The best way to publish your data?

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Written by

Kamila Orzechowska

Posted on

June 25, 2018

You may not have yet heard about CSD Communications. Or you may have known them as they were previously recognized by the community: Private Communications. If you are one of our depositors we may have asked you if you would like your unpublished data to be included in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) as one. If you use the CSD for your research then you may have found the answers you were looking for by using a unique structure or refinement, shared with the community as a CSD Communication, that otherwise would have remained unpublished, confidential and unknown.

We have been encouraging depositors and authors to share their data with the community as soon as they decide not to publish it in a scientific article. Despite this, we still have thousands of structures in our repository that have been deposited over the years and are yet to be published.  Some of them will probably never end up being published, unless we can help depositors to share them! In 2016 over 5,000 structures were published in this way making CSD Communications the No. 1 place to publish crystal structures during the year.

Since then, many more authors and depositors have enquired about CSD Communications and are willing to publish directly through the CSD. Thanks to our depositors this means there is more data available to the community. We know that users of the CSD rely on the fact that they can trust the integrity and quality of the data for their research and so by increasing the amount of otherwise unpublished data it is also our duty to ensure that the quality of the data in the CSD is not compromised as a result.  For that reason, we have just published new CCDC CIF Deposition Guidelines and we would urge all depositors to follow these. This is principally important when depositing data destined to be a CSD Communications where there is no paper to describe the chemistry and experimental details. These structures do not undergo the traditional publication peer review, but our team of expert scientific editors check every structure as it goes into the CSD and they pay particular attention to CSD Communications for this reason. Over the next year or so we will be investigating ways of further increasing the integrity of the data that is relied on by users of the CSD worldwide and we hope to develop mechanisms to allow them to determine if the quality of the data is sufficient for their research. 

We have 24,295 structures published in the database as CSD Communications and the number is growing each day. So, please join in and share your data!

It is easy - you can do this during the online deposition process – at the click of a button. Or you can log into our website and go to My Structures and select the structure you want to share from the ‘My Structures’ view and just click the button! 

If you don’t remember how many unpublished structures you have, don’t worry, we will remind you.  Each year we send out thousands of emails to let people know that there is still so much data to be shared and the depositor can then decide if they would like us to continue to store the data confidentially or if they are happy for the data to be shared directly through the CSD as a CSD Communication.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know, we will be at various conferences during the year and there is always a good old email:

Sharing is easy!

CSD refcode DOBVOF01

CSD refcode DOBVOF01 (, published as a CSD Communication in 2015 by Frank R. Fronczek


CSD Communications (20)