Information for Task Group Chairs
The project-based structure of IUPAC makes Task Groups
a key mode for implementation of the IUPAC mandate to enhance and improve
communication worldwide among scientists in the chemical sciences. The
Task Group Chair is responsible for the implementation of the project
and, subject to approval by the Division Committee, for the appointment
of the Task Group Members. He/she decides how the budget will be spent
and should report periodically to the monitoring body as to progress
toward the stated goals. The project will be evaluated retrospectively
according to established criteria.
The topics covered in this document are:
- Retrospective Evaluation
6.1. Standard Measures Report
6.2. Final Status Report
- Helpful Documents
Appendix: Publication Matters: Technical Reports
and Recommendations, PAC Special Issues, Databases and CD-ROMS, and
<Download a pdf version of
this document (pdf file - 128KB)>
A permanently constituted body of IUPAC such as a Division Committee
or Standing Committee will have the responsibility to monitor the progress
of the project. In some cases projects are funded jointly by two bodies,
and one will be designated the lead group.
As soon as the funding is in place, the Task Group Chair will be
contacted by the monitoring body to establish how communication with
the Task Group will be maintained. As there can be significant delay
between the time a proposal is submitted and subsequently funded, the
milestones may need to be revised. A plan for project implementation
should be updated and presented.
The Task Group Chair should plan to make at least a yearly report
on progress. This should include minutes of any meetings held, description
of progress toward stated goals, and revisions of goals should this
be necessary. If the project includes a Workshop, then a more specialized
report is appropriate (see below). Although
the budget information will be available through the Secretariat, a
brief discussion of how the budget is being spent is also appropriate
as part of a periodic report.
When a project is funded, it is provided a specific budget that is limited
to the lifetime of the project as given in the proposal. It is the responsibility
of the Task Group Chair to approve and monitor expenses.
The individual Task Group Members are requested to obtain from the
Secretariat a Claim Form for travel or other
expenses. This should be submitted to the Secretariat, which will then
obtain approval from the Task Group Chair.
Because the project is funded as an independent entity, the expenditures
must not exceed the amounts allocated. If additional funds are
needed, then a supplemental application should be filed at least six
months in advance of the time that the funds are needed. In any
case, it should not be assumed that the additional funding is available
until the project supplement is formally approved.
A major part of most project budgets is devoted to travel and per diem
expenses. These expenses can be minimized by: a) Planning travel when
air fares are low (low season, weekend stay over, etc.); b) Negotiation
of "package" deals at hotels or conference centers; c) Scheduling the
Task Group meeting in connection with an international conference. This
has the additional advantage of permitting the participation of members
of the scientific community not formally part of the Task Group; d)
Conduct as much business as possible by e-mail and/or by employing a
limited access Web site. The possibility and cost of teleconferencing
should also be explored.
Task Group Members should be proactive in promoting their IUPAC activities
and recommendations within their respective professional groups. It
may be appropriate at some stage of a project to convene a group of
"external" experts to advise on project development. It is relatively
inexpensive to convene such a group for lunch before, after, or during
an international meeting. It is very important to establish such a dialog
to assure that the goals of the Task Group are of interest and relevance
to the scientific community.
Since there is a wide variety of projects being carried out, the mode
of dissemination of the work of the Task Group may vary considerably.
The normal practice would be preparation of a report that would appear
in Pure and Applied Chemistry
(PAC). Such reports fall into two categories: Technical Reports
and Recommendations. In the former case, a manuscript prepared
by a Task Group will be reviewed by the Division Committee/Standing
Committee that will establish a review procedure. The report will then
be formally approved by the Division President or Chair of the Standing
Committee. The manuscript will then be reviewed by ICTNS
prior to publication. The purpose of this process is to ensure consistency
in the use of recommended terminology, symbols, nomenclature, and in
some cases, procedures. A discussion of the differences
between reports and recommendations can be found in the IUPAC Handbook
- see appendix for additional information on Publication
If the Task Group effort involves recommendations, then the procedure
is set out formally in the IUPAC Handbook. The major difference between
the review processes for technical reports and recommendations is that
the latter require a review by a large group of outside experts (~15)
and a public comment period. This is done to ensure that IUPAC Recommendations
represent a consensus of the affected community of chemists.
