journal news


28 June 2021

We are sad to report the death of John Spence, Richard Snell Professor of Physics at Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ, USA), Director of Science at the National Science Foundation BioXFEL Science and Technology Center (Buffalo, NY, USA) and Main Editor of IUCrJ.
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22 September 2020

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Gregori Aminoff Prize 2021 to Henry Chapman, Janos Hajdu and John Spence "for their fundamental contributions to the development of X-ray free electron laser based structural biology". Professors Chapman, Hajdu and Spence are pioneers in the development and application of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) in the study of biological macromolecules, especially proteins. Thanks to the intense X-rays generated in a single short pulse from an XFEL, the structure of highly sensitive protein samples can be obtained using an experimental approach called "diffraction before destruction", where diffraction data are generated and recorded before the crystal explodes. This has now been done for various proteins that function as surface receptors on human cells, opening the way for new pharmaceuticals to be developed. All three winners are well known to IUCr Journals, with Professor Hajdu being Editor of Journal of Applied Crystallography, and Professors Chapman and Spence Co-Editor and Main Editor (Physics and FEL Science and Technology), respectively, of IUCrJ.
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26 June 2020

We send our congratulations to Richard Catlow, IUCrJ Main Editor (Materials and Computation), who has won the Royal Society of Chemistry's Faraday Lectureship Prize for the development and application of computational methods in conjunction with experiment as powerful and predictive tools in the physical chemistry of solids. While advancing fundamental knowledge in a rapidly developing field of contemporary chemistry, Professor Catlow's work is also of direct relevance to areas of key societal and economic importance, including materials for renewable energy and environmentally benign catalytic technologies.
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14 April 2020

The recently appointed IUCr Commissioning Editor for Biology, Roberto Steiner, has selected some of the best structural articles published in IUCrJ, Acta Cryst. D and Acta Cryst. F. See the collection at


30 January 2018

We are pleased to announce that IUCrJ ( is launching a fully dedicated section on cryoEM. Sriram Subramaniam (NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA) is at the helm as the Main Editor, together with Werner Kühlbrandt (MPI, Frankfurt, Germany) and four new Co-editors - Esther Bullitt (Boston University, MA, USA), Lori Passmore (MRC-LMB, Cambridge, UK), Stefan Raunser (MPI, Dortmund, Germany) and Fei Sun (Institute of Biophysics, Beijing, China). "Our aim", said Dr Subramaniam, "is to have a long-term impact in structural biology by providing a forum for rapid publication of important results in the cryoEM field."
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4 October 2017

Single particle electron cryomicroscopy (CryoEM) has experienced a quantum leap in its capability in recent years, due to improved electron microscopes, better detectors and better software. Using the technique invented by Jacques Dubochet and his colleagues in 1982, a thin film containing a suspension of the macromolecules of interest is plunge-frozen into liquid ethane at liquid nitrogen temperature, creating a frozen-hydrated sample in which individual images of the structures can be seen in many different orientations. Subsequent computer-based image analysis is then used to determine the three-dimensional structure, frequently at near-atomic resolution. Examples of some recent structures are presented, and some remaining barriers to further progress are discussed. CryoEM is already a very powerful method, but there are still many improvements that can be made before the approach reaches its theoretical limits.

Richard Henderson, a member of the Editorial Board of IUCrJ, has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, together with Jacques Dubochet and Joachim Frank.

impact factor  

1 October 2016

The International Union of Crystallography is pleased to announce that its new open-access journal, IUCrJ, has received its first impact factor of 5.3 in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports. Currently ranked 1 out of 25 journals listed in the Thomson Reuters Crystallography category, IUCrJ launched in 2014 during the International Year of Crystallography and in a short period of time has established itself as one of the leading publications in its field. IUCrJ is fast becoming the natural home for chemists, biologists, physicists and materials scientists to publish their best structural science findings. IUCrJ is overseen by an expert editorial and advisory board.


27 September 2016

The award of the 2017 Gjønnes Medal to Richard Henderson, who is a member of the Editorial Board of IUCrJ, and Nigel Unwin (MRC LMB, Cambridge, UK) has been announced. Professor Henderson will deliver a keynote and Gønnes Medal lecture on the topic "From Electron Crystallography to Single Particle CryoEM" at IUCr2017.


