Crystallographic Information File

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CIF format
Filename extension.cif
Internet media typechemical/x-cif
Type of formatchemical file format
Extended fromSelf-defining Text Archive and Retrieval
Extended tommCIF

Crystallographic Information File (CIF) is a standard text file format for representing crystallographic information, promulgated by the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr). CIF was developed by the IUCr Working Party on Crystallographic Information in an effort sponsored by the IUCr Commission on Crystallographic Data and the IUCr Commission on Journals. The file format was initially published by Hall, Allen, and Brown[1] and has since been revised, most recently version 1.1.[2] Full specifications for the format are available at the IUCr website. Many computer programs for molecular viewing are compatible with this format, including Jmol.

mmCIF format
Filename extension.mcif
Internet media typechemical/x-mmcif
Type of formatchemical file format
Extended fromCrystallographic Information File

Closely related is mmCIF, macromolecular CIF, which is intended as an alternative to the Protein Data Bank (PDB) format. Also closely related is Crystallographic Information Framework, a broader system of exchange protocols based on data dictionaries and relational rules expressible in different machine-readable manifestations, including, but not restricted to, Crystallographic Information File and XML.


  1. ^ Hall SR, Allen FH, Brown ID (1991). "The Crystallographic Information File (CIF): a new standard archive file for crystallography". Acta Crystallographica. A47 (6): 655–685. doi:10.1107/S010876739101067X. Archived from the original on 2006-11-27. Retrieved 2006-08-26.
  2. ^ Brown ID, McMahon B (2002). "CIF: the computer language of crystallography". Acta Crystallographica B. 58 (Pt 3 Pt 1): 317–24. PMID 12037350.

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