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Annual Report on the EPC for the IUCr

DRAFT - Version 11th Feb. 1998 - ALL COMMENTS, MODIFICATIONS and
CORRECTIONS are most WELCOME.

IUCr 1997 Report - Sub-committee on Electronic Publishing, Dissemination
and Storage of Information.

<P>
The committee has expended considerable effort during 1997 on the
implementation and deployment of a web pan-crystallography information
system which may be viewed at the URL:
<I>http://www.iucr.org/iucr-top/index.html</I> and its mirror sites. The
distributed sources of information for this system come from IUCr
commissions and committees, IUCr conference organizers, IUCr in-house
secretarial and journal editors, and the Sincris and CWW news resources.
The web pages are given a unified appearance. Further contributions from
sources of information of concern to the IUCr and of interest to
crystallographers are most always most welcome. Information can be
obtained from the chairman of this committee.  During its meeting in
Lisbon in August 1997 the IUCr executive committee delegated editorial
powers for IUCr web services to this committee.


<P>
To assure a ready access world-wide to the pan-crystallography service,
the committee has elaborated a strategy of IUCr-accredited mirror sites.
This policy was approved by the IUCr executive committee in its meeting
in Lisbon in August 1997. The deployment of the mirror-site system
depends on the good will and involvement of the IUCr members
(<I>i.e.</I> the National Committees for Crystallography) in providing
equipment with network connectivity to act as mirror sites for their
country or region. Some regions of the world are inadequately covered at
the moment depriving crystallographers of a very important resource.
Administrative and technical information on forming and running an
IUCr-accredited mirror site is available from the IUCr Executive
Secretary. As part of this strategy for mirror sites, the IUCr has
acquired the Internet second-level domain name <I>iucr.org</I>
permitting a unifed naming of Chester and the mirror sites. <I>e.g.</I>
the web sites have the Internet names: <I>www.iucr.org</I> (IUCr
offices, Chester, UK), <I>www.fr.iucr.org</I> (France),
<I>www.se.iucr.org</I> (Sweden), <I>www.us.iucr.org</I> (USA) and
<I>www.za.iucr.org</I> (South Africa).

<P>
The committee identified a need within the community for discussion
forums operated by means of an e-mail list server. To this end the IUCr
R&D group has sought out, implemented and tested software to meet this
demand. The system offers web interfaces for dealing with administrative
affairs and for viewing each list's archive. A policy document for
on-line discussion groups has been formulated and submitted to the IUCr
executive committee for approval. Full details may be obtained from URL:
<I>http://www.iucr.org/iucr-top/lists/</I> for those wishing to avail
themselves of this service.


<P>
The electronic online distribution of the IUCr's six journals will
require an infrastructure that the Chester office is probably not in a
position to provide itself, indeed in the same way that the printing,
mailing and subscription administration for the printed journals is
sub-contracted. It may be that there is a distinct advantage in being
associated with an electronic distribution service giving access to
other related scientific journals. The committee is active in surveying
the market of service providers in this field. 
??? Development of the SGML environment - Needs some further words


<P>
The tenth edition of the World Directory of Crystallographers (WDC) has
been published and is available in printed form. - need details of sales
and price to individuals and group purchases.
For the online version of WDC, tests have been undertaken using LDAP
servers in order to benefit from the LDAP functionality now available in
the most popular internet communication systems or web browsers. The
committee is currently involved in the elaboration of policy and
technical documentation for the future development of WDC to cover needs
that have been identified.

NeXus - Needs some words.

The chairman of the committee visited the IUCr Chester offices in
November 1997.


H. D. Flack (Chairman) on behalf of the Committee

Version 11th February 1998

-- 
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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