- DXA and the ARRL Policy on Real-time Log Posting
- Robert W. Schmieder KK6EK
- 6 March 2012
The development and use of DXA on the 2005 Kure DXpedition K7C led to considerable controvery and not a little conflict between DXers, DXpeditioners, and the ARRL. A brief review of these events and the issues associated with real-time web presentation of DXpedition logs was published by the author in DX Magazine.
As a result of the K7C operation, in 2006 the ARRL took a position against exposure of all 5 elements of a QSO on public media such as website. However, in 2008 this policy was rescinded as being "unenforceable." Thus, there is no prohibition against exposing logs using real-time websites such as DXA.
Here we reproduce portions of the minutes from the ARRL Board Meetings that set, and then resinded, that policy.
- On Aug. 11, 2006 the ARRL issued the following policy statement:
- For a number of years, it has been accepted practice to post DXpedition QSO information on a DXpedition Web site. Although this information is generally limited to callsign, band and mode, it has been useful in reducing the number of duplicate contacts in the DXpedition log. Publishing complete QSO information, or information from which full QSO information can be derived, on the other hand, threatens the integrity of the QSLing process, and is unacceptable. There must be some information that the station claiming the QSO provides based solely on actually being there when the QSO was made. If complete QSO information can be derived from information based on the DXpedition log, the QSL manager's job can be much more difficult if busted calls are involved. To help minimize potential difficulties, therefore, the following restriction has been approved by the Programs and Services Committee, and added to the DXCC Accreditation Criteria, Section III.
- Section III Accreditation Criteria Rule 5 states:
- "The presentation in any public forum of logs or other representations of station operation showing details of station activity or other information from which all essential QSO elements (time, date, band, mode and callsign) for individual contacts can be derived creates a question as to the integrity of the claimed QSOs with that station during the period encompassed by the log. Presentation of such information in any public forum by the station operator, operators or associated parties is not allowed and may be considered sufficient reason to deny ARRL award credit for contacts with any station for which such presentations have been made. Persistent violation of this provision may result in disqualification from the DXCC program."
- It has become commonplace for DXpeditions to publish the band and mode for selected callsigns. While this reduces the overall integrity of the QSLing process slightly, it's a reasonable compromise. In almost every case, the new accreditation rule will change nothing. Publishing band and mode information for each callsign (as is now done) is be perfectly acceptable. It is only the rare case where complete QSO information is published or can be derived for the published data that we are concerned about.
- At the July 19, 2008, ARRL Board meeting, this policy was reversed:
- 16. Mr. Frahm presented the report of the Programs and Services Committee which covered
- operating awards, emergency communications and the Volunteer Examiner Coordinator. On
- motion of Mr. Norton, seconded by Mr. Fallon, it was VOTED that Rule 5 under DXCC Rules,
- Section III. Accreditation Criteria, be deleted. The rule reads:
- The presentation in any public forum of logs or other representations of station operation
- showing details of station activity or other information from which all essential QSO elements
- (time, date, band, mode and callsign) for individual contacts can be derived creates a question as
- to the integrity of the claimed QSOs with that station during the period encompassed by the log.
- Presentation of such information in any public forum by the station operator, operators or
- associated parties is not allowed and may be considered sufficient reason to deny ARRL award
- credit for contacts with any station for which such presentations have been made. Persistent
- violation of this provision may result in disqualification from the DXCC program.
- This rule cannot be enforced. In its place staff will create resources and guidelines for QSLing
- and for QSL managers in order to maintain the integrity of operating awards programs.