Comments from the petitioners

(alphabetical order - by country)


Signing YES for the following text :


« It is requested that CSD, ICSD, CRYSTMET and ICDD

provide a light version of their content (crystal data or

powder patterns) at no cost on the Web. A light version

consists of the complete database that is fully searchable

on the Web by crystal parameters and references and

returns the CIFs. It would not consist of the other

value-added possibilities produced by these companies,

which would stay inside of the toll versions - unless,

of course, they want  to give more... The principle

defended here is that the atomic positions in natural

or synthetic crystal samples of our Universe

are not copyrightable. »




Ouassyla Belarbi, Algeria

Opening the databank is a necessity, specially for the third world universities. All the researchers of theses countries encounter difficulties to advancing in their search. So, I say yes for knowledge for all, and no for business science.  


Graciela Punte, Argentina

This initiative will help to improve research and undergaduate and graduate teaching in many places in my country.


Margarita Diana Do Campo, Argentina

The information contained in these databases was produced by hundred of scientist during decades. This knowledge should be accessible for all institutions around the world with no economic profit. 


Valeri Harutyunyan, Armenia

Yes, it is very good idea. It would be a great support especially to scientists from developing countries like Armenia because of limited financial possibilities of our Institutions. I am very thankful to the COD. Good luck to this idea !


Joel Brugger, Australia

Hard to justify paying access to our own datasets - no light option currently available - full options are out of reach for many smaller institutions.


Karsten Winter, Australia

I am a Crystallographer and our University is suffering from a constant lack of funding - so the databases are not being updated and are also not easily available.


Michael John Newlands, Barbados

I am still an active teacher of chemistry. The materials which are under discussion are extremely valuable for students and their mentors.


André de Oliveira Girăo Maia, Brazil

Informations free !!! NOW !!!


Wlodzimierz Keller, Brazil

I am most strongly for this petition.


Adonay Rodrigues Loiola, Brazil

I believe that this is a pretty opportunity which will provide us better working tools.


Carlos Alberto De Simone, Brazil

I consider this concession of extreme importance for the development of the research in the crystallography area.


Julio Zukerman-Schpector, Brazil

The difference between developed and under-developed countries is in the access to information.


Nivaldo Lúcio Speziali, Brazil

The information on data basis is generated by persons who, in some cases, have to pay for obtaining it. It is not reasonable; it should be freely available!


Raul José da Silva Camara Mauricio da Fonseca, Brazil

This a good initiative for all scientists that works in materials science and corelated areas.


Tiago Silva Rodrigues, Brazil

I need this !!!!


Yvonne P. Mascarenhas, Brazil

Allow updating of the JCPDS at moderate cost even if the Institution was not able to subscribe for more than two years. This is the case of my laboratory, where we subcribed up to set 48 and now would like to update our file but we were informed that we must pay for a full subscription.



Nikolay Dimov, Bulgaria

Fundamental knowledge should be freely accessible.


Cherif F. Matta, Canada

A great service to the scientific community at large and especially to science in the developing countries. 


Dmitry G. Gusev, Canada

I fully support the initiative. I work in a small University where we have no X-ray facility. To have access to the CSD database (which I use frequently) I now have to pay CAD 1,000 from my research budget every year. I can think of many more chemists who would not be able to pay the fee. It would be great for them to have access to a version of CSD on the Web.


Elena Sokolova, Canada

No comments !


Fred Einstein, Canada

It is obvious that even with the generous donations mentioned by Frank Allen there remains a vast unmet need for access. Much of the support for this petition comes from "poorer" counties, individuals etc. We should support access where we can- there is so much commercialization of science- proliferation of for profit journals etc- but we need also to support the "not for profit" custodians and developers- without them there is nothing to petition for!


Roman Skala, Czech Republic

Access to crystal structure data as well as to basic info on powder data is crucial in modern mineralogical research. I fully concur with organizers and signers of this petition that these data should be free for scientists.


