ARC Online Editor

    What is the ARC Online Editor? Why is there an Online Editor?
    How do I access and navigate the new ARC Online Editor?
    How Should ARC Entries Be Formatted?
    How do I use ARC Editor?
    Tips and Tricks
    What is Validation? What is the Difference Between Errors and Warnings?
    What Are Common Validation Errors and Warnings
    How does the Comparison Feature Work?

What is the ARC Online Editor? Why is there an Online Editor?

Countries subscribing to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) are required to submit an Advance Release Calendar (ARC) previewing release dates for all relevant datasets for the quarter ahead.

The IMF’s Statistics Department is introducing online editing facilities to improve the updating of metadata for SDDS subscribers. This project will use a secure online site, the Integrated Collection System (ICS), to allow subscribers to make changes directly to metadata.

This ARC Online Editor will provide immediate feedback for Country Coordinators, including an automatic validation tool that will flag common errors that can hamper ARC processing, and warn ARC editors of entries that may run counter to either SDDS guidelines or posted metadata.

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How do I access and navigate the new ARC Online Editor?

After logging on to the ICS interface, the user will see several options depending on the metadata forms for which he/she is responsible. Click on SDDS Web Forms, and then click on the Advance Release Calendar Editor link to edit the ARC(If no link is displayed, the user may not have been allocated access rights. Access rights are allocated by the SDDS country coordinator.

After clicking on the ARC link, a selection box will be displayed with data categories and options to “View” or “Edit” the information stored in the ARC Editor. You may select one or more categories to edit; you may also “Select All” categories with the button provided.

When clicking the “View” button, the ARC editor is opened in view-only mode. This option will not make any changes to the ARC database or to the posted calendar. Clicking the “Edit” button opens the editing page for the selected categories; use this option to make updates to the posted calendar.

The editing interface is similar to the ARC template and contains the following three elements:

  1. The menu area used for identification (of the country, the initial year/month of the submitted template, etc) and navigation (including options for “Help”, (to advance the viewable 12-month period by one month) as well as options “Validate” and “Compare”.
  2. The data area used to enter Release dates and Reference periods for categories. Data can only be entered in the shaded cells. The dates and reference periods you input appear in black. Once validated or compared against the posted ARC, these entries may appear with different font or background color to indicate changes made or errors encountered.
  3. The validation area displayed upon validation with any errors identified and guidance on how to correct them.

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How do I use the ARC Editor?

You can use the ARC Editor to submit up to 12 months of release dates for posting to the DSBB. (Only the required quarter ahead—that is, the current month and subsequent three months—will be displayed on the DSBB.)

In general, the steps for using the new ARC Editor to update the ARC are as follows:

  • Correctly enter formatted Release Date and Reference Period data for each data category and month you wish to update. Pressing Tab will move from the cell for release date to its affiliated reference period cell and then to the next release date cell.
  • Perform necessary consistency checks by Validating the entries or Comparing them to those currently posted to the DSBB.
  • Address any outstanding validation issues, if any, as listed in the validation dialogue box. These issues could be Errors, which will prevent the successful processing of the ARC, or Warnings, which are for informational purposes and may or may not be actionable.
  • Once all desired changes have been made and checked, ARC Correspondents save their updates for review by the SDDS Coordinator. After review, the SDDS Coordinator submits data for review and posting by IMF staff to the DSBB.

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How Should ARC Entries Be Formatted?

  • Do not use parentheses "( )" for Reference periods as these are generated automatically.
  • Use first letter of the month in capital in Reference period column (for example, Jan/08, Mar/31/09, and not mar/09)
  • Please use English when including months in your reference periods (for example, Oct/08 and not Okt/08).
  • Release Dates should be entered using the following formats:
  • Precise date:   5                                                       No later than:  NLT 5
  • Range:            5-12                                                 Weekly:           5, 12, 19, 26
  • Reference Periods should be entered using the following formats:
  • Monthly:         MMM/YY (Jan/16, Feb/16, etc.)     Weekly:                  MMM/DD/YY (Jan/17/16, Feb/21/16, etc.)
  • Quarterly:       Qx/YY (Q1/15, Q2/16, etc.)            Annual:                   YYYY (2008, 2009, etc.)
  • Semi-Annual:  SAx/YY (SA1/15, SA2/16, etc.)   Annual (Fiscal Year):  YYYY-YYYY (2011-2012, 2015-2016, etc.)

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Tips and Tricks

  • Use your mouse or tab key to move your cursor to the relevant cell. Pressing Tab will move from the cell for release date to its affiliated reference period cell and then to the next release date cell (Down, Right, Down, Right, etc).
  • Copy, Cut, or Paste all entries from one data category to another using Copy, Cut and Paste buttons located at the top of the template. You can also use the Alt-C (copy) and Alt-V (paste) functions.
  • Delete or Cut all entries from a single data category using the Alt-X (cut) function.
  • Clear the entire contents of the template using the “Clear All” button or using the Alt-L combination.

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What is Validation? What is the Difference Between Errors and Warnings?

The validation tool (in the menu bar) reviews the enhanced template for many common formatting and errors and possible inconsistencies. When validating, a dialogue box will appear listing any Errors or Warnings regarding your entries and a brief description of each issue. If no errors or warnings are detected by the validation tool, no dialogue box will appear.

As Errors greatly reduce the speed with which the IMF can process and post updates, we ask that all validation errors be corrected before submission to the IMF. Errors include incorrectly spelled or formatted months, release dates that are larger than the number of days in the month (“30” for February, “31” for June), and XXXX. See “What are common validation errors” below for more information.

Other validation notices include Warnings. Warnings do not prevent you from submitting ARC updates; rather, they highlight possible discrepancies between ARC entries and SDDS guidelines or posted metadata. If a cell contains both a formatting error and an inconsistency warning, the error will be highlighted first. Therefore, we recommend that you revalidate after correcting all errors.

If errors are detected, a dialogue box will present the location and a brief description of each error. Generally, you can access the erroneous cell directly by double-clicking in the left margin of each error.

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What Are Common Validation Errors and Warnings

Most errors can be grouped into one of three categories: invalid release dates, invalid reference periods, and duplicate entries.

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How does the Comparison Feature Work?

Clicking the “Compare” button will highlight your proposed (and saved) edits with the dates currently posted. Fields and entries will be highlighted according to the type of change: red fields indicate that your updates will delete data; pink fields indicate entries that have been revised; green fields indicate data that have been entered (in previously empty cells).
Rolling your mouse over any of these updated cells will display the entry currently posted.

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