Abstract The synthesis of new ribonucleosides is an essential research area in the investigation of new therapeutically useful agents, particularly those used in the treatment of HIV infection. The conformation of these nucleosides may have direct implications for their ability to bind to receptor targets. We have prepared the 7-methoxy-1,4-dihydro-4-oxoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid derivatives and used the ensemble of low-energy minima to develop conformational profiles of quinolonic nucleosides and verify their accuracy in different calculations of structural parameters. Results are compared with experimental data obtained by X-ray and NMR analysis. Finally, we intend to test the applicability of these methods to conformational analysis of other nucleosides and verify if the preferential conformation is the one which gives the best anti-HIV or antiviral activity.