Everybody wants to be a millionaire

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Written by

Kamila Orzechowska

Posted on

January 7, 2020

In his blog, in which he was commenting on the assignment of CCDC number 900000 in  the October of 2012, my colleague, Dr Seth Wiggin asked us a question: Who wants to be a millionaire? That was many years ago and since then we have not only issued CCDC number 1000000 for the deposited data but in June 2019 we added the millionth structure into the CSD.

The CCDC’s journey to one million published structures was remarkable and exhausting. In the months leading up to this milestone, we observed a big peak in the depositions of data as CSD Communications. So, we realised that the answer to the question Seth was asking was simple: everybody. Everybody wanted to be the one whose structure would be the millionth one. But where did this increase in data come from?


It is possible that we did such a great job informing everyone about the big countdown at the start of the year that depositors stored up their data ready to share it with the community as we got close to one million. Or does this simply mean that there are drawers/computers full of historical structural data just sitting in labs all over the world waiting to be shared?

A few of our depositors have been sharing data as CSD Communications for years and now are on top of the list with impressive results:



Clearly - many depositors already understand the value of data sharing. The rise of CSD Communications over recent years shows that people are willing to share data more and more. However, we are seeing that this increase is largely down to a handful of crystallographers.

The explanation to this is probably simple: our most prolific CSD Communication depositors are experienced crystallographers responsible for determining thousands of structures and so perhaps have more data available that could be published in this way. They possibly also have a long relationship with the CCDC, a good understanding of the concept of the CSD Communication initiative and familiarity with the CSD. They simply trust us. They know that the data will be treated with the care and professionalism that it deserves. They know that we will do only good things with it as over the past 50+ years this is all we have been doing.

This year CSD Communications are again the number one place to publish small molecule structural data with over 6,000 structures shared that way. This is an increase of over 30% compared to last year and CSD Communications now account for 10% of the new structures added to the CSD.  A large proportion of this year’s intake has been published by A.L.Rheingold (346 CSD Communication structures added in 2019) - who in our all-time top chart ranks in  3rd place. We are forever grateful and we appreciate every structure.

The challenge is on for 2020: can any of you beat this incredible total?  Even if you can’t beat the total, every new structure is valuable and can go on to help others derive new insights from the data.  More competition to share data can only bring benefit to all. So, don’t be greedy – share your data! Share your first CSD Communication or go for gold and beat the record! Whichever you choose - be one of our CSD Communication Heroes!


CSD refcode KOFBAL DOI: 10.5517/ccdc.csd.cc22h3g5, published as a CSD Communication in 2019 by T.Junk and F.R.Fronczek