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This term is used in two different ways:
  1. It sometimes refers to the discrimination shown by a given reactant A when it reacts with two alternative reactants B and C, or in two different ways (e.g. at two different sites) with a reactant B.
  2. The term also sometimes refers to the ratio of products obtained from given reactants. This meaning is of importance for catalysts, which can have a wide range of selectivities. Selectivity is quantitatively expressed by ratios of rate constants for the alternative reactions, or by the decadic logarithms of such ratios.
PAC, 1996, 68, 149 (A glossary of terms used in chemical kinetics, including reaction dynamics (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)) on page 186
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077 (Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)) on page 1162
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IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
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