The aim of the Sub-committee is to operate an international network of scientists whose interests lie within the broad field of structure and properties of commercial polymers. Drivers of this activity are its members and their motivation to obtain value (to them and their business) from participation in the group.
Format and mode of operation were reviewed in 1983 by its former chair Clegg (P. L. Clegg, Pure Appl. Chem. 55 (1983) 755-764; https://doi.org/10.1351/pac198355050755). The group meets at least once per year and defines projects on which at least a significant part of the members agrees to work on and to commit resources. The projects have a particular scientific target and have been mainly experimental in nature. Co-ordinators guide the projects to the final publication(s). The projects conducted by the Sub-committee are funded by the participants and in turn their organisations.
Participation in a project is voluntary but to maintain membership in the Sub-committee it is mandatory to participate in at least one project and to attend meetings (at least every two years).
Although the Sub-committee sits within an IUPAC structure it is largely democratic and elects in its own executive officers. Its members enjoy the opportunity of working with like-minded scientist albeit that they come from often competitive organisations. However, this is made possible by ensuring that the choice of projects does not invalidate the licence that scientists from different organisation have when working together.
The Sub-committee initiates projects that it knows are of relevance and importance. The balanced membership base from industry and academy works in a manner to ensure that the projects are structured in such a way as to accommodate value in application, need and scientific novelty. Also, in a general sense this has to be convincing to their paymasters who are their industrial managers or academic supervisors. It is therefore obligatory to ensure that the appropriate skills are present and active in the Sub-committee.
Membership in the Sub-committee offers a platform for collaboration on a global basis. It enables contacts and networks that would be difficult to establish by other means. In addition, the value that is generated from a joint scientific project where an individual (or his/her organisation) is funding only a fraction of the cost can be considerable.
Rules and Codes of Practice (as of 2001)
1. Membership is free to all laboratories*) intending to participate activity in at least one of the projects. Active participation means: to make measurements and/or theory and to discuss them and to attend regularly the meetings dealing with the project(s) in which the member is participating.
Active new members are welcome to join the Sub-committee once they have attended a meeting as an observer, expressed their willingness to join the Sub-committee and abide by its rules, and are approved by the Sub-committee members present.
Full membership status shall be confirmed within 2 Sub-committee meetings by at least one attendance and active participation in at least one project. After two years from attending as an provisional member without taking part in a meeting and non-participation, the prospective member will be removed from the mailing list.
2. Members who are no longer able to participate actively are invited to resign from membership. No participation in a project for 2 years is deemed to be a mark of inactivity.
3. Each participating laboratory may delegate one or several members but correspondence will be preferably addressed to one member to be chosen by the laboratory, except by special request from a member laboratory.
4. Interim Reports and Final Reports will be sent by the author(s) to all participating members in a project with copies for the chairman and secretary.
5. All Sub-committee members will receive a re-print of papers for publication.
6. Final reports to be published in Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC) or any other scientific journal have to be submitted for approval to all members participating in the project, if possible after a general discussion during a Sub-committee meeting. An abstract of each final report will be prepared by the author(s) for publication in national and international journals in the field of polymers and plastics. In the abstract full reference will be given to the published final report.
7. A copy of mail concerning the Sub-committee exchanged between members should be sent to the secretary by the authors.
8. The IUPAC Sub-committee on Structure and Properties of Commercial Polymers convenes for a combined administrative and research meeting once a year. An additional research meeting may be convened but must be made open to any Sub-committee member. Such research meetings must be given approval by the Sub-committee chairman and secretary.
9. All communication is to be made electronically. It is a requirement of each member to make their current working e-mail address available and to check that this is current on the website. Details of all meetings will be distributed on the website. Alert messages from the secretary are to be sent out when important changes are made to the website.
*) A laboratory can be interpreted as one of three things: an industrial laboratory, an institutional laboratory, or the activities of an academic.