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IUCr response to a Global Information Commons for Science Initiative

To: Editor-in-Chief, IUCr journals
    Chair, IUCr Database Committee
    Chair, Commission on Crystallographic Computing
    Executive Director, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre
    Director, Protein Data Bank
    IUCr Representative to ICSU

Cc: IUCr President
    IUCr General Secretary and Treasurer
    IUCr Executive Secretary
    Committee on Electronic Publishing, Dissemination and
        Storage of Information (for information)

Dear Colleagues

The Global Information Commons for Science Inititaive (GICSI), launched
at the Second Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in
Tunis in November 2005, appears to be gaining momentum. John Helliwell
(IUCr representative to ICSTI) was asked to approve ICSTI's involvement
with this initiative during recent ICSTI meetings; I am aware that the
draft CODATA Strategic Review that will be placed before the CODATA
General Assembly in October places implementation of GICSI at the heart
of its mission.

John and I have felt that this initiative merits a formal response from
the IUCr, and have drafted a statement. To provide the background to the
statement and the IUCr's policies on information and data dissemination
in this context, we have also prepared a position paper that we believe
should be made publicly available from the IUCr web site. (The
proposed statement is given as an Appendix to the position paper.)

Because these documents will require Executive Committee approval,
drafts will be provided in the Notes for the forthcoming EC meeting in
Leuven in early August. These drafts will be circulated to EC members in
advance of the meeting; Mike Dacombe will post them on 17 July. This
therefore allows very little time for wider consultation, but I should be
grateful if you would look through the drafts as soon as you can, and
send any comments that you have to Mike Dacombe for consideration by the
Executive. If, however, you find any major errors of fact, or there are
statements that you take serious exception to, please let me know
directly, if possible, before next Monday.

There will be opportunities to improve the wording of the drafts before
the documents are made public, and I will be happy to involve you in
subsequent redrafting activities if you so wish.

Best regards
Brian McMahon
Representative to CODATA


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International Union of Crystallography

Scientific Union Member of the International Council for Science (admitted 1947). Member of CODATA, the ICSU Committee on Data. Member of ICSTI, the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information. Partner with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in the International Year of Crystallography 2014.

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