Karimat EL-Sayed, Egypt

Egypt is a developing country and we cannot have the regular crystallographic databases which we really need in our work, accordingly, if the crystallographic community allows us to have it on line, it will be a big achievement for the third world countries.


BOUDEULLE Micheline, France

Atomic coordinates are basic scientific data, like light speed or electron mass, and must belong to the world community, without any patent or protection like that.






David MARSEAULT, France

As a teacher, I give my students a project in material science. Starting from a CIF file of the COD, I simulate the X-ray powder pattern. Then I ask my students to index the diffractogram, to find the cell parameters and to find the structure by comparison with the COD. They find it's a good exercice, that improve their critical sense and their knowledge of (basic) crystallography. This would not have be possible without a project like COD.


DESCORME Claude, France

One should not pay for what the Company who sells the database did not pay for !



We still have access to a not updated PDF-ICDD database and no longer to CSD and ICSD since there are only occasionnal users of crystallographic databases in our university. A free web access to crystallographic databases seems a good idea for all the crystallographic community.


Jean-Marc LE MEINS, France

I have still a lot of difficulties to understand the "non profit" definition of the ICDD organisation, above all if I have a look on the PDF4-Organic 2004.


Valerie Biou, France

Biological macromolecule coordinates are available freely via the PDB, so should other crystallographic structures be.


Dzigrashvili Teimuraz, Georgia

It would be most kind of the international crystalographic society to provide the crystallographers of developing countries with such data.


Akash Mehta, Germany

This information must not be hidden or put up with any price tag. After all the knowledge we gain is from the tax payers money. It must be spread free in order to shape the future research in more innovative manner.


Ralf Rühl, Germany

I have no chance to access the database unless it's free. I am working on the developement of bone replacement material. Access to this data would help me to understand protein - crystal interaction and speed up my work. If there is a chance, please open the database.


Roland Boese, Germany

The data gained with public money cannot be transferred into private property!



Marc Messerschmidt, Germany/USA

In my oppinion allowing access to all the databases especially for research institution with lower budget would help the scientific community.


Matyas Czugler Dr., Hungary

As (at least a part of) the crystallographic information appears in paid-for periodicals this whole situation is a way similar to a sort of double taxation...



I really appreciate the initiative taken for the free access to all the crystallographic information files (CIF) of various databases. It will be immensely helpful to those who don't have access to such crystallographic databases.


Apurba Kanti Deb, India

This would help the Crystallographic community a lot.



Crystal structure data (powder and single crystal) should be available to the whole community on a website at no cost.


Athinarayanan SUNDARESAN, India

It is a great idea and very much helpful.


Chandan Mazumdar, India

This is really a good proposal for people from developing countries.


Darshak R. TRivedi, India

I completely agree for free access to all crystalography databases for developing country. It will help all nations to develop new science.



All databases should be freely available to scientific community.


Dr. K. Selvaraj, INDIA

I fully agree with the above petition in all means. As a scientist from a developing country, I strongly support this petition as making these informations open to the scientific community would benefit persons like me who cannot afford to access the toll-versions.


Dr. Sasankasekhar Mohanta, India

It will be helpful if I can search the crystal structures and get CIF files free of cost.




Kandasamy Sivakumar, India

I appreciate this initiative and this will be of extensive help for the researchers working in developing countries.


Nalin Pant, India

In essence, the data deposited is our (the researchers) work (intellectual property) and I wish that it is freely available to all, which is how science progresses.


Nandini Garg, India

It will be useful to have the data bases on the internet.


Sajeev Unnukallel Sivaraman , India

Dear sir, I am a lecturer in solid state physics, and a researcher in condensed matter physics. I need to know more about crystallography.


Santu Chakraborty, India

I highly recommend this effort for the sake of crystallography.


Somashekar R, India

For researchers, it should be free. Even the research papers as done by IOP, people.  For one month, it should be kept free.


Swastik Mondal, India

I strongly support the proposal . . . .


Velayutham Murugesan, India

The databases are of importance to use to our research students. In a developing country like ours, the payment for various databases is very difficult.


