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First Draft of 1999 - 2002 Triennial Report on ICSTI

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: First Draft of 1999 - 2002 Triennial Report on ICSTI
  • From: Howard Flack <Howard.Flack@cryst.unige.ch>
  • Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 15:32:10 +0100 (BST)
First Draft of  1999 - 2002 Triennial Report on ICSTI
All comments welcome as quickly as possible - Thanks greatly,

IUCr 1999 - 2002 Triennial Report - International Council for Scientific
and Technical Information (ICSTI)

The IUCr representative attended the following ICSTI meetings in the
triennium 1999 - 2002:


<LI> Winter committee and discussion meeting held at ICSU, Paris,
France, 29th - 30th January 2000.

<LI> An interactive workshop on <I>Digital Archiving: Bringing Issues
and Stakeholders Together</I> at UNESCO, Paris, France on 30th - 31st
January 2000.  This was organized jointly by ICSTI / ICSU Press. Y.
Epelboin also attended.

<LI> Annual meeting held in Columbus, Ohio, USA, 19th - 22nd May 2000.
This meeting was hosted by CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service). The IUCr's
managing editor, P. Strickland and the IUCr's Research and Development
Officer, B. McMahon also attended. The main discussion session was
entitled <I>Economic impacts of electronic publishing</I>. A working
visit was paid to CAS after the ICSTI meeting. 

<LI> Winter committee and discussion meeting held at ICSU, Paris,
France, 13th - 14th January 2001.

<LI> Annual meeting held in the European Patent Office, Munich, Germany,
3rd - 7th May 2001. This included a one-day public conference
<I>Scientific Information and Intellectual Property: Problems and

<LI> Seminar on <I>Digital Preservation of the record of Science - state
of the art</I>, UNESCO, Paris, France, 14th - 15th February 2002. Y.
Epelboin also attended.

<LI> Winter committee and discussion meeting held at ICSU, Paris,
France, 16th - 17th February 2002. 


No representative of the IUCr was present at the annual meeting in
Taipei from 6th to 10th May 1999.

ICSTI in conjunction with CODATA and ICSU-Press organized a symposium
devoted to 'Sharing Information Knowledge' in the framework of the World
Conference on Science organized by ICSU in Budapest in June 1999. The
ICSTI president expressed the concern of the scientific information
community regarding digital electronic archiving and continued
preservation and access to scientific literature.

On the administrative side an important task concerned the policy to
adopt for the replacement of the ICSTI executive secretary who retired
in September 2000. In the event the secretariat was put out to tender
and from the offers received the ICSTI bureau selected the offer of IIA
(Information International Associates), a specialized consultancy
established in the USA with whom ICSTI has had contacts for a
considerable number of years. The arrangement consists in the services
of a part-time executive director experienced in stm publishing and a
part-time secretary in Paris.

Through ICSTI the IUCr participated in the <I>ingenta</I> study on
<I>Research into the Relationship between Journal Subscriptions and
Document Delivery and the Impact of Online Delivery on Article
Distribution</I>. Data were provided to ingenta on some of the IUCr
journals.  Detailed analyses on these were made available at the
conclusion of the study and the IUCr's managing editor, P. Strickland,
attended the public presentation of the whole study in London on the
25th September 2001.  

The IUPAC-CODATA-ICSTI project on the Standardization of
Physico-Chemical Property Electronic Datafiles (IUCODIX) seeks to bring
to the world of physical chemistry the advantages that CIF has brought
to crystallography.  The project brought to light a problem in the
current nomenclature of phase identifiers for crystals, showing this to
be unsuitable as an identifier in electronic databases. Interaction with
the IUCr's Commission on Nomenclature has lead to the formation of a
working group with a mandate to seek a solution to this problem.

ICSTI is not alone in maintaining a watch on developments in copyright
law and practice. Of especial concern, the EU copyright directive gives
much power and freedom to database generators. CODATA programmed a
one-day workshop on this topic at its 2001 annual meeting. ICSU itself
is concerned about the implications of the EU directive on copyright and
ICSU's President has corresponded with its associated organizations on
this matter.

A major preoccupation of ICSTI is the archiving and preservation of
digital information. Presentations at various workshops and meetings
have had tangible effects on the IUCr's activity in electronic
publishing. One example is the policy on archiving for journals in
electronic form presented by the American Institute of Physics. This
document was used as the basis for drafting an archive policy for the
IUCr undertaken by the committee on electronic publishing, dissemination
and storage of information. A second example is the participation of the
IUCr's representative to ICSTI and the IUCr's Research and Development
Officer in studying the OAIS (Open Archive Information System) draft.
This study enabled, nay forced, these two people to comprehend the
immense value of OAIS as a conceptual and practical model in the
archiving and preservation of the IUCr's electronic journals. Mention
should also be made to the report of an international working group
convened by the IASTMP (International Association of STM Publishers)
concerned with <I>defining and certifying electronic publication in
science</I>. ICSTI is now committed to providing advocacy for the
preservation of digital scientific and technical information and of the
record of science. The intention is to facilitate the provision of
resources for preservation.

At their annual meetings ICSTI invites short presentations from member
organizations.  The undersigned presented the IUCr, and especially its
publishing activities, using the excellent slide presentation prepared
in Chester. As the IUCr provides a nice example of a knowledge
management organization in the scientific sphere, the representative has
been sollicited several times to contribute a detailed article to the
ICSTI newsletter Forum.

ICSTI maintains both a public web site at http://www.icsti.org/ where
the newsletter <I>ICSTI Forum</I> and other general information are made
available. A private section is available only to members, the IUCr
representative sharing this opportunity with the IUCr's committee on
electronic publishing, dissemination and storage of information (CEP). A
distribution list operates where the ICSTI executive director
distributes news clips and other information. In 2003 the winter meeting
will probably take place in Paris and the annual meeting will be in
Ottawa, Canada organized and sponsored by CISTI (Canadian Institute of
Scientific and Technical Information).

ICSTI is composed of a large spectrum of professionals from the stm and
library sectors but with few scientists present. During this triennium
ICSTI has maintained its principal mission as directed towards strategy
in the scientific and technical information industry as a whole. IUCr
membership of ICSTI continues to fulfil its expectations by providing a
source of current documentation and personal contacts. As part of a
process of streamlining the operation of the IUCr's committee on
electronic publishing, dissemination and storage of information, your
representative is pleased to consel the executive committee to propose
the IUCr's managing editor P. Strickland as representative to ICSTI at
the General Assembly in Geneva 2002.

H. D. Flack, 22nd May 2002

VISITING GENEVA? See http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/geneva02.html

Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html

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