Welcome to the New ADS

by Guest on May 28, 2018

Kelly Lockhart is a back-end software engineer for the NASA Astrophysics Data System, based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is pleased to announce that our new interface is officially out of its beta phase! It has reached nearly full parity with the Classic system, and provides more features, more search fields, and a more modern interface than ever before.

The Classic ADS system has been operational since 1994 when the World Wide Web was still in its infancy. While still widely popular, serving over three-quarters of a million visitors a month, its 90s-era application and database infrastructure makes it impossible to maintain and expand. As an answer to this problem, development on the first version of the new ADS, ADS Labs, began in 2009. After several iterations, development of the current version, codenamed Bumblebee, began in 2015.

Besides a more modern interface, the new ADS offers improved search features and indexes additional search fields, including:

  • Full text searching is available for over 4 million of our 13 million records, including most of the recently refereed journal articles.
  • Filters on the search results page allow users to quickly narrow the search results without needing to edit the original query.
  • Second order queries, such as the trending() operator, and visualizations offer options for exploring topics.
  • Additional fields, such as author affiliations and acknowledgements (when available from the publisher) are now searchable.
  • ORCID integration allows users to both claim their papers and share their personal bibliographies.


Example of the Paper Network, one of the visualizations available in the new ADS.

Now that the new ADS is up to speed, the Classic interface will slowly be phased out over the next year, with its retirement planned for May 31, 2019. (Note, however, that all existing links to Classic pages and searches will continue to work even after this retirement date.) We know change isn’t easy, especially when it comes to giving up a search system that has been in use for nearly 25 years, but we’re trying to make the transition as smooth as possible. If you haven’t yet, check out the video above for a quick intro to the new interface. More info is also available on our blog, in both general and technical posts. Also in place is a new button on the main Classic search form–enter your search as usual and use the Send Query to ADS button to automatically search in the new interface (the Send Query to Classic button will search in the Classic interface as usual). Finally, for more in-depth questions, check out the help pages, especially the Quick Start guides, which are designed to help you accomplish specific tasks.


The Classic multi-box search has a new button: click Send Query to ADS to search in the new interface. The Send Query to Classic button will work as usual.

As always, if you’d like to share any feedback about the new system, drop us a line.

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