online submission instructions

The following instructions for submitting to Acta Crystallographica Section C are organized in question-and-answer format. You can read through the questions in order, or click on any of the questions to jump directly to the answer. When you're ready to continue, go back to the submissions home page.

Context sensitive help is available throughout the submission procedure by holding your mouse over underlined text in the submission forms or by clicking on the help icons [info]

Please note: These instructions should be read together with the Notes for Authors, which give overall guidelines on submitting an article.  

Getting started Submission and review Getting help

Getting started

How do I begin submitting an article?

When you are ready to submit an article and have all the necessary items ready, you should go to the submissions home page to start the process. To submit your article, you will be asked to provide information on your submission, to upload your article, structure factors and graphics files, and to select a Co-editor. The process is reasonably self-explanatory, and detailed help is provided along the way.

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What should I have ready before starting a new submission?

Before you begin submitting, you should have the following items ready:
  • if you are submitting in WORD format, the text of your article prepared as a single file (using the templates available from http://journals.iucr.org/services/wordstyle.html), a CIF (see below for more information on preparing and pre-checking your CIF) and a structure factor or Rietveld data file in CIF format for each reported structure;
  • if you are submitting in CIF format, a CIF (see below for more information on preparing and pre-checking your CIF) containing the complete text of your article, together with a structure factor or Rietveld data file in CIF format for each reported structure;
  • your full contact details (e-mail address, mailing address, telephone and fax numbers);
  • details of the authors of your article (surnames, forenames and e-mail addresses of all authors);
  • other details of the article you are submitting (article title, language in which your article is written, article category);
  • any comments regarding your article (e.g. suggestions for referees) in plain, unformatted text, ready to be copied and pasted (or typed directly) into the web site;
  • a high-resolution graphics file in TIFF, PostScript, encapsulated PostScript or HPGL format for each figure and chemical scheme, and any other supplementary files you wish to submit;
  • an abstract in plain, unformatted text, ready to be copied and pasted (or typed directly) into the web site;
  • the location of your source files on your local filesystem.

Note that if you wish to submit a covering letter, it may be pasted into the form at Stage 5 of the submission, or uploaded using the contact co-editor tab at Stage 7 of the submission.

In addition, it may be useful to identify, in advance, Co-editors who you would prefer to handle your article.

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What does the overall submission and review procedure involve?

The overall procedure involves seven stages:
  • Stage 1
    You will be asked to provide your email details and select your article category. For WORD submissions, you will be asked to upload your WORD document, CIF and structure factor or Rietveld data file(s). For CIF submissions, a CIF and structure factor or Rietveld data file(s) will be required. If your CIF does not conform to the submission requirements, you will be requested to correct your CIF before proceeding.

  • Stage 2
    You will be asked to check your contact details and details of the article (see above).

  • Stage 3
    You will be asked to upload graphics files and supplementary data for your article (see below). Note that you should only click on the CONTINUE button when you have uploaded all relevant files and have generated and checked the PDF review document.

  • Stage 4
    The system will also ask you to transfer copyright in your article (see below), and also state that you have complied with the ethical requirements of the journal.

  • Stage 5
    You will be invited to select a Co-editor, from a list of those available, to coordinate the review of your article; comments concerning your article (e.g. the names of potential reviewers) may be typed into the space provided.

  • Stage 6
    The system will assign a Co-editor to your article. You will be given the contact details of this Co-editor and a Co-editor reference code. The reference code has two letters and four digits (e.g. au6165) and should be quoted in all subsequent communications with the Co-editor and the Editorial Office. You will also be provided with a web address for accessing and viewing your article home page. You should keep a record of the web address for viewing your article and the Co-editor code of your article.

    The Co-editor will arrange for the review of your article and will inform you by e-mail of the outcome of the review. You may be asked to submit revised versions of your article (see below). Please note that revisions should only be submitted at the request of the Co-editor handling your article.

  • Stage 7
    Your submission is now complete and you will be returned to the home page for your article. If you wish to submit a covering letter at this stage, it may be uploaded using the contact co-editor tab.
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Submission and review
 
What kinds of file may I submit?

