Letter from the President
[Gautam R. Desiraju] Gautam R. Desiraju

I am writing to you once again about the IUCr journals and our ongoing plans for their development. It goes without saying that the journals are at the core of the activities of the Union and that in these difficult times we need to do all that we can to continue to maintain them in a position of scientific and business advantage. The Executive Committee met recently in Leuven and the journals were discussed in detail. In particular, Acta Cryst B/C/E were scrutinized. The Committee appreciated the work done by the Main Editors of Sections B, C and E, the Editor-in-Chief and the Executive Managing Editor in analyzing the current position. For nearly 20 years, it has been problematic for authors and editors to accurately identify the aims and scope of these journals, all of which deal with the crystal structures of small molecules, whether they be molecular organics, extended inorganics or the now ubiquitous metal-organic compounds. Papers have also been published in these journals that deal with issues such as crystallography under non-ambient conditions, crystal structure prediction, charge density studies and crystal engineering. Section E was launched in 2000 and this subsequently became an open access journal in 2008. The Executive Committee has decided to agree to the important proposal of the Editor-in-Chief and the Main Editors of Sections B and C that these two sections should be differentiated in future by subject content rather than by article format. Till now Section C contained short format articles, whereas Section B contained full papers. Further, the Executive Committee felt that the Editors and the Journal Management Board should seriously consider the modalities of differentiation between these sections, specifically whether Section B should deal with materials and techniques and Section C with chemistry, or whether Section B would largely deal with non-molecular structures and Section C with molecular structures. It is hoped by the Executive Committee that, within five or so years, both these journals will have an equal importance and influence in the well demarcated sub-discipline of small-molecule crystallography. I am also pleased to record that the first few submissions to our new open access journal IUCrJ have been received and are undergoing review. The quality of submissions is high and we can be confident of the successful launch of this journal. I hasten to remind readers that accepted papers will start to go online by early October, even though the first issue of the journal is scheduled for January 2014, to coincide with the beginning of the International Year of Crystallography.

The Executive Committee also noted the main celebrations that will take place throughout the world during the International Year and has given its support to three summit meetings which will be held in different parts of the world with the general theme of bringing nations together. The first of these meetings, which will be in Karachi, Pakistan, aims to bring together chemical crystallographers and structural chemists from China, India and Pakistan. These countries have been divided in the past for geopolitical reasons and it is hoped that through the message of crystallographic science they will come closer together. The second summit meeting is already being planned and is to be held in Campinas, Brazil, and attempts to bring together macromolecular crystallographers from the far flung Latin American countries. The third summit will be held in Blomfontein, South Africa, and is being linked to a workshop in powder diffraction which is a subject that is very important in the African countries. These summits will have, in addition to crystallographers and scientists, policy makers, science administrators and bureaucrats, and the scope of the summits will clearly extend beyond the purely scientific.

Finally, I extend my invitation to you to submit your best and most current results for publication in one of the IUCr journals, making the International Year most successful for our journals and thus the Union.

Gautam R. Desiraju (desiraju@sscu.iisc.ernet.in)