Alireza Salimi, Iran

Dear Professor, thanks for this site. My research is about Polyoxometalate compounds.


Giorgio Marinoni, Italia

I trust there should be no economical barriers to knowledge, and databases are essential tools for the scientific community and should be accessibile to everyone.


Giorgio Pelosi, Italy

I think we scientists should find some time to reflect: do we realize that all our work (papers and related data) are given to publishing houses or other intitutions free of charge and that to have them back and without added value (what we get is what we deposited) we have to pay exorbitant (and I really mean exorbitant!) prices? I think that this request is absolutely reasonable and worth supporting.


Luigi Gallini, Italy

Free internet access to all chemichal constants should have a world wide improvement of science and technology.



This facility is extremely important to have, specifically for developing countries.


Linards Skuja, Latvia

In the age of internet it is a questionable idea to try to keep secret, or "charitably" sell at discount cost an information, which in most cases has been published at no cost, by researchers not related to database companies. Analogy: Google search for fee?  If the "lite" versions are not published, some Wiki-type databases will develop anyway.


Daumantas Matulis, Lithuania

It would really help in our research with limited funds that make it impossible to pay for toll versions. We can only dream about those times.


Saulius Grazulis, Lithuania

De facto unavailability of small molecule xray data that has been published is indeed an obstacle for research, education, and is morally wrong. We often end up in absurd situation when coordinates for small molecules have to be taken from the Protein Data Bank entries!  I have had an idea to organise a wiki-style, community edited and peer-reviewed database where all volunteers who have access to printed versions of the crystallographic and other structural papers key in coordinates and share them on the Web under some kind of Creative Commons ( license. I am very pleased to see that you are starting virtually the same idea under :)  I am glad that I am not alone with the opinion that published data should be available to everybody, at no licensing costs or usability restrictions. If CSD and other organisations refuse to open publicly available data, the scientific community will have to put an extra effort and build the databases once more.


Bohari M Yamin, Malaysia

There are not many crystallographer in developing countries. Therefore the institution gave low priority for the subcription of CCDC data base.


Alexseyev Vasiliy Eug., Moldova

It is very good!


Bouhmaida Nouzha, Morocco

This is very important for Africa countries  it's also hopeful to have access to many physical-chemistry journals.


Angel Bustamante Dominguez, Peru

We need this information.


Hector Fernandez, Peru

Deseo recibir informacion de cristalografia. Gracias.


Maria Veronica P. Quilinguin, Philippines

Please help researchers in the best way you can.


Jan K. Maurin, Poland

Although I personaly and most of my colleagues crystallographers in Poland have access to the CSD database, it is completely unavailable for other groups of researchers. To make the data available in even very limited form is very important for all of us.


Alla Arakcheeva, Russia

The most important crystallography databases should be free for any scientist. 


Vladimir Shamry, Russia

Free of charge main Crystallographic Databases will suppose applying of basic characteristics of materials in wide spectrum of physical and technical sciences.


Maxim A. Zakharov, Russia, MSU

It's really essential for science progress!


Goran Bogdanovic, Serbia & Montenegro

 YES for the petition!


Leong Weng Kee, Singapore

The crystallographic data are from individual researchers, some of which were paid for. These are therefore properties of theirs or their institution. Don't see why they should therefore not be made available to the larger community in the interest of Science.


Oh Yi Han, Jonathan, Singapore

I understand that maintaining top quality in a database takes substantial amount of time and money. Deriving income from other sources might also be detrimental since it redirects efforts to meet the need of obtaining funding.   However, having an open manuscript policy akin to what the ACS is implementing with a 12 month delay would greatly benefit the chemistry and crystallographic academic communities. As a student, I have been greatly impressed with the power and scope of the CSD, which have benefited me greatly in my ongoing studies. It is a pity that being restricted by budget and copyright issues, there is only access for a single user on a single PC at any time and the ICSD is not available. Hence, not many of my peers actually use the database(s), since it is not conveniently available and few are encouraged to do so. In this regard, I believe the release of CIF data into the public domain could promote the use of crystallography and drive the growth of new fields heavily dependent on crystallographic data, such as crystal design and crystal engineering.   Please seriously consider the release of CIF files. Thank you.


