Chapter 2.2 Quality indicators in macromolecular crystallography: definitions and applications

Crystallography of biological macromolecules

Second Online Edition (2012)

Part 2. Basic crystallography

  1. H. M. Einspahr1,
  2. M. S. Weiss2

Published Online: 14 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000809

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Einspahr, H. M. and Weiss, M. S. 2012. Quality indicators in macromolecular crystallography: definitions and applications. International Tables for Crystallography. F:2:2.2:64–74.

Author Information

  1. 1

    PO Box 6483, Lawrenceville, NJ08648–0483, United States

  2. 2

    Helmholtz‐Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Macromolecular Crystallography (HZB‐MX), Albert‐Einstein‐Str. 15, D‐12489 Berlin, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2012



Many indicators of quality have been developed to monitor a macromolecular crystallography experiment from data collection to refinement of the final model. This chapter offers consensus definitions for most of these indicators and discusses their applications and their impact in the context of current experimental practices. Definitions of the most commonly encountered indicators are presented in a table for quick reference.


  • quality indicators;
  • R factors;
  • figures of merit;
  • correlation coefficients