Padian (1997:40) provided the first definition for Deinonychosauria, a stem-based definition repeated a second time in the same volume (Currie and Padian 1997:166). Sereno (1997) used boldface to indicate a node-based definitional type for Deinonychosauria, the definition for which appeared the following year (Sereno 1998). Padian et al. (1999) swapped Neornithes for birds as an internal specifier in a definition that otherwise matched the earlier definition in Padian (1997).
Padian et al. (1999) also remarked that Sereno’s node-based definition is “consistent” with a taxon-based definition given in Gauthier (1986). A stem-based definition, however, is equally consistent; taxon-based definitions do not specify the polarity of inclusion and so are consistent with either node-or stem-based definitons. The reason given by Padian et al. (1999) for prefering a stem-based definition is that Troodontidae has been placed closer to ornithomimids. If this were to occur, however, Deinonychosauria would then only include dromaeosaurids and closest relatives, a very different taxonomic content than originally proposed (Colbert and Russell 1969).
Another way to handle the situation that is to tie the name Deinonychosauria to the inclusion of both Dromaeosauridae and Troodontidae. In this way, the name would be faithful to its long held taxonomic content and would not be used in other circumstances (e.g. Senter et al. 2004). This is done in the active definition, which is node-based but includes a negative taxon specifier for the only alternative phylogenetic locations that have been proposed for troodontids (i.e. closer to ornithomimids or closer to birds).