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Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 10, pp. 2171-2182

Published online 2012-10-03


JCAMP-DX for circular dichroism spectra and metadata (IUPAC Recommendations 2012)

Benjamin Woollett1, Daniel Klose2, Richard Cammack3, Robert W. Janes2* and B. A. Wallace1*

1 Department of Crystallography, School of Biological Sciences, Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, UK
2 School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
3 Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Division, King’s College, University of London, London, UK

Abstract: Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy is a widely used technique for the characterisation of proteins. A number of CD instruments are currently on the market, and there are more than a dozen synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) beamlines in operation worldwide. All produce different output formats and contents. In order for users of CD and SRCD data to be able simply to compare and contrast data and the associated recorded or unrecorded metadata, it is essential to have a common data format. For this reason, the JCAMP-DX-CD format for CD spectroscopy has been developed, based on extensive consultations with users and senior representatives of all the instrument manufacturers and beamlines, and under the auspices of IUPAC, based on the Joint Committee on Atomic and Physical Data Exchange protocols. The availability of a common format is also important for deposition to, and access from, the Protein Circular Dichroism Data Bank, the public repository for CD and SRCD data and metadata. The JCAMP-DX-CD format can be read by standard JCAMP programs such as JSpecView. We have also created a series of parsers, available at the DichroJCAMP web site (, which will enable the conversion between instrument and beamline formats and the JCAMP-DX-CD format.