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From the Chester Office

M. Dacombe

Support for Crystallographically Related Meetings

The IUCr provides sponsorship and financial support for many crystallographic meetings. This support is for organizational purposes (unless the meeting is part of a series) and for young scientists. In 1994, for example, SwFr 110000 (about USD 77 000) is available to assist young scientists to attend meetings. Requests from organizers of international meetings must be received at least nine months before the date of the meeting. Application forms are available from the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Union Calendar (Professor P. W. Codding, Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4).

World Directory of Crystallographers

The Ninth Edition of the World Directory of Crystallographers is nearing completion. It is being maintained as an electronic database in CIF format at the Chester Office and will be available in printed form towards the end of 1994. To keep the cost low, National Committees have been asked to place block orders. It is also planned to have the Directory available on Internet and e-mail and procedures for accessing and updating the database will soon be in place. Full details will be provided in the journals and in the Newsletter in due course.

Online information services

Although the main activities of the Chester office still revolve around the production of the Union's journals, an increasing proportion of information of use to crystallographers is being made available online. Already a small set of programs and files useful to CIF developers is available by e-mail (send the message "help" to for more details), or by anonymous ftp. The popular Internet protocols gopher and WorldWide Web (WWW) will also be used to provide access to files, directories of information, and to other sources of crystallographic information. Pilot gopher and WWW servers have already been set up, and sites supporting TCP/IP protocols are welcome to explore the information now available. These servers currently offer a limited range of services (including access to the World Directory); but it is expected that a much richer collection of information will become accessible in the next few months.

A mechanism to allow authors to send CIFs by e-mail for automatic offline checking is currently being developed. This will permit authors to ensute that the CIFs they have created are sound and conform to the correct syntactic rules, and to locate potential problems in their structure determinations before submitting them for publication. Details of this service will be made available in a later Newsletter - and online, via the gopher and WWW services! Minimal details on accessing the existing services are supplied below. Further information will be given when the services are officially launched.

anonymous ftp:
logon to as user anonymous, and supply your e-mail address as password.
supply your gopher client program with the address, port number 70.
WorldWide Web:
indicate to your WWW browser program the universal resource locator
Michael Dacombe
IUCr Executive Secretary, UK