Primary publication should be in Pure and Applied Chemistry.
It is particularly important to maintain the IUPAC Journal as the repository
for all Technical Reports and Recommendations on nomenclature, terminology,
units, and symbols.
If the work of the Task Group involves the development of a critically
evaluated database, the ownership of the database and who will maintain
it after the project is completed should be clearly established at the
beginning of the project.
IUPAC does not normally support travel to general scientific conferences,
so Workshops financed by IUPAC should have a "product" as their objective.
This could be a Technical Report or Recommendation, or a monograph (i.e.
a compilation of contributions by the workshop participants). It should
be made clear to the participants as the workshop is organized that
they will be expected to make a defined input. For example, if the workshop
has an educational component, the resulting materials might be made
available for further instructional purposes.
A report on the workshop should be made available to the Division Committee
or Standing Committee indicating the program and the names and affiliations
of participants. It may also be appropriate to ask the participants
to evaluate the usefulness of the Workshop by employing a questionnaire.
Publication of the findings of a Task Group is not a sufficient mode
of dissemination. The difference between publication and dissemination
is the difference between a product and publicity about a product. The
purpose of a dissemination plan is to ensure that the results of the
project, the publication, are made known to the relevant community of
chemists and that these results are used by that community. Every possible
effort should be made to encourage journal editors to adopt IUPAC recommendations.
Many are reluctant to impose regulations on authors, but they are often
willing to: publish recommendations in the journal, put the recommendations
on the journal web site, or establish a link between the journal and
IUPAC web site where recommendations are freely available.
It is recommended that from the outset Task Group Chairs give careful
consideration to determine the audience towards which their work is
directed and optimum methods through which their results and reports
will be disseminated.
Although primary publication in Pure and Applied Chemistry is
the norm, the projects outcomes should, where feasible, be published,
in addition to PAC, in one of the leading journals in the relevant field
so that it reaches the scientific community on which it is intended
Task Group Chair should produce, in addition to the formal project
report, an abstract for posting on the IUPAC website and a short article
suitable for publication in newsmagazines and list servers. Both of
these should give the principal results and provide a reference to the
Where it will be of assistance to the rapid introduction and use of
the recommendations emerging from a project, the report should also
be available for dissemination in electronic form such as CD.
The Secretariat will establish, maintain, and make available to Task
Group Chairs a list of contacts in IUPAC National Adhering Organizations
(NAOs) and National Chemical Societies to whom promotional material
can be sent for further dissemination or publications in national chemical
The Secretariat will establish and, where appropriate, make available
to Task Group Chairs a mechanism through which press releases may
be issued to the science editors of major newspapers and scientific
publications throughout the world.
6. RETROSPECTIVE EVALUATION
Evaluation of projects takes place two years after the completion of
the project and will be based on the following criteria:
- The project must be important for the Chemical Sciences and be consistent
with the goals of IUPAC.
- IUPAC should be the appropriate organization to undertake this project.
- The product or outcome of the project should fulfill the stated
- The project should conform to plan, including timing and use of
- The outcome of the project should be effectively disseminated.
- The project should have impact on IUPAC and the relevant scientific
- The project should increase the visibility of IUPAC.
In order to carry out this task the Evaluation Committee needs certain
documents. These documents are collected by the Secretariat at the time
of the completion of the project since some of them might be difficult
to obtain when it is time to do the evaluation. The collection of documents
related to a particular project constitutes the file for the project.
The necessary documents are:
- The product of the project, usually a copy of the published report
- The project submission form and any reviews obtained during the
- All status reports produced during the lifetime of the project.
- The Standard Measures Report (see Section 6.1).
- A Final Status Report (see Section 6.2).
