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Procedure for approving small dictionary updates

  • To: "Discussion list of the IUCr Committee for the Maintenance of the CIF Standard (COMCIFS)" <comcifs@iucr.org>
  • Subject: Procedure for approving small dictionary updates
  • From: James Hester <jamesrhester@gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 16:48:50 +1000
Dear COMCIFS members,

Currently the procedure for making any changes to the dictionaries
requires putting those changes to a formal vote on the COMCIFS list.
This may be seen as heavy-handed for small updates and additions.
Following discussions with David B I would like to propose the
following fast-track procedure for dealing with minor updates to the
dictionaries:

1. Anybody can propose a change to the core dictionary either through
the IUCr web site or by contacting the chair of the appropriate DMG.

2. In conjunction with the DMG chair, they can work out a proposal for
new dictionary code.

3. This code is then submitted to the DMG for comment and eventual approval.

4. The change is then posted to the COMCIFS discussion list for
comment within a given time limit.

5. If no comment is received, or if all the comments are resolved, the
change is accepted, otherwise it is refered back to the DMG.

I suggest that a 'small change' is one that creates no new categories
and affects no more than two definitions.
A one month time limit for initiating comments seems about right to
me, as it should allow those that happen to be on holiday to make it
back in time.

Should COMCIFS approve this procedure or something similar, I have a
proposed update that we can test the procedure with.

Best wishes,
James Hester
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