Dr. Ivan Janotka, Slovakia

It is a great idea !


Jozef Janovec, Slovakia

I support the idea, to do available the basic databases for broad scientific community.


Viktor Vrabel, Slovakia

I have difficulties in accessing the crystallography databases CSD, CRYSTMET.


Dr. Melanie Rademeyer, South Africa

As a result of our poor exchange rate, researchers in South Africa have to pay a very high price to obtain these databases. As a young academic and researcher, I could not afford the CSD in the first two years of my career, which made crystallographic research very difficult. Even now, obtaining the CSD is extremely expensive, and a large percentage of my research funds is used for this.


Johan de Villiers, South Africa

I support this wholeheartedly. Especially users of the databases in the developing countries often cannot afford them.


Orde Q. Munro, South Africa

Due to a poor exchange rate and non-competitive research grants, we suffer as a developing country from access to software like the CSD etc.  I scrape together the finances to afford 2 licences to the CSD each year, but this means that most people in our School have no access to the database.  I would like to see open access so that we can use the CSD more in undergraduate teaching and more widely in research, e.g. not just crystallography, but all disciplines.  I like the PDB for this very reason - no charge for PDB files from the database.


Fermin Otálora, Spain

Scientific progress is the business of mankind, money is a different thing. Don't get confused and don't allow confusions.





Garcia-Ruiz, Juan Manuel, Spain

I fully agree with this proposal and I hope that it will be accepted. It will contribute to make the crystallographer's community, more powerfull, more useful for our society and to convert it into an actual equal opportunity community.


Javier A. Cabeza, Spain

I support open access to crystallographic data.


M. Karmele Urtiaga Greaves, Spain

It´s a very good idea.


Miguel Ortiz-Lombardía, Spain

Quand la vérité n'est pas libre, la liberté n'est pas vraie.  When the truth is not free, freedom is not true. Cuando la verdad no es libre, la libertad no es verdadera. (Jacques Prévert) .


Miguel Quiros Olozabal, Spain

Knowledge should be as free as possible for everyone. Public powers of developed countries should find somehow an agreement for supporting the maintenance of crystallographic databases so they are freely accesible for everybody.


Konrad Koehler, Sweden

Scientists in third world countries as well as many in SMEs (small to medium enterprises), simply cannot afford access to small molecule crystallographic databases.  Restricted access to these databases is a real impediment to the advancement of science.   Protein crystallographic structures deposited in the PDB are freely available to all and therefore I see no reason why access to small molecule crystallographic structures should require payment.


Mlyuka N. R., Tanzania

I think this will be of great assistance to us in the third world. It is difficult to get the files even through our University.



I have difficulties in accessing the crystallography  databases (CSD, ICSD, CRYSTMET, ICDD),  and want to  support developing countries, I would like to sign the petition in favour and open the access to crystal data on the Web. 


Orhan Büyükgüngör, Turkey

This is really a good proposal for people who do not have any opportunity to access to crystallographic data.



Osman Adiguzel, Turkey

It is important that science is universal and scientific knowledge gain values by sharing with other scientists, in particular with the scientists in developing countries because they urgently need knowledge, support and scientific development. Also, scientific papers, documents and publications should reach those scientists or their intitutions free of charge.


Suheyla Ozbey, Turkey

We do not have an access to the crystallography databases (CSD, ICSD, CRYSTMET, ICDD) so I would like to use the crystal data on the Web.  Thank you for your consideration.


Jeremy Karl Cockcroft, UK

In the UK (and many other countries), the public have funded  much of the research that enabled the crystallographic data to be obtained in the first place. The data should therefore be available to the public who paid for it. In my view, the same argument applies to scientific publications in general.


John S Rutherford, UK

Researchers with no affiliations or support have no access to subscription databases.


