional Centers. National Adhering Organizations are encouraged to republish the title and synopsis in national chemistry journals. Interested individuals may obtain a copy of the manuscript from the IUPAC Web site or from their local Center, and must submit any comments directly to the chairman of the task group.
  4. It is the intention of this procedure to allow a wide range of interested individuals to comment on the Recommendations before they are finally revised for publication. They should return their comments to the author(s) of the document within three months of publication of the synopsis in CI. At this stage, the Provisional Recommendations are available for comment only, and should not be quoted publicly.
    (Note: IUPAC Bylaw allows five months for public comment. For most Provisional Recommendations, experience has shown that a three-month period is adequate. However, in the event the Provisional Recommendations are controversial or attracts wide interest, no action will be taken by ICTNS to approve the document before the expiration of at least the full five-month period.)
  5. The Secretariat will also ask all members of ICTNS to review the manuscript using ManuscriptCentral, who are asked to provide their comments within three months. The Secretary of ICTNS will collate the comments and transmit them to the author(s).
  6. Comments from the 15 experts and other interested individuals should be returned to the chairman of the task group within three months of the original circulation of the manuscript in 3 above. The Chairman of the task group should then circulate copies of comments received to the authors of the document and to the Officers of ICTNS.
  7. The author(s) will then revise the document in the light of all the comments received. The revised manuscript must then be submitted using ManuscriptCentral for final approval by the Officers of ICTNS and the Division President before it is published.

Provisional Recommendations can be downloaded from the IUPAC Web site. Comments should be sent to the authors at the addresses indicated on the manuscript.

Copies of Provisional Recommendations may also be obtained from IUPAC National and Regional Document Centers.


  1. The manuscript should be prepared under supervision of an editor or editors who are appointed by the Division that sponsors the work. At the same time, the Division President will inform the Chair of ICTNS that the book is under preparation.
  2. When the book has progressed to the stage where the manuscript is complete, but final editing has not been undertaken, the Divisional member on ICTNS from where the book project emanates will identify the items that do not conform to IUPAC standards. This will be done in consultation with the Chair of ICTNS and other members of ICTNS whose expertise may be required.
  3. The Chair of ICTNS will convey to the book editor, within the same time frame as the final technical editing any recommended changes. ICTNS is not involved in the final editing.