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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: Yves Epelboin <Yves.Epelboin@lmcp.jussieu.fr>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 17:31:59 GMT

> Suggested Policy items for WDC
> ------------------------------

I have no major remarks and I agree with Howard.

Following are only minor comments and suggestions.

> Policy on WDC archive and distribution:
>   - WDC is archived and updated within the IUCr 'production' data base
> localised in Chester.
>   - WDC information is extracted from the IUCr 'production' data base in
> a various forms suitable for on-line consultation and printing. The
> on-line data bases are made available for consultation from Chester and
> some of its mirror sites.

It is the responsibility of any mirror administrator to ensure that making WDC
information available on the net does infringe the national laws on personal

Personal information on the net is becoming a very sensitive matter, thus IUCr
must be very prudent when giving the right to mirror such data.

> The choice of on-line database technologies is
> the responsibility of the IUCr Committee on Electronic Publication,
> Dissemination and Storage of Information.
>   - The on-line databases are updated at regular intervals decided by
> the IUCr Committee on Electronic Publishing, Dissemination and Storage
> of Information. The current interval is 7 (14? 21??) days.

I think that 21 days would be OK for WDC but it is to Chester staff to decide.

> Policy on WDC updating:
>   - A team of National and Regional Editors has the responsibility of
> locating new entries and for a periodic and systematic control of
> existing entries.
>   - Certains items of an individual's entry may not be changed without
> approval of the General, Regional or National Editor. These items are:
> surname, first names, date of birth, country of residence, WHAT ELSE?

I suggest institution address as now mentioned in WDC. For instance, assume
somebody is retiring or moving in another business (for instance as gardener)
after a few years in crystallography. Shall we keep him, which is just a
modification of his/her address.

An Editor may judge if it worthwhile for the community to keep this entry.

> All policy issues are subject to the approval of the IUCr executive
> committee.
>  Technical issues:
>   For the updating procedure, I see an individual using a web interface
> to indicate changes which are transmitted in CIF format. The validity of
> the data is assured by one of several procedures (see below). These CIF
> validated update files are sent to Chester (the R&D group) where a
> procedure allows them to be entered into the 'production' data base as a
> batch job run once a week prior to the regeneration of WDC.
>   What does the technical editor's office require? Direct entry of
> address and personal information into the production data base or
> submission of CIF WDC update files like the others? What about the exec
> sec?

I do not understand the question.

>   The validation procedure:
>   (1) By password to those who request one and already have an entry in
> WDC. Passwords are issued by National/Regional Editors through a web
> interface with the password generation service running only at Chester.
> Very strong syntactical control on the generated CIF so the batch
> updating procedure does not crash. The CIF is automatically sent to
> Chester and a copy of the update is sent to the National/Regional Editor
> and to the person concerned. An emergency procedure allows the latter
> two to cancel an update.

This procedure seems rather complicated: people will forget their password, the
distribution is a terrible work...

We could use something which I have seen for a Web interface to a listserv. This
is valid for people with an e-mail address.

A person updates his/her entry or add a new entry. The server send back to
his/her e-mail address a message with an advice about the operation. In the
subject field appears a long chain of characters which has been generated by the

The person must reply before 48 hous without changing the subject field to
confirm his/her entry.

Then the file is sent both to Chester and the National Editor. Without any other
indication from him, Chester will consider this entry as valid.

>   (2) By National/Regional Editors for those without a password or for
> new entries. Once satisfied, the CIF is sent to Chester. The
> National/Regional editors also deal with those people unable to use the
> web interface.


>  At the end of this process of e-discussion, I suggest we produce two
> (2) documents, one with policy matters and one with technical matters.



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