Project Details Online evaluated isotope ratio database for user communities

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 April 2011
End Date:
01 December 2019


Facilitate and streamline the management of isotope data as used by IUPAC, CIAAW and its subcommittees during data evaluation and provide customized isotope related output.
The online database will improve the speed and accuracy of the data evaluation, retain historical information, justification to changes, and provide instant specific access of official IUPAC approved data for the user community world wide.


Current methods and protocols used by SIAM and CIAAW do not take advantage of state-of-the-art data management and custom output possibilities. This project will generate an online database, which will serve the complex data input and retrieval requirements of CIAAW and SIAM. It will also provide a variety of custom formats and data required by user communities of isotopic data.

The task group will prepare online data management and processing protocols based on a set of XML formatted documents. XML has been selected because of its simplicity, wide spread use, and cross platform compatibility by the major software and hardware manufacturers. A major advantage of an XML based database is its multi lingual support, which means that custom outputs, such as a table of atomic weight and isotopic composition can easily be produced in any language (eg chinese, spanish, etc.). This is particularly useful for developing countries where it will support their educational system and industrial development.


November 2014 – A new task group has been established and a timeline revised.

The task group will produce a prototype online database by 2015 CIAAW meeting and be trialed by the other task group members shorthly afterwards. The initial prototype will focus on data entry, retrieval, access control, archiving and version control. In 2016, prototype output filters will be developed and tested by task group members. Eg, users will be able to specify whether they would like specific isotope data for many elements, or all accessible data for a single element.

Following testing the task group will make the necessary changes and adjustments as required and make it available for use by CIAAW members for entry of the 2017 TSAW and TICE data. It is anticipated that new online database will be approved and recommended for open use by the wider community in the summer of 2016 and publicized via the IUPAC website.

August 2015 – An electronic database hosted by CIAAW and a prototype web interface were set up in early 2015 (

August 2017 – This project is progressing rather well now in light of the recent technical publication by Meija and Possolo (Metrologia 2017, 54, 229-238; where the appropriate database format was identified and tested. It is expected that by 2019 one will be able to visit and search all primary literature sources that underpins the standard atomic weight calculations. Recently, smaller-scale prototype functionality was tested and developed for historical data search on which lists standard atomic-weight values recommended by the CIAAW since its inaugural 1902 Atomic Weight Table in a searchable and interactive manner. Similar format is expected for the online evaluated isotope ratio database.

Project complete

Page last updated 5 Dec 2019