IERS Message No. 49: IERS Conventions (2003)

IERS Central Bureau central_bureau at
Wed Nov 19 15:34:57 UTC 2003

IERS Message No. 49                                       November 19, 2003

IERS Conventions (2003)

The IERS Conventions (2003) have been finalized in October 2003. The
document can be accessed electronically at and the printed version will be
available soon as IERS Technical Note 32. Note that when referenced in
recommendations and articles published in past years, this document may
have been referred to as the IERS Conventions (2000).

The content of the web page above is now frozen to the present version
of the IERS Conventions. Comments and proposals for their future
evolution are invited through the Questionnaire below. Comments may also
be sent directly to the principal scientists of the IERS Conventions
center Dennis McCarthy (dmc at and Gerard Petit
(gpetit at

Questionnaire from the IERS Conventions Center

The IERS Conventions (2003) are available at or in printed form as IERS
Technical Note 32. The IERS Conventions Center invites questions,
comments, remarks or suggestions of any type concerning this document
specifically in the following areas. The bulleted items are meant to
guide but not limit responses.

1. IERS Conventions (2003)

1.1 Content
* Value as a general reference document
* Value of changes in 2003 vs. Conventions (1996)
* Structure of the document
* Problems or errors discovered
* Models that should be replaced or added
* Implementation of associated software

1.2 Availability
* Paper edition (forthcoming)
* Web site and electronic formats

2. Future IERS Conventions

Plans are to continue to have "paper editions," i.e. a reference edition
with a label, published at intervals of several years or whenever a
major change is needed, especially one that affects the definition of
the reference systems or the principal characteristics of the realized
frames. Upgrades containing corrections, introduction of explanatory
parts, new software implementations, addition of models that do not
affect "the principal characteristics" etc., would be provided more
frequently by electronic revisions with well-documented revision dates.
The IERS Conventions Center invites suggestions of any type concerning
these plans specifically in the following areas:

2.1 Preparation
* Suggestions for procedures to gather new and updated information, to
  evaluate proposals for changes and to validate accuracy and consistency
  of models
* Frequency of updates

2.2 Content
* Items missing or incorrectly described in Conventions (2003)
* Software routines
* Technique specific constants and models

2.3 Availability
* Value of paper edition in the future
* Web site changes
* Methods of updating web version (continuous or discrete, e.g. once
  a year)
* Methods to record changes and past versions of text and software
* New means of disseminating information such as FAQs, newsgroup, LISTSERV.

3. Interactions between Conventions Center & other IERS components /
Technique services

To provide further improvements in the operational procedures the Center
also invites your comments and suggestions on the following:

3.1 Special Advisory Board
The Conventions Center has envisioned that an Advisory Board could be set
up to provide overview and guidance.
* Would such a board be useful?
* Suggestions for how to form such a board
* Should it be permanent or temporary?

3.2 Formal acceptance
* Should the Conventions be submitted to a formal acceptance process?
* Who should be the approving authority and under what conditions?

3.3 Routine interactions
* How best to enhance routine interactions with other IERS components and
  the Technique Centers?
* What about other groups outside IERS?

Please return replies to G. Petit (gpetit at and D.D. McCarthy
(dmc at before 15 January 2004.

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