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There are a number of resources produced by SNOMED International that describe how the content of SNOMED CT should be developed and maintained. It is anticipated that this body of resources will increase over time – the full and current list of publications is available from SNOMED International at the SNOMED CT Document Library.  Documents supporting the US extension (including this guide) are periodically updated and should send inquiries to NLM (at Customer Support) for latest versions.  In addition to published documentation on editorial principles, internal Advisory Groups, which discuss future enhancements to the SNOMED CT terminology with regards to editorial policy and concept modeling and representation, are also available for SNOMED Affiliates. Some key documents that advise content developers on the creation and maintenance of SNOMED CT content include the following:


  • SNOMED CT Editorial Guide
    • The primary reference for SNOMED CT editors, providing detailed information and rules/guidelines on the proper construction of content added to the SNOMED CT hierarchies.

  • SNOMED CT Style Guide: Introduction and Overview
    • Provides detailed information and rules/guidelines on the general naming conventions, abbreviations, articles, capitalization, eponyms, patient vs subject, plurals, punctuation, sentence types, US vs GB English, and verbs. 

  • Anatomic Concept Model
    • SNOMED CT uses a structure-entire-part triple, known as the SEP triple, to represent anatomical structures.

  • Disorder Combinations
    • The model for combined disorders is based on the reimagining of clinical disorders as clinical life phases which represent a period of a person’s life during which they are experiencing one or more pathological conditions (pathological structures, dispositions or processes). The guide linked above provides the updated concept model for disorder combinations.

  • Principles for Accepting Content in the International Release

    • The acceptance criteria for the US Extension mirrors the principles set for the International Release. 



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