Mail-In Service is an access mode where qualified CLS staff collect data for peer-reviewed projects having the highest peer-review scores, or industrial projects. Beamtime for Mail-In Service is allocated taking into account beamline and staff availability. We cannot guarantee results will be complete by a certain date, nor against possible damage to crystals during transport, mounting or measurement. At this time, there is no charge for this service for peer-reviewed access projects. Proprietary industrial access Mail-In Service is associated with a fee, arranged through the industrial access process.

Requesting Mail-In Service

  • Peer-Reviewed Access - Apply for Mail-In beamtime by requesting shifts from your valid project in the CLS User Portal, indicating the number of samples you wish to send.
  • Industrial Access - Contact your industry contact person to arrange Mail-In Service.

Preparing for Your Mail-In

After your Mail-In beamtime has been approved, you will be contacted with the expected start date. Use the following checklist while preparing to ensure a smooth data collection:

  • Prepare samples for shipment according to requirements
    • See the Samples & Automounters and Shipping Samples sections for instructions.
    • Uni-Pucks are the preferred container for Mail-In Service. If canes are used, they should be in plastic sleeves so that vials do not fall out during transport. The bottom of the cane is considered to be position "1".
    • Optionally, include a data storage device (NTFS formatted), with no less than 10 GB of available space per sample. If the disk is not formatted properly or there is not enough space, we may need to reformat it or delete files to make room. The disk that you send should therefore not contain critical data for which there are no other copies, and should be considered temporary storage only. We cannot guarantee the safety of your disk during transport. Other methods to obtain your data are described in the Computing & Data Transfer section.
    • We advise sending samples several working days prior to your expected collection start date.
  • Submit sample & experiment information - MxLIVE
    • Your Fed-Ex account number and return address will be required for return shipment and should be entered in your MxLIVE profile. It is your responsibility to ensure that the information in MxLIVE is up-to-date.

Tips for making the most of your Mail-In beamtime:

  • If you want data for different crystal forms, binding of different ligands, etc, please separate these into different Groups within MxLIVE as much as possible (each different ligand should be a different experiment/group, for example).
  • the most efficient protocol is to provide 3-4 crystals for each Group/Experiment with instructions to "Collect First Good"
    • in this case, the first good crystal with acceptable diffraction that meets your criteria will be collected and the remaining crystals in that Group kept as backups and not used unless there is a problem with the resulting dataset.

Results from Mail-In Service

The progress of your Mail-In data collection can be followed through MxLIVE, where images and output from AutoProcess are automatically uploaded and available for you to download.

The raw images as well as the output from AutoProcess will also be returned on your data storage device if one is provided.

It is expected that the scientist who collects the data, the beamline, and the CLS be acknowledged in any resulting publications as outlined in the Acknowledging the CLS section.