A precise knowledge of the quaternary structure of proteins is essential to illuminate both their function and their evolution. The major part of our knowledge on quaternary structure is inferred from X-ray crystallography data, but this inference process is hard and error-prone. The difficulty lies in discriminating fortuitous protein contacts, which make up the lattice of protein crystals, from biological protein contacts that exist in the native cellular environment. Here, we review methods devised to discriminate between both types of contacts and describe resources for downloading protein quaternary structure information and identifying high-confidence quaternary structures. The use of high-confidence datasets of quaternary structures will be critical for the analysis of structural, functional and evolutionary properties of proteins.