Access Structures Terms of Use

Service Summary

Datasets are deposited with the CCDC and FIZ Karlsruhe through journal deposition arrangements with publishers, contributed directly by individuals, or identified by our editorial teams. They are held in trust on behalf of journals and individuals until we are informed that they can be made public. On publication, datasets are made freely available to everyone.

After publication, all organic and metal-organic experimental crystal structures are added to the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) where the data is enhanced by the addition of bibliographic and chemical text, chemical structural data, and the results of crystal structure validation. After publication, all inorganic experimental crystal structures are added to the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD) where the data is maintained, enhanced and quality checked.

Our free services provide access to deposited datasets and validated structures from the CSD and the ICSD on an individual basis. We do not permit systematic searching via our free services.

Comprehensive and systematic search, analysis, and visualization of data in the CSD are facilitated by the CSD-Core. Access to this is probably available within your institution via web and desktop applications. Software applications such as Mercury for structure visualization and enCIFer for CIF format checking are also available free of charge along with database subsets that support teaching activities.

Comprehensive search, analysis, and visualization of curated inorganic crystal structure data is available through the ICSD.

Financial contributions received through subscriptions to the CSD-Core and the ICSD allow the CCDC and FIZ Karlsruhe to maintain high-quality structural databases and provide deposition, dissemination, and preservation services free of charge to the wider community. Data access policies for public services reflect this and also seek to ensure that the provenance of data entrusted to us by the community is preserved.

Data Access Policies

General Usage

  • Public services hosted by the CCDC allow the view and download of individual structures and associated data. These services must not be used to systematically download or redistribute these structures, data, or associated information.
  • Programmatic access to these services is not permitted.
  • Services that do enable systematic search, retrieval, and analysis of crystal structures are available through the CSD-Core and other CCDC services, including our WebCSD for advanced searching of organic and metal-organic structures and the ICSD for web-based searching of inorganic structures.

Data Citation

  • Any reference to CCDC, CSD, FIZ Karlsruhe, or ICSD identifiers, associated citations, and the CCDC or FIZ Karlsruhe header included in data files must be retained to preserve the provenance of the file and to allow appropriate attribution of the data.
  • If you publish research based on structures retrieved through this service, please credit the original researchers by citing associated articles (see Citation Examples section below) or the dataset itself.


  • These services are hosted by CCDC and we ask that you provide us with your name, email address, and affiliation before downloading data. Providing this information is optional, it allows us to better understand usage patterns, helping us to improve our services and report on the value and impact of our services to our stakeholder communities.
  • It will be collected and processed by the CCDC and we may occasionally use your details to seek your feedback in relation to this service via email. If you would also like to receive updated emails about CCDC activities, products, and services then you can do this by signing in and updating your email preferences.
  • To opt-out of providing personal details, click “Opt out” when you download data.
  • Logs of usage will be maintained for the purposes of monitoring and improving services.
  • See our general Privacy Policy for more information.


  • We reserve the right to restrict access to this service if we detect patterns of use that breach these terms and conditions, and/or which may compromise our internal systems or our ability to make data available to users.
  • The data we share, and the resources on this site, are provided on an “as is” basis without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.
  • To the maximum extent permissible by law, CCDC hereby excludes all liability for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential loss or damages, including lost profits, arising from the use of the CCDC archive or the resources on this site.

Citation Examples

You can cite the articles associated with a dataset using the publication information in CIF data items or displayed on the structure summary page. Alternatively, most datasets have a CCDC DOI and can be cited as follows:

Gao, Yu; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Chao-Feng; Xu, Xiang-Hong; Zhang, Mian; Kong, Ling-Yi; (2014).
CCDC 940012: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination; Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre.

Contact Details

For questions about accessing data or using our web services, please see our Support Pages. To find out about obtaining access to the CSD-Core, including advanced web-based search options, please contact us.

To find out about obtaining access to the ICSD, including advanced web-based search options, please see the ICSD homepage.


Latest Update: 7th September 2022