IUPAC compendium of chemical terminology (The Gold book)

IUPAC compendium of chemical terminology (The Gold book)   

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (Iupac) 

Refer to Iupac website

Reviewed by David Anderson

The language of chemistry, like the other sciences, is littered with terms that need explanation. Sometimes an unknown term is encountered, a forgotten term needs checking, or a well-used term needs a precise definition. For all these purposes the official source of information is the Iupac Gold book. Although there are other colour books (blue, green red, purple, white, orange, silver), the name Gold book is actually in honour of a person - the late Victor Gold who initiated work on the first edition published in 1987. 

The Gold book  is now available as an interactive XML version and can be accessed online. It brings together in one place over 6500 terms on chemical nomenclature, terminology, symbols and units from Iupac recommendations already published in Pure and applied chemistry  and in the other Iupac ’colour books’. 

It mostly corresponds to the second edition of the print version, compiled by Alan McNaught and Andrew Wilkinson, published by Blackwell Science in 1997 (available in PDF form since about 1999). The XML version contains, however, more than 200 new entries added by Aubrey Jenkins. 

Terms can be searched directly, browsed alphabetically or by subject. Once a term has been retrieved, other related terms can be explored using the interactive link maps. There are terms used in analytical methodology, generic chemical structure names, reaction types, kinetics and thermodynamics etc. 

The Gold book  is an invaluable reference tool for all chemists, especially useful when writing, reading or editing chemical research publications - and it is free.