Peter Murray-Rust, UK

I have consistently campaigned for greater access to primary experimental data in chemistry and support this petition on these grounds. Note that it is important that the data are re-usable without further permission for datamining, derivative works, etc. Note also that the data are in many cases identical to the CIFs deposited by the authors and these are often (and should always be) Open. We should work towards a situation where the ongoing output of crystallographers is made Openly available at time of publication.


Prof K C Molloy, UK

I fully support any initiatives which allow scientists in developing countries to become more self-sufficient in their research. I have been collaborating with groups in Senegal and Pakistan for many years.


Simon Coles, UK

I have a research interest in free and unhindered access to crystallographic data. Co investigator on the eBank UK project concerned with Open Access to Scientific data and have developed a prototype Open Archive on the Web to disseminate scientific data... the example is Chemical Crystallography ( This is a route to publishing crystallographic data that does not preclude a publication in a Learned Society Journal. I fully support any efforts to facilitate access to raw scientific data, -it is after all predominately generated with public (tax payers) money!


Braude Iryna S., Ukraine

Dear Crystallographer, our scienific interests lie in the definition and in the interpretation different structures (metals, alloys, solid solutions etc). We are glad to receive database free of charge. With best regards.


Shamus Husheer, United Kingdom

I am a student of crystallography at Cambridge University, and find that much of my research relies on the use of these types of databases.  Clearly, my department would therefore subscribe to them.  However, in order to check my work, reviewers also need a subscription at present - which is not provided (to my knowledge) by the journals that expect them to perform the review. The petition seems to provide a reasonable solution to this problem.


Sian Carol Davies, United Kingdom

Access to information is a basic human right and availability should not be dependant on ability to pay.


Alan Marc Schwartz, United States

Data collected and analyzed at taxpayer expense has already been purchased.  It is purchased again at taxpayer expense when journals are bought by universities under grant funding, university overhead levied on grant funding, or though tuition and fees.  Gratis basic search plus CIF output and download is justified to non-abusive users.


Stephen George Kukolich, US

The DATA was obtained mostly from GOVERMENT SUPPORTED research, and SHOULD BE FREELY PROVIDED to foster and support further research.


Dave Barthelmy, USA

As the author of, any public access to mineral data promotes and encourages further understanding of the mineral (material) sciences.


David W. Glass, USA

I agree.


Ed Godsey, USA

This data should be in the public domain.  It's important to make it as widely available as possible for research, especially for those who cannot afford fee based sources..



G. Lu, USA

It is so absurd that ICDD copies the mostly publicly published crystallographic data and sale them at such higher a price. I was even denied to purchase a data viewer software by ICDD because I refuse to upgrade my year 2000 database.


James B. Harsh, USA

Because I am only an occasional user of crystallographic databases (for example, during the mineralogy section of my soil chemistry course) I cannot justify paying full price for access to a database. I generally just use crystal structures that are prepackaged with CrystalMaker. Open access would allow my students and I to learn to use the crystallography software for a large variety of soil minerals.


John Pearson, USA

I urge you to provide access to the Crystal data and at the same time advertise your value added software.  We can both win here. john Pearson Argonne National Laboratory


Robert R. Reeber, PhD, USA

The data is all obtained by the scientific community and should be available without charge. As a fact of nature it should not be copyrightable.


Thomas Stout, PhD, USA

It seems to me that access to crystallographic data, which is funded using public monies and published in the open scientific literature, should be made available by the IUCr in a manner similar to that provided by the RCSB for macromolecular structural data.  Since the IUCr requires that all published "small-molecule" crystal structures be deposited with the CSD, the IUCr should also bear the responsibility for requiring that -- at the very least -- the coordinate files be available for free download.  Should other scientists then choose to develop their own data-mining engines or purchase such value-added functionality would be up to the user according to their needs and ability to pay.


Udo Becker, USA

We are doing a lot of molecular simulations on all kinds of minerals and access to crystallography structure databases is crucial for our work.


Mario V. Capparelli, Venezula

It would be a great hepl for scientists in Third World countries