7 Referencing The DICOM Standard

Under the procedures of the DICOM Standards Committee, the Standard is in constant revision. Supplements and corrections to the Standard are balloted and approved several times a year. Each change when approved as Final Text immediately goes into effect. At intervals, all of the approved Final Text changes are consolidated into a published edition of the Standard, identified by year of publication, but such publication is only a convenience to the user; the Standard is officially changed when each change is approved.

Conformance to the DICOM Standard is through specified SOP Classes (see PS3.4), Profiles (see PS3.11 and PS3.15), and Web Services (see PS3.18). Once such a unit of conformance is specified in the Standard, all changes thereto are forward and backward compatible (except in rare cases where the original specification was non-interoperable, or conflicted with another standard). Conformance requirements and conformance claims are therefore referenced to the name and/or identifier of the feature, and never referenced to an edition of the Standard. Generally, the only appropriate reference to a particular edition of the Standard is to identify a retired feature (see Introduction to this Part).

The following citation form is preferred for general references to the Standard, without specification of date of edition, when specific conformance requirements are not invoked:

NEMA PS3 / ISO 12052, Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) Standard, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Rosslyn, VA, USA (available free at http://medical.nema.org/)

The following forms are preferred for references to units of conformance to the Standard:

Reference may be made to other features of the Standard, but these shall not be construed as DICOM conformance requirements (although they may be conformance requirements for non-DICOM implementation guides or regulations). Following are some examples:

Since changes to the Standard shall not be cited prior to adoption as Final Text, and since after adoption they are formally part of the Standard, there should be no citations to supplements or correction items for the purpose of describing conformance. Reference to such change documents may be made for describing the historical development of the DICOM Standard.