- An evaluation of the completed project from the Division/Standing
- Any update of items 4, 5 and 6 provided at the end of two years.
Items 1, 2, and 3 are supplied by the Secretariat from their records;
the Standard Measures Report will be compiled by the Secretariat based
on information in its records or obtained from outside sources (e.g.
citations); and the Final Status Report will be requested from the Task
6.1. STANDARD MEASURES REPORT
The Secretariat will compile a report including:
- Project title and number
- Monitoring IUPAC body (i.e. responsible Division/Standing
- Standard Measures:
- Duration (date of initiation and completion)
- Product or Outcome
- Mile stones
- Total financial IUPAC support
- Book sales
- Hits on a web site (IUPAC)
- Number of people involved
- Names of Task Group Chair and Members
The Secretariat will send this report to the Task Group Chair and
the Division Committee.
6.2. FINAL STATUS REPORT
The Task Group Chair should prepare a Final Status Report of no more
than two pages that addresses the following issues:
- What is the impacted community?
- Was there co-publication?
- Are the evaluated data developed by this project incorporated in
- Have the recommendations of this project been adopted by journals,
textbook authors, or other organizations?
- Have there been articles in the scientific press on this project?
- Have the standard methods proposed by this project been adopted
by industrial or governmental organizations?
- Do these data form the basis for standard models used in the field?
- Does this project have, or could it have after suitable modifications,
- Have the results been presented and discussed at important scientific
- Has the project initiated activity that has earned funding from
- Do the results lead to initiation of new, especially interdivisional,
- Do the results identify new areas where IUPAC can play a useful
- Is the profile of IUPAC enhanced by the results of the project?
- Was the project management by the Division/Standing Committee helpful?
- Would you ever undertake another IUPAC project?
- Was the support from the Secretariat sufficient?
- Any additional comments?
The Task Group Chair will send copies of this Final Status Report
to the Division/Standing Committee and to the Secretariat. The Division/Standing
Committee will then send its evaluation of the project to the Secretariat.
Two years after the completion of the project, the Secretariat will
gather updates on the Standard Measures Report along with the Final
Status Report and the evaluation by the Division/Standing Committee.
The project file will then be submitted to the Evaluation Committee
who, and - if applicable - with the use of the reviews by external experts,
will proceed with the project evaluation.
7. HELPFUL DOCUMENTS
Project Funds are obtained using Claim Forms. A description of how to
submit a Claim Form is available on IUPAC website at <http://www.iupac.org/projects/expenses.html>
Other IUPAC policy or procedures
Listed below are various documents that describe IUPAC policy or procedures
as they relate to the work of a Task Group Chair. All of these documents
are published in the IUPAC Handbook and available on the IUPAC web site.
- Guidelines for
Drafting IUPAC Technical Reports and Recommendations, IUPAC Handbook,
- Procedure for Publication
of IUPAC Technical Reports and Recommendations, IUPAC Handbook,
Appendix III - see also the Appendix to this document.
- Recommended Policies
and Procedures for Handling Copyright in IUPAC Projects, IUPAC
Handbook, Appendix V.
If you have questions about any of the above, please write the Executive
Director, e-mail: [email protected].
APPENDIX - PUBLICATION MATTERS
Most IUPAC projects results in a publication, printed or electronic.
A part of the project planning should be the consideration of the form
this publication should take. The most common form is as a technical
report or recommendation published in the IUPAC journal, Pure and
Applied Chemistry. The procedure for publication is described in
Appendix III of the
IUPAC Handbook. Appendix IV of the Handbook contains advice
for drafting technical reports and recommendations. IUPAC policy
with regard to copyright
is described in Appendix V. Some IUPAC projects are best presented as
books while others are best published as electronic documents, especially
as online databases or CD-ROMs. Considerations that determine which
form of publication is most appropriate for the results of a particular
project are outlined below.
