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COMCIFS procedures for approving dictionaries

COMCIFS procedures for the approval of new and revised CIF
Prepared by I.David Brown, Chair of COMCIFS

I have been asked to provide a description of the current
procedures for the approval of new and revised CIF dictionaries.
I am circulating this to all people on the COMCIFS discussion
list as it may be of general interest.

1.  Each new dictionary is compiled by a group of people working
in the field covered by the dictionary.  Since in many cases
these people do not have extensive experience in writing CIF
dictionaries, they often work in conjunction with a member of
COMCIFS who has the necessary background.  This process may take
an extended time depending on the size of the dictionary and the
urgency with which it is needed.

2. All approved dictionaries have a Dictionary Maintenance Group
(DMG) whose role is to maintain contact with the discipline
served by the dictionary and to propose any revisions and
extensions to the dictionary.

3. When the working group or DMG is satisfied that their new or
revised dictionary is complete, it is submitted to COMCIFS for
approval.  At this stage, we assume that the group has consulted
fully with their colleagues, but in future we may require a more
formal report indicating the scope of the dictionary or revision
and the extent of the consultations and discussions that have
been undertaken.  Many DMGs use an internet discussion group
maintained by the IUCr and these discussions can be viewed on the
IUCr web site.

4. The dictionary is then reviewed by the COMCIFS Dictionary
Review Committee, currently composed of I.D.Brown, J.McMahon and
J.Westbrook.  The purpose of this review is to ensure that the
dictionary is CIF compliant.  Matters raised during this review
are referred back to the working group or DMG.  When the
Dictionary Review Committee is satisfied that the dictionary
meets CIF requirements, the dictionary is passed to the voting
members of COMCIFS for a formal final approval.

5.  At this stage the draft dictionary is usually posted on the
IUCr web site with an annotation that the dictionary is still
subject to formal approval.  In the final stage the voting
members of COMCIFS (currently Brown (chair), McMahon (secretary),
Berman, Bernstein, Grosse-Kunstleve, Hall, Madariaga and
Westbrook) will satisfy themselves that all the necessary checks
have been made to ensure that the dictionary is compliant.  Once
the voting members have given formal approval by a unanimous
vote, any minor errors are cleared up and the dictionary is
posted on the IUCr web as an approved CIF dictionary.  After each
new dictionary is posted, the original working group is asked to
present nominate a Dictionary Maintenance Group whose membership
is subject to formal approval by COMCIFS.

Questions regarding any of the CIF dictionaries should be
addressed to the appropriate DMG.

Dr.I.David Brown,  Professor Emeritus
Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research,
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tel: 1-(905)-525-9140 ext 24710
Fax: 1-(905)-521-2773

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