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Re: CCDC/IUCr Journals proposal 3: Add audit_support category

  • To: Distribution list of the IUCr COMCIFS Core Dictionary Maintenance Group<coredmg@iucr.org>, "james.r.hester@gmail.com" <james.r.hester@gmail.com>
  • Subject: Re: CCDC/IUCr Journals proposal 3: Add audit_support category
  • From: "Bollinger, John C via coreDMG" <coredmg@iucr.org>
  • Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2020 15:04:23 +0000
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Hi James,

Regarding "bursary" -- the word is not in wide use in American English.  In fact, I personally recognize it only as an extension of "bursar", itself used in American English almost exclusively as a title (for a financial officer; usually in higher education), not a common noun.  Inasmuch as the definition says that the funds associated with a bursary award are devoted to supporting living expenses, the closest term I can think of in common American use is "stipend", but those are not necessarily awarded on the basis of need.

Overall, I do think there is a lot of overlap between the definitions of the enumeration items.  They seem to be trying to capture several distinct characteristics, at least (1) the reason for the award and (2) the obligations associated with the award, with perhaps a bit of (3) who is eligible for such an award.  Additionally, I think the options presented have taken on a bit of a flavor of "Where can money come from in Academia?", which seems a bit out of focus to me relative to "How was this research funded?".  From this perspective, I might adjust the alternatives like so:

  gift         'Funds were drawn from an unobligated, discretionary source under the control of one of the participants in the research program'
  grant        'Funds were provided by an organization or person outside the research program for the specific purpose of supporting the research, as directed by the primary investigator'
  contract     'Funds were provided as part of a contractual agreement not covered by other award types'
  studentship  'Funds were provided specifically to support a student in conducting research, whether directly or indirectly'
  other        'Other type of support'

Illustrative examples:

 - A person or organization ("funder") awards cash to Professor A in recognition of research they have done, without placing requirements on its use.  Professor A uses it to perform more research.  This is a "gift", regardless of the circumstances or reason for the money being given to A initially.

 - A funder awards cash to Professor B, subject to a requirement that it be used to fund further research, generally subject to B's research priorities and direction.  This is a "grant", regardless of whether obtained competitively.

 - A funder awards cash or cash-equivalent to student C for the purpose of supporting them to perform research, whether to pay directly for research expenses or to provide for their living or academic expenses in order to enable them to devote time to the research.  This is a "studentship", regardless of the criteria or process for selecting awardees.

 - A funder awards cash or cash-equivalent to student D in recognition of their strong academic performance or of their need for assistance, in order to support them generally in pursuing a higher education.  This is none of the above (not even "other").  It is not research support at all, regardless of whether they perform research in conjunction with their academic program.

Note also that I chose above to stick with a selection of the original enumeration items, but if that's not essential then I would suggest that "gift" might be better called "discretionary" or similar.

I think that does a good job of drawing the most important distinctions.  If it is desirable to slice the categories more finely then I suggest that subdividing those would be a viable way to proceed.



John C. Bollinger, Ph.D., RHCSA
Computing and X-ray Scientist
Department of Structural Biology
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

From: coreDMG <coredmg-bounces@iucr.org> on behalf of James Hester via coreDMG <coredmg@iucr.org>
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2020 1:15 AM
To: Distribution list of the IUCr COMCIFS Core Dictionary Maintenance Group <coredmg@iucr.org>
Cc: James Hester <jamesrhester@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: CCDC/IUCr Journals proposal 3: Add audit_support category
Caution: External Sender

Dear Core DMG:

I am now editing in the new audit_support category to the core dictionary. One of the proposed definitions listed below originally had very telegraphic descriptions of award types.  I have added my glosses of the meanings of the various types, please advise if there are errors! Note in particular that I have changed 'award' to 'prize', which hopefully was the intended meaning.  There is also a lot of overlap between 'bursary', 'scholarship' and 'studentship' - I think these might have different meanings in different countries, so it might be wise to merge at least the latter two.  Thoughts?

_definition.id                         '_audit_support.award_type'
_definition.update                     2020-08-23
        Type or kind of award.
_name.category_id                      audit_support
_name.object_id                        award_type
_type.purpose                          State
_type.contents                         Text
_type.source                           Recorded
_type.container                        Single
     prize                   'Funds are part of a prize'
     bursary               'Funds provided to students on the basis of need, to cover living expenses'
     contract              'Funds provided as part of a contractual agreement not covered by other award types'
     gift                      'Funds provided with no associated obligations'
     grant                   'Funds provided through a competitive grant system'
     other                   'Other type of award'
     scholarship         'Funds competitively awarded to students on the basis of academic merit'
     studentship         'Funds provided to students to carry out research during breaks in the academic year'


On Mon, 9 Mar 2020 at 13:02, James Hester <jamesrhester@gmail.com> wrote:
For full details see https://www.iucr.org/__data/iucr/lists/coredmg/msg00345.html

In summary: an audit_support category is added to the dictionary to capture funding support.

My comments: I see nothing controversial here. Regarding research organisation IDs, if the number of possible identifiers looks like it might grow, rather than define a dataname for every new id issuer, an alternative approach would be to have a plain 'organisation id' and then 'org_id_type', where the latter is drawn from an enumerated list of the various sources of identifiers and explains how to interpret the 'organisation id'.  Of course this makes it impossible to attach more than one id to a given organisation.

Does anyone else have any comments?

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