The files should be prepared for submission according to the Notes for Authors; the files that we will require are as follows:

WORD or OpenOffice submissions:
  • A WORD or OpenOffice file of the text, tables and figure captions, prepared using the templates available from http://journals.iucr.org/services/wordstyle.html. Note that figures should not be included in this file
  • A CIF; see below for more information on preparing and pre-checking your CIF
  • A structure factor or Rietveld data file in CIF format for each reported structure
  • A high-resolution graphics file in TIFF, PostScript, encapsulated PostScript or HPGL format for each figure and chemical scheme; see below for more information on graphics files
  • Files of any additional supplementary material that should accompany your article
For each file you will be asked to
  • Select the role of the file, its number and part number as applicable
  • Locate the file on your local system
  • Upload the file
You may overwrite an incorrectly uploaded file by uploading a replacement file with the same role, number and part number.

Once you have uploaded all your files, you should CONTINUE to the next stage.

All files will be automatically converted into a PDF review document by the submission system. This document will also include checkCIF and duplication reports.


CIF submissions:
  • Your article prepared as a CIF; see below for more information on preparing and pre-checking your CIF
  • A structure factor or Rietveld data file in CIF format for each reported structure
  • A high-resolution graphics file in TIFF, PostScript, encapsulated PostScript or HPGL format for each figure and chemical scheme; see below for more information on graphics files
  • Files of any additional supplementary material that should accompany your publication
For each file you will be asked to
  • Select the role of the file, its number and part number as applicable
  • Locate the file on your local system
  • Upload the file
You may overwrite an incorrectly uploaded file by uploading a replacement file with the same role, number and part number.

Once you have uploaded all your files, you should CONTINUE to the next stage.

All files will be automatically converted into a PDF review document by the submission system. In addition to your article, this document will also include checkCIF and duplication reports.

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How do I create and pre-check my CIF?

Guidelines for the preparation and editing of your CIF, the data items required therein, standard data codes and keywords, CIF templates, example CIFs, and data-validation criteria and procedures are available from an online CIF help page. A free CIF editor (publCIF) is available for preparing and editing your CIF.

Most standard crystallographic packages will generate CIFs suitable for submission. In cases where this is not possible, or if you wish to generate CIFs to a standard pattern, templates are provided for the preparation of single-crystal and powder CIFs.

Once you have created your CIF, you should pre-check it using the checkcif service at http://journals.iucr.org/services/cif/checkcif.html. Any reported problems with the submitted data will need to be corrected before submission. If the report contains validation alerts about the consistency, adequacy or quality of the data, these will need to be addressed, or, if there are specific valid or unavoidable reasons for these alerts, the validation response form (VRF) supplied by checkcif must be completed and included in the submitted CIF, preferably with the addition of appropriate explanatory text in the published experimental section of the CIF.

For CIF submissions, it is also recommended that you preview your CIF before submission using the printcif service at http://journals.iucr.org/services/cif/printcif.html.

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Should I use a template to prepare my article?

For WORD submissions, you should prepare your article using the templates available from http://journals.iucr.org/services/wordstyle.html. If you include any experimental or geometry tables, these should be prepared using the Table Tools menu in the template. Graphics should not be included in WORD files as they will be appended by the submission system.

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How do I prepare an enhanced figure?

A toolkit is available which allows you to create one or more enhanced figures and their corresponding static figures. [info] This application uses the CIF for your structure to produce a figure which you can manipulate as required. You may use the toolkit before submission by clicking here. Alternatively, during the submission process, you may create an enhanced figure directly from your uploaded CIF. An example of an enhanced figure which has been prepared in this way is Machado et al. [Acta Cryst. (2008), C64, m233-m236].

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How do I prepare figures and chemical schemes?

A set of guidelines for preparing figures is available.

You should prepare figures and chemical structure diagrams in HPGL, PostScript, encapsulated PostScript or TIFF format. The resolution of bitmap graphics should be a minimum of 600 d.p.i. at 8.8 cm width.

You should provide a chemical structural diagram (a typical example is shown below) for molecular compounds. You are also encouraged to submit chemical connectivity (CDX, CML, MOL, SDF, SMI) files for all reported structures (see below for more information).

chemical structural diagram

A labelled ellipsoid diagram is required for each species in a structural report. You are also encouraged to supply additional figures, e.g. packing diagrams.

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Should I submit supplementary data?

