We present a large test set of protein–ligand complexes for the purpose of validating algorithms that rely on the prediction of protein–ligand interactions. The set consists of 305 complexes with protonation states assigned by manual inspection. The following checks have been carried out to identify unsuitable entries in this set: (1) assessing the involvement of crystallographically related protein units in ligand binding; (2) identification of bad clashes between protein side chains and ligand; and (3) assessment of structural errors, and/or inconsistency of ligand placement with crystal structure electron density. In addition, the set has been pruned to assure diversity in terms of protein–ligand structures, and subsets are supplied for different protein-structure resolution ranges. A classification of the set by protein type is available. As an illustration, validation results are shown for GOLD and SuperStar. GOLD is a program that performs flexible protein–ligand docking, and SuperStar is used for the prediction of favorable interaction sites in proteins. The new CCDC/Astex test set is freely available to the scientific community (http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk). Proteins 2002;49:457–471. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.