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1.  A crystallographic perspective on sharing data and knowledge 
The crystallographic community is in many ways an exemplar of the benefits and practices of sharing data. Since the inception of the technique, virtually every published crystal structure has been made available to others. This has been achieved through the establishment of several specialist data centres, including the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, which produces the Cambridge Structural Database. Containing curated structures of small organic molecules, some containing a metal, the database has been produced for almost 50 years. This has required the development of complex informatics tools and an environment allowing expert human curation. As importantly, a financial model has evolved which has, to date, ensured the sustainability of the resource. However, the opportunities afforded by technological changes and changing attitudes to sharing data make it an opportune moment to review current practices.
PMCID: PMC4196029  PMID: 25091065
Crystallography; Data; Knowledge; Sharing; Sustainability
2.  Deducing chemical structure from crystallographically determined atomic coordinates 
An improved algorithm has been written for assigning chemical structures to incoming entries to the Cambridge Structural Database.
An improved algorithm has been developed for assigning chemical structures to incoming entries to the Cambridge Structural Database, using only the information available in the deposited CIF. Steps in the algorithm include detection of bonds, selection of polymer unit, resolution of disorder, and assignment of bond types and formal charges. The chief difficulty is posed by the large number of metallo-organic crystal structures that must be processed, given our aspiration that assigned chemical structures should accurately reflect properties such as the oxidation states of metals and redox-active ligands, metal coordination numbers and hapticities, and the aromaticity or otherwise of metal ligands. Other complications arise from disorder, especially when it is symmetry imposed or modelled with the SQUEEZE algorithm. Each assigned structure is accompanied by an estimate of reliability and, where necessary, diagnostic information indicating probable points of error. Although the algorithm was written to aid building of the Cambridge Structural Database, it has the potential to develop into a general-purpose tool for adding chemical information to newly determined crystal structures.
PMCID: PMC3143025  PMID: 21775812
Cambridge Structural Database; structure assignment; catena structure; disorder resolution; Bayesian statistics
3.  New software for statistical analysis of Cambridge Structural Database data 
Journal of Applied Crystallography  2011;44(Pt 4):882-886.
A new piece of software for statistical analysis of geometrical, chemical and crystallographic data within the Cambridge Structural Database System is described. This software has been written specifically to deal with chemical structure data and crucially provides simultaneous visualization of the three-dimensional structural information.
A collection of new software tools is presented for the analysis of geometrical, chemical and crystallographic data from the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). This software supersedes the program Vista. The new functionality is integrated into the program Mercury in order to provide statistical, charting and plotting options alongside three-dimensional structural visualization and analysis. The integration also permits immediate access to other information about specific CSD entries through the Mercury framework, a common requirement in CSD data analyses. In addition, the new software includes a range of more advanced features focused towards structural analysis such as principal components analysis, cone-angle correction in hydrogen-bond analyses and the ability to deal with topological symmetry that may be exhibited in molecular search fragments.
PMCID: PMC3246811  PMID: 22477784
data analysis; computer programs; Cambridge Structural Database; substructure; Vista
4.  WebCSD: the online portal to the Cambridge Structural Database 
Journal of Applied Crystallography  2010;43(Pt 2):362-366.
The new web-based application WebCSD is introduced, which provides a range of facilities for searching the Cambridge Structural Database within a standard web browser. Search options within WebCSD include two-dimensional substructure, molecular similarity, text/numeric and reduced cell searching.
WebCSD, a new web-based application developed by the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, offers fast searching of the Cambridge Structural Database using only a standard internet browser. Search facilities include two-dimensional substructure, molecular similarity, text/numeric and reduced cell searching. Text, chemical diagrams and three-dimensional structural information can all be studied in the results browser using the efficient entry summaries and embedded three-dimensional viewer.
PMCID: PMC3246830  PMID: 22477776
WebCSD; computer programs; database searching; Cambridge Structural Database; similarity searching; substructure; reduced cell

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