A separate structure factor or Rietveld data file in CIF format should be submitted for each structure reported. Additional supplementary material may also be submitted; for a full list of allowed file types, click here. Chemical connectivity (CDX, CML, MOL, SDF, SMI) files are particularly welcome (see below for more information).

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Should I submit chemical connectivity files?

A chemical connectivity (CDX, CML, MOL, SDF, SMI) file should be submitted for each reported structure. These files will be made available as part of the supplementary materials for each article and will be used to provide InChI (International Chemical Identifier) keys for the article, making the structures easier to find in the chemical literature.

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What do I need to do about copyright?

When the files for your article have been successfuly uploaded, you will be asked to confirm that you agree to transfer of copyright of your article. If for any reason you are unable to transfer copyright, you should fill out the reasons for this in the space provided on the copyright page.

If you have any questions about copyright, please contact support@iucr.org.

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Where should I put my response to a review of my article?

You should generally respond to review comments by e-mailing the Co-editor handling your article using the contact co-editor tab on the article review page; if your article has been revised it should also be re-uploaded at this stage, see below. Short responses to review comments may be pasted or typed into the space provided at the foot of the upload revision tab.

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How do I submit a revised article?

To upload a revised version of your article following review comments, you should use the web address supplied to you during the initial submission procedure. The Co-editor will instruct you as to which files they require to be revised. In some circumstances, the Co-editor may elect to revise your article and ask you to view the revised article at the web address for your article. Revised graphics files and supplementary materials may also be requested at this stage. If figures need to be renumbered as a result of the revisions, use the change ordering of figures button to renumber the figures.

Please note: revisions should be submitted only at the specific request of the Co-editor handling your article.

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Getting help
 
What are some common pitfalls I should avoid?
  • Check your article fully before submitting it. If you find problems after the submission is complete, you will be required to resubmit your article online. Any such changes could delay the processing of your article.

  • Make sure that you follow the specific instructions for WORD and OpenOffice submissions. Failure to follow the instructions may result in an incomplete review document being sent to the Co-editor.
     
  • Ensure that your article is clearly written and grammatically correct. Your article may be rejected if it is poorly written. If you do not have good language skills in the language of submission you are expected to seek local assistance before submission of your article.
     
  • Make sure that any covering or background information is correctly submitted. Any information relevant to your submission should be pasted or typed into the _publ_contact_letter section of your CIF.
     
  • Be sure to use only the supported file formats. Your submission will not be processed if you use any other formats, and you will need to resubmit it.
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What tools are available to help prepare my article?

A number of tools are available to help with the preparation of your article: Back to contents

 
What if the Co-editor I wish to submit to is unavailable?

If you have a preference for a particular Co-editor, and that Co-editor is not available when you submit your article, you should, before selecting a Co-editor, contact support@iucr.org to see when the Co-editor will next be available. Likewise, if you wish to submit a series of related papers to the same Co-editor, please contact support@iucr.org before starting your submissions.

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What is an IUCr ID?

Your IUCr ID is your user name for all IUCr online services. The International Union of Crystallography has brought several of its online services for users, including the World Directory of Crystallographers and e-mail alerting for IUCr journals (Crystallography Journals Online), under a single registration system. With this system, each user needs to register information such as their name and e-mail address only once, and can simply and easily keep their own information up to date.

Registration is simple, with only a small amount of information required, although users who wish to be included in the World Directory of Crystallographers should provide contact and biographical information that is as complete as possible. Once registered, each user may use their IUCr ID and password at any time, for instance to log in to update their details for the World Directory of Crystallographers, to change e-mail addresses and the e-mail alerts received at each address.

If you are already registered (if you are already in the World Directory of Crystallographers), click here to search for your IUCr ID.

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What should I do if I do not have the e-mail address of a co-author?

During submission you will be asked to provide e-mail addresses for all authors. These addresses will be used to inform your co-authors that the article has been submitted. In some cases, e.g. where a co-author is a student who is no longer at your institution, it may be difficult to provide an e-mail address. If you are unable to find an address for a coauthor, you may substitute your e-mail address when filling out the form at Stage 2 of the submission.

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What should I do if I get stuck?

You will find detailed help links [info]  throughout the submission pages, and you can use any of these links without stopping the submission. If you are having more serious problems, you should contact support@iucr.org.

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