Alex Holachek is a front end developer for the NASA Astrophysics Data System based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  

The majority of queries in ADS are searches for authors. Author searches are simple when the author has a unique name, but what happens when the name is a common one? A search “Wu, J” might bring back a huge number of papers from many different authors with the last name “Wu” and the first name starting with “J”. Luckily, the new ADS interface, which was introduced to Astrobetter readers almost a year ago, offers several quick ways to narrow your paper set down to only the papers that you’re looking for!

Let’s use the name of the former ADS PI, Stephen S. Murray, as an example. Since Steve occasionally published papers with a variety of name variations (“Murray, S”, “Murray, Stephen”, “Murray, Steve”, and others) our initial search will have to be broad: we will search for author:”Murray, S”. The new ADS interface provides a wealth of information along with the list of records which satisfy the original query.  While your eye may typically go directly to the search results list in the center of the screen, it can be helpful to take a look at the surrounding objects, highlighted in orange in the picture below. [Read more...]

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Abigail Stevens is an astronomy PhD candidate at the Anton Pannekoek Institute, University of Amsterdam. Her research is on spectral-timing analysis of X-ray binaries.

AstroTwitter
Image credit: HST/Twitter/A.L. Stevens

This is the third post in a three-part series on Twitter at Conferences, aimed at conference organizers (if you missed them, I recommend reading the first post and second post). There have also been a few AstroBetter posts on Twitter at the AAS meetings over the years (see aas215, aas217, and aas219).

Since my institute was organizing the Netherlands Astronomy Conference 2016, I got a feel for the kinds of questions that conference organizers have in regards to Twitter. As I wrote in my first post, there are multiple benefits to having Twitter be a part of the conference, and while conference organizers may know this in theory, some (many?) lack the practice to follow through. But, if you know what to do, it’s really not hard. So to make having a conference presence on Twitter more accessible to organizers, here are some pieces of advice. [Read more...]

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Abigail Stevens is an astronomy PhD candidate at the Anton Pannekoek Institute, University of Amsterdam. Her research is on spectral-timing analysis of X-ray binaries.

AstroTwitterImage credit: HST/Twitter/A.L. Stevens

This is the second post in a three-part series on Twitter at Conferences, aimed at Twitter users (I recommend reading the first post if you missed it, the third post may be found here). There have also been a few AstroBetter posts on Twitter at the AAS meetings over the years (see aas215, aas217, and aas219).

Tweeting at conferences is probably my favourite use of Twitter. It adds a whole new level of interaction to the conference experience and connects me to colleagues who I otherwise might not meet (particularly those in different sub-fields). One of the things I look forward to about conferences is meeting tweeps in-person! All levels of tweeters can contribute to and benefit from the conference Twitter presence. Here are some tips and tricks: [Read more...]

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Isabel Little is the Marketing & Community Manager @ Paperpile and a Masters candidate in Learning & Technology @ the University of Oxford.

A while back, Kelle shared her experiences with writing collaborative proposals in Google Docs. Her verdict was that the final product turned out much better (and was accomplished much faster) than if they team had used conventional tools like Word and email.

By now, you’re probably familiar with how much of a game-changer Google Docs and other collaborative writing platforms can be for research groups. Tedious tasks like writing a research proposal suddenly become manageable when completed online. Compared to emailing countless versions back and forth between collaborators, Google Docs keeps all your changes and comments up-to-date and in one place.

Google Docs has evolved over the years to become an even better platform for scientists – new features and add-ons make it a very robust solution. I wanted to take a moment to talk about how some of those upgrades help tame a particularly irksome element of the proposal process: reference management. [Read more...]

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Twitter at Conferences, Part 1: Non-tweeters

by Guest July 6, 2016

Abigail Stevens is an astronomy PhD candidate at the Anton Pannekoek Institute, University of Amsterdam. Her research is on spectral-timing analysis of X-ray binaries. Image credit: HST/Twitter/A.L. Stevens This is the first post in a three-part series on Twitter at Conferences, aimed at non-Twitter-users and all conference attendees. There have also been a few AstroBetter […]

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MATISSE, the ASDC web-tool for the planetary exploration

by Guest June 27, 2016

Angelo Zinzi is a postdoc at ASI Science Data Center (ASDC) and Astronomical Observatory of Rome (INAF-OAR). His work at ASDC includes the development of a multi-platform, flexible tool for accessing, analyzing and visualizing data from planetary exploration missions. MATISSE (Multi-purpose Advanced Tool for the Instruments for the Solar System Exploration) is a tool developed […]

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Introducing the McCrady & Rice Labs: Concept-Oriented Collaborative Activities for Astronomy 101

by Guest June 13, 2016

Emily Rice is an assistant professor at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island, a resident research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, and co-PI of the BDNYC research group. She is also co-founder of the STARtorialist astronomy fashion blog and co-organizes Astronomy on Tap events in New York City. […]

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Wiki Update: Diversity Programs

by Danny Barringer May 13, 2016

Happy Friday, everyone! This post is intended to serve as both notification of an update and a call for further updates to the Diversity Programs section of the AstroBetter Wiki. While we have a decent size list already, we’d love to find out about more of the programs in place to further promote the participation […]

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An Open, Online Astronomy Thesis Collection

by Guest April 11, 2016

Megan Potterbusch, a Library and Information Science graduate student at Simmons College, currently works at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Library and is one of the curators of the Astronomy Thesis Collection. Now you can give your thesis or dissertation greater accessibility and visibility by publishing it online in the Astronomy Thesis Collection hosted […]

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LGBT Climate in Physics

by Danny Barringer March 16, 2016

While I’m sure there’s a lot of fascinating science coming out of the APS 2016 Meeting, the result that most caught my eye came out of the recently formed APS Ad-Hoc Committee on LGBT Issues. Specifically, C-LGBT released their first report LGBT Climate in Physics, which is available online. The C-LGBT website already linked above […]

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