From: ACA
Date: May 16, 2005 10:49:23 AM EDT
Subject: NIH Subsidy of CSD

Dear ACA Members,

For the last 15 years, the NIH has subsidized access to the CSD for US
academic users, allowing the CCDC to provide the complete distribution of
data and companion software for a low annual payment (currently $400),
and 230 institutions currently subscribe at this level, while approximately 30
larger universities have more expensive, site-wide licenses. The NIH has
recently announced that it will no longer provide this subsidy after the
current contract expires in September 2005, and the price to small users is
expected to rise to approximately $1300. The stated reasons for
discontinuing support are that the CSD is a "mature database", that NIH
should instead "support the establishment of different kinds of databases,"
that the CSD should be "graduated to a self-supporting mode," and that
priorities must be set in NIH's flat budget.

The US National Committee for Crystallography and the Data, Standards,
and Computing Committee of the ACA are concerned about the impact of
this policy change on the research of scientists in the US and upon the
future of the CCDC itself, and are trying to gather data on the possible
effects. Your feedback is sought about how the price increase will affect
your work. For current subscribers, will you still subscribe at the higher
price or drop your subscription? If you continue to subscribe, where will the
funds come from? Will NIH grants be the source of funds for this purpose? What
will be the likely consequences for structural science in the United States?

If you wish to provide feedback on these questions or make other relevant
comments about this issue, please fill out the questionnaire at:

The USNC/Cr will consider this problem at the Orlando ACA meeting, and
needs data on the likely impact as soon as possible. An ad hoc meeting,
open to all participants, will also be held at the ACA meeting. Feel free to
forward this email to other US scientists whose research might be adversely
affected. Further information about the CCDC can be found in the latest
ACA newsletter. We apologize to those who may receive multiple copies of
this email.

Best Regards,

Jeff Deschamps (ACA Data, Standards, and Computing Committee)
Frank Fronczek (USNC/Cr member)