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IUCr 1997 Report - Committee on Crystallographic Databases

The members of the Committee have been concerned with two major issues: the future of the non-organic databases and the support of CIF-related activities.

ICSD has been run by Fachinformationszentrum Karlsruhe (FIZ). Since FIZ will move from the public domain into the private sector, there are concerns about how this will affect the future of the inorganic database. The metals database (CRYSTMET) was formerly run by NRC Canada and is now run by TOTH. Funding for this project is not certain. Several parties have expressed interest in stewarding these data and it has been recommended that these individuals be brought together so as to ensure that access to these data is not jeopardized.

The mmCIF software developers workshop held at Rutgers, USA, in October 1997 spurred several new efforts. There is now serious work being carried out to create macromolecular CIF (mmCIF) output from key crystallographic programs. K. Henrick from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) has sent a letter co-signed by H. Berman, J.Sussman and P. Fitzgerald to all software developers urging their cooperation. Another meeting, planned in the fall of 1998 and hosted by EBI, will bring together crystallographic software developers, database curators and mmCIF experts.

At the same time the process of extending the dictionary has been brought into an orderly framework. A board of editors has been created to help review new definitions. The process works well and it is expected that version 2.0 will be released before the ACA meeting in July 1998. In addition to the work on mmCIF, the image CIF (imgCIF) effort continues to evolve.

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Updated 22nd October 1998

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