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IUBMB-IUPAC Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature (JCBN)

Terms of Reference


  1. To maintain and develop naming systems for classes of natural product of interest to biochemists, especially steroids, amino acids and peptides, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids.
  2. To maintain and develop standards for symbolism to be used in databases for biopolymers.
  3. To provide advice for biochemists on chemical names for compounds of biochemical importance.
  4. To ensure that all recommendations are compatible with those issued by other nomenclature bodies of IUBMB and IUPAC.


  1. The Commission considers project proposals for work to be carried out under its own auspices, and forwards supported proposals to the IUPAC Secretariat and to the Chairman of IUBMB's Committee on Publications. Project review by IUPAC follows standard IUPAC procedures, involving assessment by external referees and by the appropriate Division Committee [normally the Division (VIII) of Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation]. Copies of all reviews obtained are sent to IUBMB, and agreement on approval and on level and distribution of funding is obtained by correspondence between IUBMB (via the Publications Committee Chairman) and the IUPAC Division VIII President. Approved projects are managed by the Commission.
  2. Before recommending any resulting material for publication as an IUBMB-IUPAC document, the Commission should ensure that the fullest possible consultations have taken place and the widest possible consensus has been reached with the appropriate bodies of each Union: for IUPAC, the Division (VIII) of Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation and the Interdivisional Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature and Symbols (ICTNS); for IUBMB, the Nomenclature Committee (NC-IUBMB).
  3. Approval to publish any material as an IUBMB-IUPAC document is to be obtained in the case of IUPAC from the IUPAC Division VIII Officers and ITCNS, and in the case of IUBMB from the Executive Committee of IUBMB.
  4. The Commission normally holds an annual meeting concurrently with that of NC-IUBMB, and with the approval of the President of the IUPAC Division of Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation and the Executive Committee of IUBMB.
  5. Associate Members will receive all documents of the Commission and their opinion will be sought by correspondence. An Associate Member may attend any meeting of the Commission, but his or her expenses will not be defrayed by the respective Executive Committee unless he or she has been invited as an observer under item 6.
  6. The Commission is entitled to invite observers from similar bodies and experts in special fields to attend the meeting. The IUPAC Division President or the IUBMB Executive Committee should be asked in advance to defray any expenses that would arise from such an invitation.


Page last modified 17 May 2004
Copyright © 1997-2004 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

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