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The International Polar Year 2007–2008 (IPY), which was launched on 1 March 2007 with an observing and fieldwork period between then and 1 March 2009, is now more than halfway through its official period. In this brief report we review the progress and achievements of IPY to date, and we provide a view to the eventual outcome of the program. In doing this, we assess IPY progress against criteria similar to those that were used to endorse IPY projects [Rapley et al., 2004]. We particularly try to establish the extent to which IPY has catalyzed a level of research and advance that would not have otherwise occurred.