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Acronym used both for the Crystallographic Information File, a data-exchange and archival file format sponsored by the International Union of Crystallography, and the Crystallographic Information Framework, a subsequent 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.

Similar acronyms are used for specific applications of the Crystallographic Information Framework, e.g.

  • mmCIF (macromolecular crystallography)
  • pdCIF (powder diffraction)
  • msCIF (description of modulated and composite structures)
  • rhoCIF (electron density data)
  • imgCIF (image data)
  • symCIF (symmetry data)

See also

Brown, I. D. & McMahon, B. (2002). CIF: the computer language of crystallography, Acta Cryst. B58, 317-324.

Hall, S. R., Allen, F. H. & Brown, I. D. (1991). The Crystallographic Information File (CIF): a new standard archive file for crystallography. Acta Cryst. A47, 655-685. (See also HTML version at

International Tables for Crystallography, Volume G