Project Details Standardization of physico-chemical property electronic data files

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 January 1999
End Date:
31 December 2001


Develop standardized electronic formats suitable for the publication, dissemination, and storage of numerical data files on physico-chemical properties of pure substances, mixtures, solutions, and materials


In the era of enhanced electronic communication and world-wide development of information systems, electronic publishing and the Internet offer powerful tools for the dissemination of all type of scientific information. This is now made available in electronic form not only from computerized databanks, but also from primary sources. However, because of the multitude of existing properties and variety of modes of presentation, the computer-assisted extraction of the numerical values of physico-chemical properties from primary sources is as difficult as before. As a consequence, the use of these data in Application Programs, their Evaluation, the Publication in Handbooks, and the storage in Data Banks, still remain a tedious and expensive operation, in spite of the electronic access to the data.

The objective of IUCOSPED will be to design in cooperation with Data Publishers, Data Centers, and other Potential Data Users, the standard computer-readable file formats presenting the numerical data, as well as the relevant metadata, for each type of physico-chemical property, as they appear in primary publications. Authors will be encouraged to submit to the Editor their data in standard electronic format, in parallel with their article. Neither the printed nor the electronic publication of articles in primary journals or of the data in secondary or tertiary data sources need to be affected by the proposed standard formats. Each Publisher of a primary data source or of secondary or tertiary data sources may keep the traditional format as appropriate to the community of users of those sources. The objectives of the standard formats, the same for all primary publications, is to assure that the datafiles are clearly, uniformly, and completely documented.

The standardized data files will be disseminated exclusively in electronic form, most likely only via Internet. A specialized central data information source, tentatively called DataExplorer, may be created. All primary data sources producing standard data files of acceptable quality would be allowed to connect to DataExplorer.


The expected output during 1999 is the following:

– Preparation of the preliminary version of a document on general principles of standardization of physico-chemical property electronic data files(codification of properties, chemical systems, references, choice of primary data and derived data, choice of units for physical quantities, design of the general structure of the numerical data files, etc.).September 1999.

– Design of electronic data files for at least 100 specific types of mainly thermodynamic and thermophysical properties for pure substances and mixtures, preliminary version. Database with examples and search program. September 1999.

– Preparation of an Electronic Data Input Program (EDIP), demo version, making the input of data by Data Generators (Authors) and output of data by Data Users as comfortable as possible. December 1999.

– Establishment of the IUCOSPED Home Page on the STN Server Europe(FIZ Karlsruhe), with links to IUPAC and CODATA WWW Home Pages, from where the standard formats and guidelines are accessible to the interested scientific community at no cost. December 1999.

– Presentation of the Project at several international conferences.

– Plenary Meeting of IUCOSPED Members and Joint Meetings with IUPACCommissions on Thermodynamics (I.2) and Equilibrium Properties (V.6)(August 10 and 11, 1999) in the frame of the 40th IUPAC General Assembly, Berlin, Germany.

Project terminated 31 dec 2001