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Annual report 2022


Please see below a draft annual report for COMCIFS for 2022. If there are mistakes or important information has been left out, please let me know immediately, as this report is due on Monday.

best wishes,

COMCIFS report 2022

COMCIFS is responsible for maintaining and developing the suite of
standards known as the Crystallographic Information Framework (CIF) on
behalf of the IUCr. These standards include a data format (CIF), a
multitude of discipline-specific dictionaries describing the contents
of data files, and the language in which these dictionaries are
written (DDLm). The Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB) is separately
responsible for a large and rapidly expanding collection of CIF
definitions that encompass concepts and techniques used in the
macromolecular community.

COMCIFS currently has 4 voting members and a broad collection of
advisers and observers. The voting members are James Hester (Chair),
John Bollinger (Co-Secretary), Brian McMahon (Co-Secretary), and
Herbert Bernstein. Ongoing COMCIFS business is conducted via the
associated IUCr mailing lists.

Brian McMahon has now retired from the IUCr office in Chester, and
has indicated that he will also be stepping down as secretary.

Dictionary development

New categories and data names for more detailed descriptions of
elemental composition analysis were added to the core dictionary.
The powder dictionary also saw significant work related to
detailed calibration specifications for intensities and angles,
as well as ongoing work on preferred orientation data names.

International Tables Volume G

COMCIFS members are closely involved with the preparation of the
second edition of International Tables Volume G ("Production and
exchange of crystallographic data"). This year saw several more
chapters become ready for technical editing, and the remainder of the
applications chapters commissioned. Further information is available
in the report of the Commission for International Tables.

Interactions with other groups

COMCIFS is represented on the NeXus International Advisory Committee
(NIAC), which primarily develops the NeXus raw data standards for
large facilities. J Hester continues to participate in the
Crystallography domain of the European Materials and Modelling
Ontology (EMMO) consortium who are developing a semantic description
of crystallographic knowledge and practice.

COMCIFS is also closely involved with the IUCr Committee on Data (CommDat).

S. Grazulis represented COMCIFS at the IUCr 2023 program committee.

Looking forward

As flagged in previous years, a small group of people is drawn upon to
support CIF maintenance and development. This situation is not
sustainable, particularly as the first generation of CIF experts move
into retirement.

The original six voting members of COMCIFS have now shrunk to three. A
slate of replacement candidates from stakeholder communities will be
prepared for the 2023 IUCr general assembly.

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