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Guidelines on Nomenclature in Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry

The primary function of nomenclature is to ensure that spoken or written scientific terms and concepts leave no ambiguity in their interpretation, enabling effective and unambiguous communication and understanding within a scientific community.

In order to achieve these goals, the international natural science community agreed to abide by and adopt the use of SI units (1960) and IUPAC rules for chemistry (1921). As the field of radiopharmaceutical chemistry is part of this wider community, it behoves us to also adopt these conventions: to ignore this would be impractical.

Over recent years, within our community, there has been an increased incidence of incorrect usage of established scientific terms and conventions, and even the emergence of ‘self-invented’ terms. In order to address these concerns, a Working Group (WG) on ‘Nomenclature in Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry and related areas’ was established in 2015 to achieve clarification of terms and to generate consensus on the utilisation of a standardised nomenclature pertinent to our field.

The WG is internationally composed by Michael Adam (Canada), Gunnar Antoni (Sweden), Heinz H. Coenen (Germany) (chair), Cathy S. Cutler (USA), Yasuhisa Fujibayashi (Japan), Antony D. Gee (UK) (co-chair), Jae Min Jeong (Korea), Robert H. Mach (USA), Tom Mindt (Austria), Victor W. Pike (USA) and Albert Windhorst (Netherlands) as active members of relevant scientific societies (e.g., European Association of Nuclear Medicine, ‘Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences’, ‘Society of Nuclear Medicine’, ‘Society of Radiopharmacology’ and related national societies).

After conducting a worldwide survey by a questionnaire, aims of primary importance were agreed, and the WG produced a summary of its initial recommendations. These were used as ‘guidelines to authors’ for the submission of abstracts for the ISRS 2017 meeting. In addition to the summary document, a full text has now been prepared by the WG, which is presented here in a wider context.

Select the following textual link to REVIEW THE FULL TEXT HERE.

It is now crucial to have a period of open consultation with peers in the field in order to gain feedback about the proposed recommendations and to discuss any further issues requiring clarification. Your feedback on the full text is now solicited, as some issues and terms are still unresolved. Suggestions for topics not addressed in the document are also welcome. We kindly request you to send any comments on the newly posted document to Heinz H. Coenen ( and Antony Gee ( before 31st Jan 2017.

After this deadline, the views expressed during the consultation period will be discussed and the resulting consensus will be incorporated into a pre-final document, which will be again posted on the SRS website. Any outstanding issues will be discussed at the 22nd ISRS meeting in Dresden (May 14th – 19th, 2017). Subsequently, the resulting consensus nomenclature guidelines will be published in an appropriate journal as a reference source for the field, and as a basis for discussion with journal editors, IUPAC and key stakeholders beyond our immediate peer group.


Acknowledgements: The members of the WG are very much indebted to the scientific committee of the 22nd ISRS 2017 (Jörg Steinbach, chairman) for enabling the incorporation of the ‘initial recommendations’ as ‘abstract-instructions’ for the meeting. They also like to acknowledge many more colleagues, too numerous to mention, for constructive comments on the WG’s first summary document and to those who contributed to the initial nomenclature survey.