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E is for electronic

- and exciting, and enterprising, and edifying, and perhaps even entertaining! But certainly ESSENTIAL

[Acta Cryst. E cover]January 2001 will see the first issue of the IUCr's new electronic-only journal, Acta Crystallographica Section E: Structure Reports Online. It is being launched by the IUCr in collaboration with the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) to provide rapid and efficient publication of organic, metal-organic and inorganic crystal structures. As such it replaces the 'electronic papers' published in Section C recently, and seeks to build further on our experience with that medium.

The section editors are Bill Clegg (U. of Newcastle) and David Watson (CCDC).

A number of important enhancements are being made in the introduction of Section E:

  • All communication between authors and the journal, from web-based submission through checking and review, to proofs and publication, is entirely electronic.
  • Author services provided will include a new free easy-to-use CIF editor, and we are developing tools for incorporating output of popular word-processing and chemical drawing software in the submission, to make life easier: no more crude text-editing of CIFs!
  • Published articles, available to readers in PDF and HTML formats, can include graphical illustrations of many kinds; even multi-media supplements are possible. Extensive supplementary material is also provided, including the complete CIF, diffraction data, and output of the automatic checking procedures.
  • The length of textual comment by the author is flexible and it can be quite brief in many cases.
  • Although the journal will not publish fundamentally flawed work, and is not going to act as a repository for poor quality results, acceptance criteria are more flexible than hitherto in Section C. The publication of more difficult and challenging structures is encouraged, with appropriate comment by authors on the problems encountered.
  • Each published report (of a single structure) includes a set of 'key indicators' for precision, completeness, and validation of the results, enabling readers easily to make their own assessment of how these might be used appropriately in their own work.

So here is your chance to use a new and fast publication method and perhaps make an impression on those piles of unpublished structures that the world should hear about. Can we catch up on the flow of data from modern diffractometers?

For further information on the journal and how to submit and subscribe, see the IUCr web page for Crystallography Journals Online, at

Bill Clegg
Dept of Chemistry, U. of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK