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IUCr 1996 Report - International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI)

The IUCr representative to ICSTI since 1993, E. N. Maslen, died suddenly on 2 February l997. The current report has been compiled from information that he communicated to the IUCr Sub-Committee on Electronic Publishing and from the ICSTI WWW server at http://www.cisti.nrc.ca/icsti/icsti.html.

ICSTI held its General Assembly and Conference in May 1996 in Pretoria, South Africa. The General Assembly approved the 1996-1997 programme of projects which includes:

Access to telematics facilities in the Eastern Caribbean aimed at promoting effective and sustainable use of information services via the Internet in the sectors of health, education and the environment.

Networking projects aimed at developing Web services.

A Graphics Project aimed at developing a standard test to measure and assess the effectiveness of electronic transmission of graphical and pictorial information using existing protocols.

International classification scheme for physics - 19 organizations have been invited to participate in the preparation of the 4th edition of the scheme.

Assessing the impact of full-text document delivery on subscriptions - organizations involved include The British Library, the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information and INIST.

The ICSTI contribution to the ISSN Register will provide information on which abstracting and indexing services cover a given serial publication in the Register.

E. N. Maslen was the prime mover in the Graphics Project. The graphical images of particular interest in this project are chemical structure diagrams, contour maps, histograms, line diagrams (e.g. circuit diagrams, consisting mainly of straight lines), machine drawings, pie charts and other 3D diagrams, for which the effectiveness of the representation would be measured in terms of the size of the graphics file, the faithfulness of the representation, the ease of interpretation and the ease of reconstruction of the basic data. The advantages of bit-map raster and vector graphics were under consideration. The project was designed along the following lines: (i) preparation of standard test data; (ii) selection of test formats; and (iii) bench-marking of the formats to be tested.

E. N. Maslen had formed a team of three (or four) people who were collaborating in the project.

The next ICSTI meeting will take place in Philadelphia, USA, 6-9 June 1997.

It should be recalled that E. N. Maslen had several times in his annual and triennial reports to the IUCr Executive Committee pointed out the need for a reorganization or amalgamation of the international organizations with missions in the area of scientific data and information services such as ICSTI, CODATA and ICSU Press.

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Updated 14th February 1997

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