Data Deposition and Release Policies

The RCSB PDB follows the policies as determined and outlined by the wwPDB.

Data Deposition

Biomolecular polymers including polypeptides, polynucleotides, polysaccharides, and their complexes that meet the following criteria are accepted:

Crystal structures of peptides with fewer than 24 residues within any polymer chain that do not meet criteria 1, 2, or 3 can be deposited at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC, NMR structures of such molecules can be submitted to Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank (BMRB) through the Small Molecule Structure Deposition (SMSdep, system.

Smaller oligonucleotides (dinucleotides and trinucleotides) can be deposited at the Nucleic Acid Database (NDB,

Molecules that do not conform to these guidelines but have been previously deposited in the PDB will not be removed.

Coordinate and Experimental Data Release

The length of time that a structure is held from public release is selected during deposition: Hold for 8 Weeks, Hold for 6 Months, Hold for 1 Year, Hold for Publication, or Release Now.

The maximum hold period is one year, even if the corresponding paper has not been published. Depositors will be given the option to either release or withdraw the deposition at that time.

Holding for a defined period of time (HOLD)

Structures placed on "hold" are automatically released at the expiration of the hold period. There is a one-year hold limit.

Hold For Publication (HPUB)

The status HPUB indicates that a structure will be released when the corresponding journal article is published electronically or in print. There is a one-year hold limit.

The wwPDB receives publication information from some journals, and automatically searches for new publications. We encourage sending citation updates to

Release Now (REL)

Structures will be released as soon as processing is complete.

Sequence Pre-release

Depositors can release the primary sequence in advance of the coordinates. ADIT's default setting is set to (REL), meaning sequence pre-release.

Sequence pre-release can prevent unintended duplication of effort in structure determination, and allow users to conduct blind tests of structure prediction and modeling techniques.

Pre-released sequences can be viewed using the Unreleased Entries search form.

Release Schedule

The PDB archive is updated at the target time of Wednesday 00:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). For a structure to be released as part of that update, release requests containing the PDB ID and related publication information should be sent to by 12:00 noon EST on the preceding Thursday. Requests received after this cutoff time will be processed during the next update cycle.

Each week, all files scheduled for release or modification are checked and validated one final time. Authors may be contacted to resolve any issues that may arise while preparing the entries for release. If this is not accomplished within that release cycle, the entry may be scheduled for released in a later update.

Additional Information

A document about Frequently Asked Questions About Depositing, Updating and Releasing Files is available. [Click here]

Last Updated: May 6, 2008

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