a chemical nomenclature is a set of rules to generate systematic names for chemical compounds. the nomenclature used most frequently worldwide is the one created and developed by the international union of pure and applied chemistry (iupac).
the iupac's rules for naming organic and inorganic compounds are contained in two publications, known as the blue book and the red book, respectively. a third publication, known as the green book, describes the recommendations for the use of symbols for physical quantities (in association with the iupap), while a fourth, the gold book, contains the definitions of many technical terms used in chemistry. similar compendia exist for biochemistry (the white book, in association with the iubmb), analytical chemistry (the orange book), macromolecular chemistry (the purple book) and clinical chemistry (the silver book). these "color books" are supplemented by shorter recommendations for specific circumstances that are published periodically in the journal pure and applied chemistry.