NMReDATA tag format 2.0

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The NMReDATA 2.0 format consists of the 1.1 format with the following extensions:


Author are given with their orcid number (preference) or lastname, comma, first name(s) (to facilitate separation of first and lastname). For data originating from article we would accept the names as listed in the article (initials and order).

Organization should be given as ISNI code when possible. Otherwise the name, the city and the country separated by comma. The country should be coded according to ... There may be multiple institutions associated to an author. They are listed in sequence.

We can also define one or multiple roles to each author (Assignment, Validation, Curation, Principal investigator, Supervisor, Service manager, etc.


Author=0000-0001-7018-4288 \ 
Role=Assignment, Supervisor\ 
Department=isni of the Department if it exist \
Author=van Halle, John\ 
Organization=De Montfort University, Lancaster, UK\
Department=Department of chemical sciences\

If a record is updated, the history of the authors/versions are listed with version numbers:

Author=van Halle, John\ 
Author=Doe, Peter\
Role=Assignment, correction of assignement of C1 an C3\

For automated changes, the software is given as Software name and version, comma, source of the software.


Robot=SuperSoft V1, Acme Soft Ltd. \ 
Department=isni of the Department if it exist \

3D structures

In version <2.0, we do not specify if the structure in the .sdf file is “flat”, or a true “3D structure”. Version 2.0 clarifies this.

The proposition is that sdf files could have two structures (.sdf files allows for any number of structure - we don’t violate any rule here). When there is only one structure, it should be “flat” (z coordinate set to zero) with all known stereo information encoded properly in it. When there are two structures, the two should have the same numbering of the atoms, but one is for “flat” display, and one the 3D structure for distances measurement, measure of angles, dihedral angled, etc.

The NMREDATA tags go with the 2D structure, so the overall file will look like this:


<2d structure>

<other tags>



<3d structure>


Molblock (2D/3D) structures

The SDF file format allows to include multiple structures/model/frames in a single SDF file. They are separated by a line with "$$$$".

For the NMReDATA format, there is always one (first) structure representing the "flat" 2D structure. By flat we don't mean that chirality is not specified, but that it has a z-coordinate set to zero.

For version 2.0, we will introduce the possibility to include a 3D structure (additional to the first - not replacing it!).

The second structure (3D with non-zero z coordinates) may be added by simply appending a molblock to the SDF file and terminate (as usual), the file with "$$$$".

It should fulfil the following conditions: the order of atoms and bonds should be the same as for the main (first) structure. The "only" difference should be the x, y, z coordinates that will correspond to the determined 3D structure, instead of having z set to zero as for "flat" structure.

To obey the official specification of the MOLfile format and, hence, assure compatibility of the files with other software, the second line in the header of each molblock should include either "2D" or "3D" (the 'dimensional codes') in columns 21 and 22 (the dd below):

Line 2 has the format:
A2<--A8--><---A10-->A2I2<--F10.5-><---F12.5--><-I6-> )
User's first and last initials (I), program name (P), date/time (M/D/Y,H:m),
dimensional codes (d), scaling factors (S, s), energy (E) if modelling program input,
internal registry number (R) if input through MDL form.

Note that future developments may impose to include additional structures (for example for multiple conformations DFT/GIAO data...). We will need to make sure the software can unambiguously find the correct 3D structures. We may therefore have to add addition flag to indicate the 3D structure corresponding to the main structure of the NMReDATA. For now, we can consider the that the second structure in the file will be the 3D structures and ignore any addition ones (third, fourth, etc.)

We strongly recommend to have all the NMReDATA tags associated with the first structure, i.e. included before the first "$$$$" line. This is because the current reader may stop reading the SDF file at the first occurrence of "$$$$" and would miss them if they are listed after the 3D structure.

2D to 3D conversion

When a 3D visualizer does not find a 3D structure, it could generate and add the 3D structure to the output, BUT ask for permission/warning to the user and warn him on the consequences and/or guide him through the process:

-Transforming 2D into 3D is not innocent. If two enantiotopic hydrogen atoms are drawn with regular bonds (simple straight line) and assigned two different signals in the spectrum, it may be for the good reason that the assignment is not known. Introducing a 3D structure will erase the "unknown" and introduce the risk of error. When there is a risk for this to occur, one should use the "ambiguous" statement in the "NMREDATA_ASSIGNMENT" tag.

