Deposit a Structure in the CSD

Sharing your small-molecule organic and metal-organic crystal structure data in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) or Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD) provides safe, funding compliant, accessible storage of your results — and ensures it can be used by the global scientific community to contribute to novel research.

Here we outline how you can deposit data, and where you can learn more about specific aspects of depositing data in the CSD.

How to Deposit Data in the CSD

Where to Deposit Data

Data can be deposited with the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) who curate the CSD and FIZ Karlsruhe who curate the ICSD via our joint web-based CIF deposition and validation service.


Deposit Structures Here


Both databases accept depositions of crystal structure data in CIF (.cif) format from X-ray, neutron and electron diffraction studies, and from powder studies using a constrained refinement, principally for:

  • Organic compounds
  • Metal-organic compounds
  • Inorganic compounds.


Some other structure types may also be accepted — please consult our FAQ here for more information.

What to Include When Depositing a Structure

The CCDC and FIZ Karlsruhe strongly encourage the inclusion of structure factor data with CIFs for deposition to the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) and the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD), in line with recommendations by the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr). For further information please check our FAQ about structure factors here, or the guidelines from the IUCr here.


Data depositions with the CCDC and FIZ Karlsruhe are of two main types:


      • Data for Publication in a Scientific Journal: if your structure(s) are being/have been submitted for publication in a journal. We encourage all researchers to deposit data with us prior to publication of a paper, and include deposition information in their manuscript. Alternatively, if your structure(s) have already been published in a journal, and you would like to deposit data with us so the CIF will be available to other scientists through our joint CCDC and FIZ Karlsruhe Access Structures service and if appropriate curated into the CSD or the ICSD.
      • Publishing directly through a database: if your structure(s) are not intended for publication, but you wish them to be available to other scientists through the CSD or the ICSD. You can do this by adding your structure as a CSD Communication (previously known as Private Communication to the CSD) or an ICSD Communication using the ‘Publish through a database’ button.

How Data is Processed

On receipt, all depositions are stored in the secure CCDC Supplementary Data Archive. The depositor will receive a confirmation email within 3 working days giving a summary of the data deposited and issuing a Deposition Number for each structure.

Structures deposited after April 2014 will receive a seven-digit CCDC number, any structures deposited before this date will have a six-digit number format. This number should be quoted in any subsequent publication or enquiries to the CCDC about that structure.

After publication, deposited structures will be made available through the Access Structures service. Additionally experimental organic and metal-organic crystal structures will be curated into the main distributed (desktop) CSD, and experimental inorganic structures will be curated into the main distributed ICSD.

world map of CSD users 2022

Share your results with the global scientific community — even if they're not published in a paper. Learn more about direct deposit into the CSD with CSD Communications.