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  • Microorganism taxonomic names may change from time to time. One of the primary reasons for these changes is advances in science e.g. application of molecular techniques to compare the nucleic acid similarities among organisms, which may result in:
    • An organism previously assigned to a particular taxon (e.g. Genus) is found to be significantly unrelated to other members of the taxon on a molecular basis 
    • Reassessing the taxonomic groupings originally established based on phenotypic characteristics 
    • Proposal to reassign the organism to a different taxon--either a new taxon or an existing one 
    • Requirement for a name change


DateRequested ActionRequester(s)Action required by:Comments
12 July 16Feedback on proposed changes by CMAG members

Please post you final responses in the Country response table below. Discussion comments can be made as comments.


Relevant documents

  File Modified
Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation BusinessMeeting_ContentAG_NameChanges_April_2016_updated (1).pptx 2016-Jul-05 by Cathy Richardson
Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation CMAG_NameChanges_July_2016.pptx 2016-Jul-11 by Cathy Richardson
Microsoft Word Document CMAG - NameChangeExample.docx 2016-Jul-12 by Cathy Richardson

2016-04-18 - CMAG Meeting (Face to face)

2016-07-12 - CMAG Meeting


Country response 

 Canada 2016-07-14

 I agree with option#3 as long as the current FSN description is inactivated and a new description is created to represent the new name.

>>> IHTSDO content team response: Yes, that is the recommended plan.

US2016-08-24option #3

option 3, as long as the current FSN description is inactivated and the current preferred synonym is marked as acceptable (the prefered synonym will be the new name)

>>> IHTSDO content team response: Yes, that is the recommended plan. The Old description will be an acceptable synonym.


 Option 3, feedback is that the type of change needs to be very clear e.g.

The original FSN term and its description ID will be made inactive   (OLD description FSN)

And a new FSN and description ID will be created and made Active  (New description FSN)

And a new Synonym and description ID will be created and made Active  (Old description)

All attached to a Concept ID that will remain Active

>>> IHTSDO content team response: Thanks for explaining it in details. the answer is yes, that is the recommended plan.


Option #3, and description of the principles behind this option so that they may be consistently applied in similar situations.

>>> IHTSDO content team response: Thanks for the feedback. The IHTSD ediitorial guidelines will be updated accordingly to reflect this decision.

DK2016-08-25Option #3
Member countries without a CMAG rep  


CMAG response

DateCMAG ResponseNext steps


Option 3 response preferred.

Suzanne Santamaria and Farzaneh Ashrafi will be progressing the changes in line with the feedback.



Final outcome: 


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  1. The Powerpoint presented in this page seems to be unchanged since the April meeting. At the meeting a third proposal was put forward as I recall, and it was agreed that a  paper would be produced in order to explain the proposals more throughly and allow Member representatives to send this to experts in the Member countries for feedback.

  2. Hi, Here is the additional #3 option we have discussed at the IHTSDO Conferences

    Reference: CMAG_18042016_PART.1.mp4


    ?Keep the current ConceptID
    ?Replace the FSN with the new name
    ?Ad the older name as a synonym


    -The FSN is now becoming an obsolete term, but the concept itself is not obsolete.
    -Need to determine what is a minor/major change of a FSN
  3. Slide deck is an updated version of what was presented in April.

    A paper has not been created at this point given we have the presentation.  One topic to cover as a group is the format items are presented in. We need items in a format for the audience(s) that need to view it and that also supports the presentation of the relevant information rather than have two versions of the information. It may be the case in this instance of just inserting an additional slide or two with extra examples. 



    1. Yes, please. And thanks for opening the CMAG so that I can share items with colleagues.


  4. Reviewing the options, I failed to find the principles upon which this proposal  (or proposals 1-3) is/are based. The original editorial guidance is here. There are terming conventions stating that minor changes to FSNs can be made. Chapter 9.1 of the TIG (Managing content changes in SNOMED CT) mainly describes some previous changes to SNOMED CT. While the proposal option #3 seems to be intuitively preferable, I would like to see some reference to a generic principle on when SCTIDs can be kept and when they cannot, if such a principle exists or can be formulated (maybe it's there and I didn't find it).

    Preferred term changes would have to be propagated to NRC maintained language refsets in addition to the language resets managed by the IHTSDO.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for the feedback. We make sure that the principles and your comments regarding language RefSet and Preferred terms are included in the Editorial Guideline. 

      Thanks again,


  5. For the record, the US support option #3 promoted by CMAG in April and already validated by EAG.

  6. Denmark also supports #3.

  7. And the result from Sweden is... option 3!

  8. New Zealand is in support of option 3.

    1. Thanks for the feedback.

  9. We have our UK pathology community who want to look at this in more detail as to how it will work in their current systems.  So the UK may be a week late in getting a final response and hope this is ok.

  10. The Netherlands supports option 3 as well, but we would like to have added that the older name will be marked as acceptable synonym and the new name as preferred synonym.