Maintenance of the list of UCD words
A. Preite Martinez, S. Derriere
A. Preite Martinez
According to what is stated in the IVOA Recommendation An IVOA standard for Unified Content Descriptors, a procedural document should be created in order to maintain (add, change, suppress words) the standard list of UCD1+ words The UCD1+ Controlled Vocabulary . This document describes the procedure to maintain the standard list of UCD1+ words.
This is an IVOA Proposed Recommendation made available for public review. It is appropriate to reference this document only as a recommended standard that is under review and which may be changed before it is accepted as a full recommendation.
A list of current IVOA Recommendations and other technical documents can be found at http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/.
We acknowledge the support of the VO-Tech project.
According to the IVOA Recommendation An IVOA standard for Unified Content Descriptors, the present document describes in detail the procedure to add, modify or suppress UCD-words in the standard list The UCD1+ Controlled Vocabulary.
The modification of the standard list of UCD words is conceived as a flexible but controlled process. A Scientific Board, as defined by the UCD (IVOA-Rec) document above, has the role of studying the proposed modifications and, within a given period of time, to give an answer as to whether such modifications can or cannot be accepted.
This document addresses:
These actions are supported by an automatic web-based form that has to be filled in and sent to the UCD Scientific Board (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving an answer back to the user acknowledging the request, and giving a time estimate for an answer.
The parties involved in the procedure are:
The procedure complies with the following basic principles:
The procedure is described in detail in the following sub-sections.
The first step in the process of modification of the standard list of UCD-words is a request for modification (RFM) that any member of the IVOA community can present at any time. The requested modification of one or more UCD-words should comply with the rules defined in the document “An IVOA standard for Unified Content Descriptors” for building UCD-words, and should be submitted as indicated in section 2.2.
An RFM can consist of a request for:
A web-based form for requesting a modification of UCD words has been set up at: http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/UCD/cgi-bin/comment/ucdComments .
The form is composed of 6 fields:
The first 4 fields will be filled up by the submitter. The date is inserted automatically by the form. The last field will contain the answer to the RFM written by the moderator of the Scientific Board at the end of the discussion within the board. It is the responsibility of the moderator to respond to all RFMs, summarizing the discussion in the board.
The form will be sent by e-mail to all the members of the Scientific Board as soon as the RFM is submitted.
The notification will contain all the fields concerning the new submission.
All RFMs will be open to discussion and will be evaluated by the Scientific Board. A two-week period for discussion is automatically allowed, starting from the day of notification to the members of the board. Extensions of this period can be decided by the moderator of the board, with notification to the user/submitter of the RFM and to the Scientific Board.
At the end of the discussion, the moderator will answer the RFM using the 6th field of the form. The form will send an e-mail to the user, the Scientific Board and the chairman of the UCD/Semantics WG.
A negative answer shall be motivated.
The moderator of the Scientific Board can suggest the implementation of a period of collection of RFMs in order to group together a more significant number of them, if this improves the efficiency of the discussion within the Board.
At least every year, but usually synchronized with InterOp meetings, the chairman of the UCD/Semantics WG will edit the last approved version of the document “The UCD1+ Controlled Vocabulary” in order to include the newly approved RFMs, update the version, and change the status of the document to IVOA Working Draft. The draft will be open to discussion within the WG for a length of time consistent with the importance/number of modifications, but no longer than 4 weeks.
At the end of the discussion within the WG, the document will follow the IVOA procedure (PR, RFC, Exec vote, Rec) for document standards  .
An historical record of all approved modifications will be included in the document.
If necessary, the chairman of the WG can decide a different cadence of maintenance of the UCD list, not necessarily synchronized with InterOp meetings.
In case of explicit request by the user for immediate use of an approved new UCD-word, the chairman of the WG, after the approval of the RFM by the Scientific Board and at the end of the discussion in the WG, can authorize the use of that word with the temporary namespace “tmp:”. In such a case the IVOA community (email@example.com) shall be notified by the chairman of the WG.
In the case of RFMs that only deal with special amendments of the form of clarifications (see section 2.1) of the description of UCD words, the process of maintaining the document “The UCD1+ Controlled Vocabulary” is simplified. After the discussion of the requests for clarification in the Scientific Board and in the UCD/Semantics WG, the chairman of the WG will include the accepted clarified descriptions in a new version of the document, with an historical record of the approved modifications.
 R. Hanisch, Resource Metadata for the Virtual Observatory , http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/latest/RM.html
 R. Hanisch, M. Dolensky, M. Leoni, Document Standards Management: Guidelines and Procedure , http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/latest/DocStdProc.html