11 January 2016

IUCrJ Editor Richard Catlow invites you to join him next Tuesday (19 January) at a University of Liverpool (UK) Science and Society Lecture that will illustrate the scope of contemporary chemistry by describing the role of chemical research in several key global challenges. Professor Catlow will discuss recent developments relating to CO2 conversion and utilisation, the development of renewable energy technologies, food security, global health and safe water. He will look at how chemistry in the UK and internationally is making decisive contributions to key societal challenges, and how problems posed by contemporary issues provide fundamental scientific challenges for the discipline. Registration is free; for more details, please visit


8 September 2015

We are pleased to announce that IUCrJ ( will start accepting articles in cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) within the Biology and Medicine section. To this end, three of the world leaders in cryoEM - Richard Henderson (MRC, Cambridge), Werner Kühlbrandt (MPIBP, Frankfurt) and Sriram Subramaniam (NIH, Bethesda) - are joining the journal's editorial board. On the occasion of the launch of cryoEM in IUCrJ, Richard Henderson said "There has been a quantum leap in the power of single particle cryoEM due to recent improvements in microscopes, detectors and computer programs. It is entirely appropriate that the IUCr should become the home for cryoEM in the same way as it has nurtured X-ray and other crystallographies since its foundation in 1948."


3 August 2015

The results from some of the first work done during the science commissioning phase of the National Synchrotron Light Source II have been published in IUCrJ, the IUCr's high-profile open-access journal. Read "Demonstration of thin film pair distribution function analysis (tfPDF) for the study of local structure in amorphous and crystalline thin films" by Jensen et al. at IUCrJ is going from strength to strength. Thomson Reuters has recently selected the journal for coverage in the Science Citation Index, beginning with the first issue published in January 2014.


5 May 2015

Our congratulations go to John Spence, IUCrJ Main Editor (Physics and Free Electron Laser Science and Technology) on his recent election as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. This follows Acta Cryst. D Editor Randy Read's election as a Fellow of the Royal Society last year.


30 March 2015

The IUCr enjoyed taking part in this year's German Crystallographic Meeting in Goettingen ( earlier this month (pictured). Next stop: the British Crystallographic Meeting in York (, which starts today. We'll be holding a Meet-the-Editor session at the IUCr stand on Wednesday afternoon where Larry Falvello and Chris Frampton will be on hand to chat about Acta Cryst. C: Structural Chemistry ( Also, find out how IUCrJ ( is celebrating the Bragg Nobel Prize centenary, learn how to give your articles "Kudos", take the opportunity to buy a copy of A Little Dictionary of Crystallography and get a free gift when you take our Newsletter reader survey. We look forward to seeing you there!


2 February 2015

It's been 100 years since the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics to the Braggs. To celebrate, the first 100 articles submitted to IUCrJ ( using the voucher code dis-63gwUYye619PkvwixPj, and accepted for publication following peer review, will be published as platinum open access (i.e. there will be no charge for open-access publication).


18 September 2014

Please join us in congratulating IUCrJ Co-editor Professor Ian Robinson on winning the 2015 Gregori Aminoff Prize for "his development of diffraction methods for studying surfaces and nanomaterials".


3 July 2014

In his Editorial "Crystallography, materials and computation" (pp. 200-201), Richard Catlow highlights the growing role of structural studies of materials and of computation in structural science, and encourages readers to report and record their best work in this field in IUCrJ. And going from materials to medicines, the need for an effective oral therapy for leishmaniasis is described in Malcolm Walkinshaw's scientific commentary (pp. 202-203) on Brannigan et al.'s research paper "Diverse modes of binding in structures of Leishmania major N-myristoyltransferase with selective inhibitors" (pp. 250-260). IUCrJ, launched to celebrate IYCr2014, is open access, i.e. free of charge to all readers; sign up for e-alerts, and other free IUCr online services, at


13 May 2014

Read about how the new technique of rotational X-ray tracking is being used to uncover angular motion in colloidal gels. Link to the full Open Access article here


6 March 2014

Read Ted Baker's Editorial "New perspectives in biological crystallography", Michael Rossmann's Scientific Commentary "Serial crystallography using synchrotron radiation" and cutting-edge research papers here for free.


10 February 2014

Now in full swing, this issue [of the IUCr Newsletter] celebrates the launch of the International Year of Crystallography. IUCr President Gautam Desiraju's wishes for a fulfilling and productive 2014 are followed by examples of media coverage sparked by the IYCr2014 Press Conference, details about the Opening Ceremony and the burgeoning website, and information about activities such as the IUCr-UNESCO OpenFactory. Also included: journal highlights and news, including the launch of IUCrJ, further information about the 23rd IUCr Congress, and ACA2013 and EC28 meeting reports. To start your free subscription to this quarterly digital publication, please go to


1 January 2014

Happy new year and happy new journal! Today sees the official launch of IUCrJ, the IUCr's brand new, fully open-access peer-reviewed journal to commemorate IYCr2014. The journal publishes high-profile articles on all aspects of the sciences and technologies supported by the IUCr via its commissions, including emerging fields where structural results underpin the science reported in the article. Our aim is to make IUCrJ the natural home for high-quality structural science results. Chemists, biologists, physicists and material scientists are encouraged to report their structural studies in IUCrJ. Read the first issue here.

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