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What's so special about Acta Crystallographica Section C?

[Acta C]
[C specials]

The International Year of Crystallography in 2014 is a perfect opportunity for the International Union of Crystallography to refurbish all of its journals and publishing activities. Not least, significant changes are under way at Acta Crystallographica Section C ( The subtitle of the journal has been changed to Structural Chemistry and the scope widened to reflect the fact that small-molecule crystallography undeniably plays a crucial role in most aspects of the chemical sciences. Section C now specializes in the rapid publication of articles that highlight interesting science and research enabled by the determination, calculation or analysis of small-molecule crystal and molecular structures, with a view to how the structural observations help the understanding of a chemical, physical or structural question being investigated.

In order to inaugurate the new scope of the journal and demonstrate to readers and potential authors the types of papers that the journal is keen to attract, the journal has published four special issues over the last few months and we are very excited about the quality and breadth of papers in these issues.

The first issue was on Scorpionates (Guest Editor: Glenn P. A. Yap, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, U. of Delaware, USA; September 2013) and included contributions from some of the best authors in the field of this chemically important family of prolific and work-horse ligands wherein the structure has a palpable effect on reactivity.

The next special issue was titled Pharmaceuticals, drug discovery and natural products (Guest Editor: Christopher S. Frampton, Pharmorphix, Cambridge, England; November 2013) and addressed and discussed the timeless questions of polymorphism, stereochemistry and H-atom position. The structural data presented originate not just from X-ray analyses, but also from NMR and computational studies, thus demonstrating the widened scope of the journal.

The effort on refocusing the journal in 2013 culminated in the third special issue, on Interplay of crystallography, spectroscopy and theoretical methods for solving chemical problems (Guest Editors: Larry Falvello, U. de Zaragoza, Spain, and Alberto Albinati, U. degli Studi di Milano, Italy; December 2013). This issue presented research articles and scientific comments demonstrating that the vast utility of structure determination is manifest in other techniques in addition to single-crystal diffraction analysis, and that a description of structure can derive immense leverage from physical measurements and computational modelling.

The turn of the year saw the move to full electronic publication for Section C and the journal launch fully into its science-facing mission as an outlet for research in structural chemistry in its broadest sense. The most recent special issue, on Computational materials discovery (Guest Editor: Artem Oganov, Center for Materials by Design, State U. of New York, USA; February 2014), highlights the two most important breakthroughs of this field, i.e. crystal structure prediction and electronic structure calculations, and their applications to specific problems of materials science.

These four exciting special issues contain excellent papers covering a variety of topics in structural chemistry and herald a new identity for Acta Crystallographica Section C, one underpinned by structural work but with interest in and eyes on all chemical fields where this work plays a significant role. The papers are expected to be highly cited and you are now invited to continue the surge of Section C to the forefront of structural chemistry by submitting your own papers in the style of those represented in these special issues.

Anthony Linden, Section Editor