ADS: How to find author names and affiliations

by Guest July 22, 2013

This is a guest post by Alessondra Springmann. The original article can be found here. The astronomy and planetary science communities have a fantastic tool for finding scientific papers previously published: the Astrophysics Data System, or ADS, supported by NASA and run out of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  The main feature I use is […]


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A call for open access to all data used in AJ and ApJ articles

by Kelle July 10, 2013

I don’t fully understand it, but I know the Astronomical Journal (AJ) and Astrophysical Journal (ApJ) are different than many other journals: They are run by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and not by a for-profit publisher. That means that the AAS Council and the members (the people actually producing and reading the science) have […]


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New on the wiki: acknowledgements

by Chris Crockett May 17, 2013

Tired of hunting around web pages for how to properly acknowledge a resource in your next paper? Or maybe—if you’re like me—you’re digging through old papers to see how you thanked Keck the last time? Your hunting days are over. The AstroBetter wiki introduces one-stop shopping for all your acknowledgement needs.  This resource will include […]


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How much does a typical astronomy paper cost taxpayers?

by Chris Crockett April 26, 2013

About $20,000. That’s one of the take-home messages from Jim Davenport’s light-hearted analysis of the last ten years of NSF AST grants. Want to know which paper in the last ten years is the most efficient (in terms of number of papers published vs. size of grant)? Read more about his analysis right here!


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Writing Papers, Making Videos: OSU Astronomy “Coffee Briefs”

by Guest February 11, 2013

This is a guest post by Prof. Kris Stanek, an astronomy professor at The Ohio State University (OSU). Kris works on a wide range of topics including stellar explosions (GRBs, SNe), transiting planets, and other variable objects. I am on a much-needed sabbatical at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii Manoa, and I recently […]


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Python in Latex with Sympy

by Jessica Lu January 30, 2013

The final output for scientific research is typically a paper published in a scientific journal. There may be electronic versions of figures and tables that accompany the paper. However, the links between the input data (e.g. images, spectra, time series), the analysis (e.g. code, databases), and the output paper (LaTeX, EPS figures) is often weak. Everyone has […]


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Should astronomy journals accept PDF figures for publication?

by Eli November 6, 2012

PS and EPS figures have been the bread and butter of astronomy for decades. In turn, the astronomy journals accepted the PS and EPS figures for publication. Recently, plotting packages are supporting PDF files more than the EPS and PS formats. An EPS file was originally developed as a language to tell a program how […]


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Which meta data should be included in ArXiv postings?

by saurav October 8, 2012

Browsing the most recent postings on ArXiv, the most common information included in the “Comments” field includes the number of pages, number of figures and tables, and the status (submitted/accepted) of the paper. Many people do not include the any of the meta data. K.M. wrote to AstroBetter wondering what could be done to encourage people […]


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Is emulateapj worth the trouble?

by saurav September 19, 2012

Do you use the emulateapj style file when submitting to astro-ph or circulating drafts to your co-authors? Or do you find it to be a nuisance? I have been informally asking this question at conferences (and otherwise) for a few months now and have encountered a mixed response.  A plurality seems to prefer papers in […]


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Peer Review, the Nuts and Bolts [Links]

by Jessica Lu July 27, 2012

The first time you peer review a paper can be a stressful, but educational, experience. The article below breaks down the overall peer review process. The guide was written for biology; but 99% of it is useful for astronomers as well. I like that the peer review process is placed into a larger context and […]


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