CSD Heroes: Brian W. Skelton

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Written by

Caroline Davies-Brooks

Posted on

November 25, 2019

In the year that the CSD hit one million structures we wanted to highlight and thank some of the most prolific contributors to the database. The 10th and final person in this series is Brian W. Skelton.  Brian is currently 1st in our annual CSD author statistics and so we wanted to thank him for his contributions by doing what we do best – searching the CSD!


About Brian W. Skelton

Brian Skelton is Honorary Research Fellow at the Faculty of Science, School of Molecular Sciences at The University of Western Australia.  He obtained his PhD from Auckland University, New Zealand in 1974.  His research has primarily been in the determination of crystal structures of small molecules by X-ray diffraction techniques.  (1)


Brian W. Skelton and the CSD

Brian is currently 1st in our annual list of most prolific authors in the CSD with over 6,000 entries in the CSD.  Brian has submitted entries to the CSD every year since 1972.  His busiest year to date was 2018, when he submitted an enormous 556 entries.  A graph showing the growth of Brian's entries in the CSD per year is shown below.


  A graph showing the growth of Brian’s entries in the CSD with new additions that year shown in darker blue


Brian has published structures in almost 100 different journals with over 1,500 unique co-authors.  His structures are diverse; they include 77 different element types, a massive 581,918 atomic coordinates and cover 108 difference space groups.  One of his largest structures in terms of the number of atomic coordinates (1,075) is CSD Entry: JIYPUD which was published in Organometallics in 2008.


Brian’s structure with the largest number of atomic coordinates (1,075) - CSD Entry: JIYPUD, https://dx.doi.org/10.5517/ccpwrfq


Brian has many more entries in the metal-organic (4,468, 74 %) than the organic (1,544, 26 %) disciplines.  His structures have an average R-factor of 4.88, lower than the average R-factor of the entire CSD and 32 % of his structures have modelled disorder.


Infographic showing a breakdown of Brian’s entries


We have enjoyed browsing through Brian’s entries in the CSD.  Each entry is valuable individually and collectively they contain a wealth of data that can be used by scientists worldwide. Thank you, Brian W. Skelton, for all your hard work and for all your brilliant structures!


Get involved


This is the 10th and final blog in our series of blog posts featuring the most prolific authors in the CSD which highlight some statistics and structures to celebrate their achievements and thank them for their phenomenal contribution. If you would like to share stories about these crystallographers, some of their fascinating structures or tell us about your heroes of the CSD you can tweet us @ccdc_cambridge and use the hashtag 




1. http://www.uwa.edu.au/people/Brian.Skelton