Title: Internationally agreed terminology for observations
in scientific communication
Forsum, Gunnar Nordin,
and Gunther Schadow
Most scientific disciplines, not only laboratory medicine, rely
to some extent on observations in addition to measurable quantities.
An integrated explanatory treatise and vocabulary explaining and exploring
the conceptual relationship between observations and measurements
is the main outcome of this project.
The C-NPU subcommittee, maintained as a joint IFCC-IUPAC activity
for two decades, has as its main task to promote and maintain scientifically
and conceptually sound ways of expressing the outcome of measurements
and other examinations in laboratory medicine. The NPU coding scheme
and vocabulary, based on the SI system, concepts theory and high-level
international standards should be the cornerstone for expressing measurements
within international communication standards. The proposed project
should be used to explain and extend the systematic description of
properties to observable properties.
C-NPU via the Subcommittee homepage
Scientists of disciplines in laboratory medicine has long recognized
the need of a common language for efficient and safe request of investigations,
report of results, and communication of experience and scientific
achievements. To achieve this the IFCC and the IUPAC in a joint project
have developed a metrologically based coding scheme based on progress
in modern classification science. In collaboration with professionals
in a series of medical specialties a coding scheme has evolved that
fulfils the needs in electronic communication and data presentation.
The C-NPU coding scheme provides a global standardized classification
and coding scheme for properties examined in laboratory medicine based
on kind-of-property, component and system and is basic if a coherent
system with global acceptance is to be worked out. The C-NPU generic
database is published under the URL: <http://dior.imt.liu.se/cnpu/>.
Such a coding scheme needs to deal with properties that are observed
in the medical laboratory that are not defined by the seven dimensions
of the SI system for measuring quantities with its primitive concepts
defined in the VIM (International Vocabulary of Basic and General
Terms in Metrology). The vocabulary VIM is designed for metrology:
science of measurement. However, most scientific disciplines, not
only laboratory medicine, rely also, some predominantly, on observation
and it could be commendable to design a vocabulary shared by both
observations and measurements.
Typical cases are several technical reports in PAC authored
by the C-NPU that relies heavily on observable properties such as
"taxon" because of the nature of the observed properties
in for example clinical microbiology or molecular biology.
The present project is aimed at developing a common framework for
a project meant to integrate and also explain to the laboratory medicine
workers the meaning of and usefulness of such an integrated view of
the concepts property and in a more restricted sense quantity.
> Nov 2004 report update (pdf
file - 13KB)
> May 2006 report update (pdf
file - 14KB)
> June 2007 - A second version of the text has been drafted and
distributed for comments within the task group and the sub-committee
during our last meeting in early December 2006. Completion anticipated
by the end of 2008.
Last Update: 2 July 2007
<project announcement published