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1st Draft of CEP 1999 report

Dear CEP,

  I have to send in a report of the activities of the CEP for the year
1999. Could I ask you all to plese read the following first draft and
let me have your comments.

  In principle, as a committee, we do not need to send in a report but I
find it helpful to do so. 
 
Best wishes,
  Howard

<H2>IUCr 1999 Report - Committee on Electronic Publishing, Dissemination
and Storage of Information</H2>

<P>
<I>On-line access of IUCr Journals</I>: Until mid-March 1999 the IUCr
editorial office continued the project with Munksgaard to provide an
online version of <i>Acta Crystallographica D</i> on their Synergy
server operated by Healthgate. Healthgate had been supplied SGML, PDF
and image files of the journal. As a result of these trials it was
decided to terminate the project with Munksgaard after many months of
frustration and delay. It was decided to very actively explore providing
an IUCr on-line journals service through the IUCr editorial office in
Chester, England. The IUCr's editorial and R&D staff worked exceedingly
hard on this project and so succesfully that it was possible to launch
the new service for all six journals at the IUCr Congress in Glasgow in
August 1999 under the brand <I>Crystallography Journals Online</I>. The
development of this prototype was achieved in about three months,
largely because of the substantial infrastructure already in place at
the Chester offices, and as a result of the systematic and thoughtful
development of the computer-based workflow built on top of previous
investment in equipment and personnel. Subsequently an e-mail alerting
service has been put into operation and <I>Acta Crystallographica C</I>
is now also prepared in SGML.

<P>
Clearly with <I>Crystallography Journals Online</I> operational a large
number of other concerns need attention. Amongst these are the questions
of pricing and subscription policy, electronic archiving and
preservation policy, marketing, document identifiers, provision of past
print journals in electronic form, <I>etc</I>. 

<P>
<I>Information Services</I>: The CEP has continued its task as editorial
body for the on-line web information services of the IUCr. A high
priority is set on providing up-to-date information of use to the whole
crystallographic community. With the launch <I>Crystallography Journals
Online</I> completed, it is the intention to restyle and rebrand the
existing pages to become a family of <I>Crystallography Services
Online</I> clearly emphasising the wide variety of activities and
interests of crystallographers. The CEP has been approached by
crystallographers for the setting up of several additional mirror sites
in areas of the world that currently have poor connectivity. 


<P>
<I>Glasgow CD-ROM</I>: The CEP collaborated in the project to produce a
CD-ROM for the 18th IUCr Congress in Glasgow, August 1999 containing
collected abstracts,  the sponsoring organization's web site, a
selection from the IUCr's web information service, including the General
Assembly papers, and the contents of a book <I>Fifty Years of
Crystallography</I>. The CD-ROM was distributed to all participants on
arrival and also included in the September issue of <I>Acta
Crystallographica A</I>. The production of the CD-ROM and the scanning
of the book provided exceedingly useful experience for future archiving,
preservation and the electronification of all back numbers of the IUCr
journals.  

<P>
The CEP made moves to recover the abstract submission and distribution
system used by the organizers of Glasgow IUCr Congress. It was intended
to see to what extent the system could be maintained in working order by
the R&D group in Chester and offered as a service to organizers of other
conferences. Most unfortunately it is not possible to report any
progress. 

<P>
The CEP met for a long discussion during the IUCr Congress in Glasgow,
Scotland in August. The chairman of the CEP visited the IUCr editorial
office in Chester, UK in November 1999. The Managing Editor and R&D
Officer made a presentation at Journals Commission Open meeting in
Glasgow entitled <I>Electronification Of The Iucr Editorial Office</I>.

<P>
L. M. D. Cranswick, Y. Epelboin, H. D. Flack (Chairman), B. McMahon, P.
Strickland. 31st December 1999

-- 
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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