Subject: Re: ACS, AMCSD, Open Access, COD, etc
Dear Bill,

Thanks for the answer and for the advice on how the COD advisory board could eventually convince the IUCr to let upload the CIF files already in free access at the Acta journals Web site.

Thanks to Frank Allen for the link to the CCDC 2004 report.

We would like to make first some comments. All of us, at the COD advisory board, are users of one or all of the crystallography databases (ICSD, CSD, CRYSTMET, ICDD, PDB, AMCSD, etc). We are quite happy with their high quality, this is not questioned at all. The only question we want to point out is that we would like to find in their annual report a text analogous to the following, extracted from the PDB 2004 report :

PDB data and RCSB services are available without cost through the Internet. The main RCSB PDB website at SDSC-UCSD receives an average of more than
220,000 hits per day from all over the world. On average, more than one file is downloaded every second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. "

We do not want to accept the idea that PDB or the AMCSD are able to obtain funding in order to make this free Web access possible, and that the ICSD, CSD, CRYSTMET and ICDD would not (though, probably, these databases are already obtaining large public funding).

A well known crystallography Web site like CCP14 is accessed by crystallographers from >110 countries and > 5000 different institutions. This is quite larger than the 65 countries and 1006 institutions mentioned in the CCDC 2004 report.

Untill this free Web access is not obtained, the COD will continue to grow. We had naively believed that the IUCr would have been the first association to understand such a clear and implicit request from the crystallography international community. We were obviously wrong. We think that we shall now concentrate our efforts in direction of the other sources of CIF files (like ACS, etc). See for instance the list of top five journal CSD providers and top 20 journals from Table 4 in Acta Cryst B58 (2002) 380-388. data-origin.jpg
After all, the IUCr journals represent no more than 8%, and ACS represents 28%.

A poster about the COD has been accepted and will be presented at the next IUCr Meeting, Florence. This will constitute all our efforts in 2005 in the IUCr direction.

Best regards,

The COD advisory board

PS - See the statistics of access to the COD Web site at : http://www.crystallography.net/stats/