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Re: Towards a new version of the World Database of Crystallographers

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: Re: Towards a new version of the World Database of Crystallographers
  • From: Howard Flack <Howard.Flack@cryst.unige.ch>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 10:37:34 GMT
I wrote one e-mail concerning this topic but have just sent it only to
myself as I was not sure what I said added anything to Brian's very
carefully crafted document.
 
  The security issue is uppermost in my mind, of course, and greyed
because I do not know the technical characteristics of YARD. How safe is
it? I see very clearly that more access control is needed than Brian
seems to suggest is possible. Access to tables can be limited but what
about items within a table. E.g. I would not allow an individual to
change his own family name, first name, data of birth, country of
residence  and IUCr responsibilities. The latter should be under the
control ONLY of the exec sec. Tell us about item access control in YARD. 

  With regard to affiliation and postal addresses some of the worries
may be red herrings. The affiliation addresss is a publication-specific
piece of information. It is as much liable to variation as the title or
the abstract of an article. The closer alliance of WDC and the
production database changes nothing in respect of its utilisation. For
the postal address rather than having permanent warning messages for the
user, it might be advisable to have a flag indicating that the
correspondence address has been changed since the date of submission of
a paper. In the rare cases where a change occurs the secretarial staff
in Chester could be alerted to verify the address. 

> 
> Pete is also very hostile to a mechanism for updating entries that involves
> the investment of staff time at Chester.

  An entirely understandable attitude. 
  To be useful the online (like the in-house) database needs a 24 or
48-hour turn-around which will cost time and money. I perceive that you
all understand the constraints.

  Syd's original WDC implementation had a mechanism whereby the user
could only ADD information to his record. Is this an option we should
give consideration to? The work of updating the database from this
additional information could be undertaken by a set of highly-trusted
persons not necessarily the Chester staff. 

-- 
Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
Laboratoire de Cristallographie               Phone:(+41 22) 702 62 49
24 quai Ernest-Ansermet             mailto:Howard.Flack@cryst.unige.ch
CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland                   Fax:(+41 22) 781 21 92

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