Vol. 21, No. 5
from the Web
This article was contributed by Webmaster Dr. Glenn Carver (Glenn.Carver@atm.ch.cam.ac.uk),
Chairman Prof. J. Alistair Kerr (A.KERR@bham.ac.uk), and Subcommittee
Member Dr. R. A. Cox (email@example.com) on behalf of the IUPAC Subcommittee
on Gas Kinetic Data Evaluation for Atmospheric Chemistry (of the Commission
on Chemical Kinetics, I.4).
Web Site for the IUPAC Subcommittee on Gas Kinetic Data Evaluation for
The World Wide Web (WWW) has become an almost indispensable
tool for scientists in recent years. The emergence of new technologies,
particularly those that are platform-independent, and the provision
of web front-ends to powerful databases have added to the importance
of the web as an information medium. Until recently, the IUPAC Subcommittee
of Gas Kinetic Data Evaluation for Atmospheric Chemistry (of the Commission
on Chemical Kinetics, I.4) has relied on the more traditional method
of publishing their reviews in the prestigious Journal of Physical
and Chemical Reference Data (JPCRD), and this medium has served
the community well.
Over the past 22 years, the Subcommittee has published
seven major evaluations in JPCRD, with a further update "in press"
at the moment. These evaluations consist of data sheets containing kinetic
and photochemical information on the elementary reactions that occur
in the earth's atmosphere. At present, the complete database contains
over 800 such reactions, which form the basis of the chemical mechanisms
used by atmospheric modelers in predicting, for instance, the effects
of releasing anthropogenic chemicals into the atmosphere.
In relation to traditional methods of disseminating such
information to the scientific community, the web offers several key
advantages, such as greatly improved availability and distribution coupled
with a much reduced time to make the evaluations available. The acceptance
of the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) as a de facto standard
for publishing documents on the web has also been an important development.
It is for these reasons that the Subcommittee has developed
a web site, which it hopes will become a valuable resource for the atmospheric
chemistry community. With so much current interest in tropospheric and
stratospheric chemistry, it is important to make new evaluations available
as rapidly as possiblea key objective in setting up the new web
site. The web site went online in February 1999 and has attracted significant
interest from all over the world, particularly from Europe, the United
States, and Canada. At present, a single PDF document containing an
amalgamation of the more recent summary tables published in JPCRD is
available, but the Subcommittee plans to use the web site as its primary
means of disseminating future evaluations to the user community and
also, eventually, to make the data sheets of individual reactions available.
For the near future, this availability will continue to be in the form
of PDF documents; however, it is hoped ultimately to provide a database
with search facilities that would provide hyperlinked kinetic data in
HTML format, not unlike the NIST Webbook database.
The web site has been established at the Centre for Atmospheric
Science, University of Cambridge, England, UK at http://www.iupac-kinetic.ch.cam.ac.uk/.
It also allows visitors to subscribe to a mailing list that has been
provided to allow the Subcommittee to notify interested users when the
web site is updated with new information or additional data. At the
time of writing, this mailing list has 100 subscribers. We invite readers
to visit the web site and comment on its usefulness and on future developments.
Dr. Glenn Carver
Prof. J. Alistair Kerr
Dr. R. A. Cox