TECHNICAL REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In planning a project, the first consideration is whether this project
will result in a technical report or recommendation. Appendix III of
the Handbook describes the differences between the two and should be
consulted during the planning stages. Online publication or CD-ROMs
are usually considered forms of technical reports. Books are a special
case and should in general not be considered before consulting the Secretariat
about the intended audience and possible publishers.
If the result of a project is to be a recommendation, the project plan
should take into account the need for review of the document by outside
experts and the requirement for a public comment period.
Technical reports do not have the same requirements for review as do
recommendations. However, they must be reviewed by the Interdivisional
Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature, and Symbols (ICTNS).
ICTNS review is required to ensure that IUPAC recommendations regarding
the use of nomenclature, terminology, and symbols have been followed.
Before ICTNS review can take place, the Division Committee responsible
for management of the project must approve the report. The Division
Committee can require a review by outside experts if it feels that this
All technical reports and recommendations published in PAC
are available online as part of the PAC archive on the IUPAC
Publication of a technical report solely in a journal other than PAC
requires special permission and should be discussed with the Division
Committee and with the Secretariat when the project proposal is being
reviewed and before the project is approved. Publication elsewhere after
publication in PAC can be part of a dissemination plan and is often
an excellent way to make the results of a project known to the relevant
Special Issues of PAC
can be the preferred way to disseminate the results of an IUPAC-sponsored
workshop on a topic of special interest. Before planning to publish
the results of a project as a Special Issue, the Special
Topics Editor of PAC should be consulted. Not all projects
or workshops meet the requirements for publication as a Special Issue.
These include appropriate peer review, a topic that is both timely and
of interest to an audience beyond specialists in the field, and authors
that are of the highest quality. For all of these reasons the Task Group
Chair should discuss plans for publication of a Special Issue with
the Special Topics Editor well before discussing the possibility of
a Special Issue with potential contributors.
DATABASES AND CD-ROMS
Databases and glossaries are usually best published electronically,
either online or as a CD-ROM. The construction of an online database
should be done directly on the IUPAC web site rather than on another
computer system. The reason for this is that transfer of a completed
database from one web site to another can often involve as much work
as its development in the first place. The Secretariat can provide access
to a portion of the IUPAC web site for database developers. It is important
that IUPAC developed databases be hosted on the IUPAC web site to avoid
the possibility of material hosted on another computer system becoming
unavailable due to changes in policy by Universities or other institutions
or changes in the interests or institutional affiliation of the original
developers. The ownership of the database should have been clarified
before embarking on the project.
A major consideration when planning an online database is maintenance.
This includes both the revision of existing data and the incorporation
of new data. The Secretariat does not have the expertise to do this.
The project plan for a database project should include ongoing maintenance
as part of the plan.
The creation of a CD-ROM can be as simple as burning a set of existing
files on a disk for distribution or can involve a major programming
effort to develop an interactive disk. Small numbers of copies of a
CD-ROM can be made by the Secretariat. If distribution of a large number
of disks is planned, the Secretariat can arrange for this to be done
by an outside service but the costs of doing this should be included
in the project budget.
Revisions of the IUPAC books on nomenclature, terminology, and symbols
color books - are special situations and are managed by the appropriate
Division Committees. The decision to produce a book is one that needs
careful study before the project is submitted. In many cases books are
no longer the best way to present the results of an IUPAC project. Glossaries,
for instance, are now better published online or on CD-ROM, or both.
Publication of a glossary in electronic form allows searching and also
enables a new glossary to be integrated with other IUPAC glossaries,
such as the Gold book.
In general, IUPAC does not support financially the publication of textbooks
or standard scientific monographs. If a book is judged to be the best
vehicle for publication by the group proposing a project and the Division
Committee, a prospectus should be developed so that the Secretariat
can approach publishers and negotiate a contract with the most appropriate
and interested publisher. It is important that this be done before work
is actually begun on the book to avoid disappointment after the book
is almost completed. IUPAC does not subsidize the publication of books,
and only books judged by a publisher to be commercially viable can be
Prepared by the Evaluation Committee
revised 3 May 2002
Page last modified 03 June 2010.
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