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Re: Annual Report on the EPC for the IUCr

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I forgot the attachment as usual!

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) 702 61 08

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<H2>IUCr 1998 Report - Committee on Electronic Publishing, Dissemination =
and Storage of Information</H2>

<I>Information Services</I>: The EPC has continued its task as editorial =
body for the on-line web information services of the IUCr. A high priorit=
y is set on providing up-to-date information of use to the whole crystall=
ographic community. The design of the pages has been restyled and a highe=
r degree of uniformity of presentation has been achieved. The current des=
ign is judged by many to be rather austere but a considerable amount of w=
ork and design talent would be required to modify this. It is not evident=
 that a much increased penetration of the community would result. The wor=
k of maintaining the content continues to be operated on a distributed ba=
sis with the major part of the input coming from Chester, Geneva and Pari=
s. Further extension of the content requires the collaboration of the com=
missions, committees, editors of the IUCr and individual crystallographer=
s. The functionning and software of the mirroring mechanism and its under=
lying file structure have been revamped. This has resulted in a greatly i=
mproved speed and efficiency in the file transfer and in the need for red=
uced storage space on the mirror servers. There is still a need for furth=
er mirrors to serve the needs of local communities whose access is limite=
d by slow international  transfer. National committees and regional assoc=
iates with a responsibility for areas that are currently poorly served ar=
e encouraged to make all possible effort to set up mirror servers.

<P> =

<I>List Server</I>: An IUCr e-mail based discussion list server was put i=
nto operation in early 1998. For this purpose the EPC drafted a <I>Policy=
 document on Creation and Management of IUCr Mail lists</I> which receive=
d the approval of the IUCr Executive Committee. The IUCr list server prov=
ides facilities for e-mail based discussion lists on topics relevant to t=
he Union and the field of crystallography. It can greatly facilitate the =
work of IUCr commissions, committees, <I>etc</I>. At present the server i=
s only lightly used.

<I>World Directory of Crystallographers</I>: A functional specification f=
or a new implementation of WDC as a relational database using technology =
parallel to, but not directly integrated into the IUCr-editorial-office p=
roduction database is currently at the discussion stage. The design of th=
is database is centered around the need to allow rapid, but supervised, u=
pdating of records in a secure manner. It is intended that it should be p=
ossible to consult the database on-line by a variety of the most popular =
industry-standard protocols. =

<I>Glasgow CD-ROM</I>: The EPC is collaborating in the project to produce=
 the CD-ROM for the 18th IUCr Congress and General Assembly in Glasgow, A=
ugust 1999. This is the first time the IUCr ventures into the realm of pu=
blication on CD-ROM. On arrival, Congress participants and, in September,=
 1999 subscribers to <I>Acta Crystallographica</I> A will receive a copy =
of the CD-ROM. Printed copies of the congress abstract book will be  dist=
ributed to congress participants but not to subscribers to <I>Acta Crysta=
llographica</I> A. The CD-ROM is sponsored by a commercial organization. =
The CD-ROM will contain the Congress abstracts, the sponsoring organizati=
on's web site, a selection from the IUCr's web information service, inclu=
ding the General Assembly papers, and the contents of a book, now out of =
print, for which the IUCr holds the copyright. Many aspects concerning th=
e design and technical aspects of this production were discussed at a mee=
ting in Chester in November 1998 between the Congress organizers, the spo=
nsoring organization, the EPC, the Promotions Officer and the Executive S=
ecretary. The scanning and digitization of the book by a commercial servi=
ce will also provide excellent experience for the electronification of al=
l back numbers of the IUCr journals.  =

On-line access for Journal content in Acta D.  Healthgate. Managing edito=
r visited Healthgate at the time of the ACA meeting.
Must say something about this but what exactly?

<I>Checking</I>: Contacts are being pursued with some other learned socie=
ties and publishers concerning the checking of their crystal structure da=
ta. It is projected that the web interface and criteria used for the chec=
king of these data for <I>Acta Crystallographica</I> C could be adapted t=
o the needs and requirements of the other interested parties as individua=
l joint developments with participation in costs. =

The EPC was happy to welcome L.M.D. Cranswick as a new member appointed b=
y the IUCr Executive Committee. The chairman of the EPC visited the IUCr =
editorial office in Chester, UK in November 1998.

H. D. Flack (Chairman),  L.M.D. Cranswick, Y. Epelboin, B. McMahon, P. St=


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