The hyperlink does not seem to work for me. Try this one :
No problem, this note will be included in the list of
informations at the petition Web page tomorrow.
Of course, crystallographers know that possibility to obtain
CIF files from the CCDC. The process was even suggested
to the CIF files possible donators to the COD. See at :
Paragraph B - Questionable practices
However, a crystallographer having lost his own data
and asking for them there at the CCDC would not be
allowed to send his results to the COD - this is
forbidden by CCDC, now apparently owning some
copyright, that copyright being also shared with the
editors (are two copyrights not too much ?).
Anyway, this service is certainly useful to those who
know exactly what they want, but is not at all searchable
on the Web, unfortunately.
Armel Le Bail
PS - Now 648 signatures to the petition
From Frank Allen :
The following letter has been sent to the COD Advisory Board via Dr Le Bail.
Dear Dr Le Bail
I have been reading the comments made in response to your petition
addressed to the crystallographic database providers concerning the
availability of individual CIFs. Existing responses indicate that many
scientists may be unaware of the web facilities already offered by the
CCDC in this area.
I should be grateful if you can make this note available through the
website, since it will hopefully generate feedback directly to the CCDC
that will extend and improve our current service. I will also arrange
for this note to appear on appropriate electronic discussion lists.
Free Web availability of CIF datasets from the CCDC
For many years, the CCDC has made the data for individual crystal
structures freely available. Originally this service operated via direct
e-mail requests, but since January 2002 we have provided universal free
Web access to our growing archive of deposited CIFs. You do not have to
be a CSD subscriber to use this Web-based service, it is available to
any scientist who wishes to use a CIF for bona fide research purposes.
The Request-a-structureservice is accessible from our home page
* The CCDC CIF archive currently contains more than 170,000 CIFs dating
back to 1994, relating to organic and metal-organic structures. It grows daily.
* The Web form requires a journal reference together with either a CSD
Deposition Number (published in many papers) or an author name.
* CIFs are returned to the enquirer via a plain text e-mail.
* 19,012 CIFs were supplied via the Request-a-Structureform from
The CCDC is committed to improving its services to the scientific
community, and we welcome feedback on the delivery of individual CIFs
via the automated Request-a Structureservice. Please address this
feedback to email@example.com.
Availability of the full CSD System
I would also like to provide basic information about access to the full
facilities of the CSD System. The full System not only provides access
to individual structures, but also provides very extensive software
* The CSD System is available in > 1,000 institutions in 65 countries.
* The CCDC, working with a number of national governments, provide
subsidies to developing countries so that any fees are minimal or zero.
This covers full CSD System provision to institutions in e.g. Africa and
South America, and elsewhere.
* Networked services are freely available to scientists in the UK, via
the Daresbury Laboratory, and in Europe via CMBI, Nijmegen (see web
We urge those who would like to access the full facilities of the CSD
System to first look at our website
(www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/contacts/obtaining_products) and to contact us at
I hope these comments are useful.
Executive Director, CCDC, Cambridge, UK
18 May 2005