-Other problems of this type probably exist...

In principle transforming 2D into 3D is quite important and useful but has to be done carefully to avoid introducing error or removing information!

Jcamp integration

JCAMP spectra can be included in NMR records (for version >= 2.0). Jcamp do not replace the manufacturer's format (in the files or through links), but can be provided in addition in order the make the NMR record more FAIR. We require only minimal spectral information (see below), no fid and other acquisitions and processing parameters that are notoriously difficult to interconvert.

We do not impose to have the JCAMP files generated by the software generating/reading NMReDATA, (only recommend to) but to have them ready to read the JCAMP files when the manufaturers data are not available (something that should, in principle, not occur!). The feature of adding JCAMP spectra in NMR Records could be added by "smart" repository servers (using API), or other software tools. The jcamp spectra are expected to be proposed when records are provided by web-based data providers.

This is a working proposition to include JCAMP spectra in NMR Records / Ongoing discussion using Slack contact Damien Jeannerat to be associated

We should discuss which version of JCAMP should be accepted - if not all. Given that we will use it very minimally just to allow to access spectra (not to convey acquisition parametes, etc.), they can be in a very generic form (compatible with all/most? versions of Jcamp). This would require no new developments of Jcamp. We "only" have to define the names of the fields and the type of accepted data.

Example of reference to the JCAMP file (in bold):

Signal 1
Signal 2

You will find below, for both 1D and 2D spectra, the prefered format, and the alternatively accepted format to increase compatibility.

For 1D spectra

Note that the Larmor frequency can also be found in the .sdf file, but should be given in the camp file as well.

Preferred format to be used for new developments example:

Frequency of the first point (left side) FIRSTX=
Frequency of the last point (right side) LASTX= 
Larmor frequency (to allow to switch to ppm scale) LARMOR= (or .OBSERVE FREQUENCY= accepted for compatibility)
Number of points NPOINTS=
NPOINTS data points (int or float text or binary ????)

Alternative accepted parameters (Bruker type...):

Spectral width in ppm SW=
Chemical shift of the center of the spectrum SFO1= 
Larmor frequency (to allow to switch to Hz scale) BF1= 
Number of points SI=
SI data points (int or float text or binary ????)

The reader should be able to manage both types of parameters. Interconvertion of (FIRSTX LASTX LARMOR NPOINTS) into (SW SFO1 BF1 SI) being trival.

For 2D spectra

We should consider correlation spectra (with chemical shift in both dimensions) but also J-resolved spectra (Hz in F1) 2D spectra with double quantum scales (in F1) and Diffusion "spectra" (DOSY) What other combination ???? Assuming the direct dimension is always in ppm.

Preferred format (for new developments use this...)

"D" is for direct dimension "I" stands for indirect dimension.

Type of indirect dimension: TYPE_F1_SCALE= "ppm", "Hz", "dq", "diff"
Spectral within ppm in the direct and indirect dimensions SWD= / SWI= 
Chemical shift of the first point (bottom / left side) FIRSTXD= / FIRSTXI=
Chemical shift of the last point (top / right side) LASTXD= / LASTXI=
Larmor frequencies (to allow switch to Hz) LARMORD= / LARMORI= (0 if not relevant - for type "Hz")
Number of points in the direct and indirect dimensions, NPOINTSD= / NPOINTSI= 
NPOINTSDxNPOINTSI data points (int or float text or binary ????) (all points of the direct dimension before starting the second point of the indirect dimension)

For compatibility with existing Bruker JCAMP

How the type of 2D spectrum will be indentified is still to be determined.

A line "$$ Bruker specific parameters for F1" separates F2 from F1 parameters with the same names

Spectral within ppm in the direct and indirect dimensions SW= 
Chemical shift of center of the spectrum (bottom / left side) SFO1=
Larmor frequencies (to allow switch to Hz) BF1= (0 if not relevant - for type "Hz")
Number of points in the direct and indirect dimensions, SI= 
SI(1)xSI(2) data points (int or float text or binary ????) (all points of the direct dimension before starting the second point of the indirect dimension)