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Executive Committee meets in Arlington

At its meeting in Arlington, the Executive Committee discussed the handling of Special Issues in the IUCr journals. Special Issues confirm the importance of different communities to the IUCr and encourage these communities to subscribe to the IUCr journals. However, the production of fully refereed and technically edited Special Issues is expensive. In addition, the effect of the extra workload on the Chester staff is reflected in increased publication times for all the journals. The Executive Committee therefore endorsed the recommendation of the Finance Committee that Special Issues should be considered in two categories.

The first category relates to issues on special topics in crystallography, which, because of their timeliness and importance, would increase the impact of the journal. Usually these would result from initiatives through the Commission on Journals. The Fiftieth Anniversary Special Issue of Acta A (Nov. 1998) is a good example of such an initiative. Special Issues in this category will be produced in-house as regular journal issues with a strict limit on the number of pages allowed each year.

The second category is Conference Proceedings that will be handled as camera-ready copy after full refereeing. This would create a minimum of extra work for the Chester office and significantly reduce cost. The first such Special Issue, the Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS X) (Chicago, IL, USA, Aug. 10-14, 1998), will be published as a Supplement to the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation in 1999.

Among the many other items discussed were:

  • development of the IUCr web site and provision of online journal services (Acta D is scheduled to go online in 1998 with the other journals following in 1999);
  • the work of the recently appointed Promotions Representative;
  • Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations;
  • the Glasgow Congress arrangements and Programme;
  • an initiative to promote crystallography in Africa involving greater use of the IUCr Visiting Professorship Scheme.

Michael H. Dacombe
IUCr Executive Secretary