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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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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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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New ADS Paper Discovery Tool

by Guest May 28, 2012

This is a guest post by Dr. Tod Lauer, an Astronomer at NOAO. Tod’s research is focused on understanding the evolution and structure of galaxies, near and far. In this post, he introduces us to an excellent new tool provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) for finding papers. The NASA Astrophysics Data Sytem […]


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What’s the best tool to annotate PDFs?

by Jane March 23, 2011

We all know the workflow:  a collaborator sends a draft proposal or paper; we carefully read it; bleed all over it; and send it back.  I admit that until last year, I used a Big Red Pen on hardcopy, which I then returned to the lead author by scanning with the xerox machine. Recently I […]


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Code and text editors on MacOS X

by Tom June 21, 2010

One of the things we spend the most time doing as astronomers is writing text and/or code, whether to develop a pipeline to reduce/plot data, write papers/proposals, or write simulation codes. Choosing a good text editor is just as important as having a good chair to sit on, and can have a big impact on […]


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