This article is an introduction to the special issue of the journal PROTEINS, dedicated to the ninth Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (CASP) experiment to assess the state of the art in protein structure modeling. The article describes the conduct of the experiment, the categories of prediction included, and outlines the evaluation and assessment procedures. Methods for modeling protein structure continue to advance, although at a more modest pace than in the early CASP experiments. CASP developments of note are indications of improvement in model accuracy for some classes of target, an improved ability to choose the most accurate of a set of generated models, and evidence of improvement in accuracy for short "new fold" models. In addition, a new analysis of regions of models not derivable from the most obvious template structure has revealed better performance than expected.