Data comes to us in many shapes and forms (or formats) and you might find it surprising but some of the deposits we get still occasionally come via post rather than via our online deposition process or email. But what good comes from the paper copies for the users of our electronic database?
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?
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 If you are one of our depositors we may have asked you if you would like your unpublished data to be included in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) as one.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a unique structure or refinement, shared with the community as a CSD Communication, that otherwise would have remained unpublished, confidential and unknown.Continue reading…
The number of structures in the Cambridge Structural Database is growing really quickly; in fact it has doubled since I joined the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre in 2007.
The quantity of deposits we are dealing each day is also growing. The aim for the team of Deposition Coordinators is to provide the Depositors with their CCDC number as quickly as possible, without compromising on the quality of our work. To be able to achieve this we had to change, adapt and reorganise many processes and workflows we have been using in the past. Upgrading our software platform was also necessary and we can already see the results - most of the CCDC numbers are issued within 3 hours from the time of deposition!
The aforementioned growth leads to other changes, as some of our Depositors may have noticed – since last month we are assigning CCDC numbers in new, 7-digit format. The reason for it is very trivial – we have used up all the 6-digit combinations (a format that we have been using since 1998)! When the CCDC issued CCDC number 900,000 in 2012 we wrote a blog giving a brief history of CCDC deposition numbers.
As Deposition Coordinators at the CCDC, charged with managing the input of new data to the CSD, our job became easier and even more pleasant on the 29th of April 2013. We are suddenly more efficient and we can prove it! We can prove it by our monthly data input statistics as well as by all the nice comments we have been receiving recently from our Depositors, who immediately noticed the improvement and reduction of the waiting time - from the moment they submit their crystal structures via our Website or click “send“ button, if they chose to email us attached files - to the moment of receiving brand new (or revised) CCDC numbers back.