21 June 2019
American Astronomical Society to acquire Sky & Telescope
The American Astronomical Society has agreed to acquire Sky & Telescope (S&T) magazine and its related business assets, including the skyandtelescope.com website, SkyWatch annual, digital editions, astronomy-themed tours, and S&T-branded books, sky atlases, globes, apps, and other stargazing products.
S&T's current owner, the magazine- and book-publishing company F+W Media, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2019.
More information can be found at https://aas.org/posts/news/2019/06/aas-acquires-sky-telescope
27 May 2019
Overview of publication business models
Open Access, subscriptions, transformative agreements…. to help disentangle these concepts, the ESO Library has developed a schematic overview of the most common publication business models currently used in science publishing, with a special focus on Gold Open Access and transformative agreements in the context of Plan S (DOI 10.18727/docs/4). If you have any questions or suggestions, contact us at email@example.com.
16 April 2019
ADS Classic to be discontinued
The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is changing interface. The new interface, codenamed Bumblebee and under development since 2015, has now reached parity with ADS Classic. The plan is to begin disabling searching in Classic in May 2019, with full site retirement foreseen for Q3 2019.
For further information, see the ADS blog (updated April 12, 2019) including suggestions to regular Classic users in order to prepare for the transition.
8 March 2018
telbib graphs now available in CSV and XLS format
The ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib) connects ESO data papers with the observations in the Science Archive and provides a variety of publication statistics. Search results can be visualized in various ways, resulting in “on-the-fly" graphs. In addition, telbib also provides a set of predefined charts.
Following requests from telbib users, additionally the underlying data tables of all charts are now available in the web browser, or as downloads in CSV or XLS format. This new download option gives users more flexibility to process the data according to their needs. All telbib charts are interactive; the data exported in the CSV and XLS tables correspond to the selection made by the user.
9 January 2018
The first ebooks in the AAS-IOP Astronomy collection are now available:
Astrophysics of Red Supergiants
This is the first book of its kind devoted to our current knowledge of red supergiant stars, a key evolutionary phase that is critical to our larger understanding of massive stars. The book is accessible to a broad range of experience levels, from graduate students up to senior researchers, in fields ranging from stellar astrophysics to supernovae and high-redshift galaxies.
Understanding Stellar Evolution
Henny J.G.L.M. Lamers & Emily Levesque
Based on a series of graduate -level courses taught at the University of Washington since 2004, the book is written for physics and astronomy students, and anyone with a physics background who is interested in stars. It describes the structure and evolution of stars, with emphasis on the basic physical principles and the interplay between the different processes inside stars. An extensive set of accompanying lecture slides is available for teachers.
A selection of forthcoming titles can be found here.
16 November 2017
The Library invites everybody who publishes in scientific papers to join a presentation about ORCID. ORCID provides you with a unique author identifier that reliably and clearly connects you with your research contributions and affiliations.
Probably most of you have already heard about ORCID and/or have an ORCID. Questions that will be answered in this presentation include:
- What is ORCID?
- How can I link my existing papers to my ORCID profile?
- How can I automatically connect my ORCID account with future papers?
We offer two dates for our presentation in the library:
Thursday, 14th December, 2 - 2:30 pm and
Wednesday, 17th January, 3:30 - 4 pm
If you have any questions before these dates don’t hesitate to email the librarians.
14 November 2017
Members of ResearchGate, a commercial academic social network through which scientists share (also copyrighted) publications, may be interested in the following news:
"The academic social network ResearchGate has taken moves to restrict access to at least 1.7 million scholarly articles following threats of legal action by a coalition of publishers including Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS), Times Higher Education reports today (November 9). The change, which follows months of conflict between the organizations, means that papers once freely available to download now have to be requested directly from their authors.”
The full article published in The Scientist is available at http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/50918/title/ResearchGate-Restricts-Access-to-Nearly-2-Million-Articles/
A THE (Times Higher Education) news item mentioned in The Scientist can be found here: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/publishers-push-researchgate-harder-copyright-battle
7 November 2017
IOP Publishing, the publisher of ApJ and AJ, has issued two online guides:
Introduction to refereeing
This guide is for reviewers and offers help and advice, including some dos and don’ts for writing a referee report
• An introduction to the peer review process
• How to write a referee report
• After you submit your report
• Ethical issues
• Frequently asked questions
• Publishing glossary/IOP publications
Introductory guide for authors
This guide will help researchers submit an article to IOP journals, and includes advice on what the publisher looks for in articles, and how to prepare files and manage revisions.
7 November 2017
A white paper entitled “The OA effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books?” has been published today by Springer Nature. According to the press release, the report shows that "there is a tangible benefit to publishing academic books using immediate, or ‘gold’, open access (OA) models.”
Key findings are that on average, OA books are
- downloaded 7 times more than non-OA books
- cited 50% more (over a four-year period)
- mentioned online 10 times more (over a three-year period)
This is the fist large-scale analysis investigating the effect of open access books. A sample of 216 Springer Nature OA books and 17,124 non-OA books was included in the download analysis (using SpringerLink data), and 184 OA books and 14,357 non-OA books in the citations and mentions analysis (using data from Bookmetrix). The report also contains qualitative analysis from authors and funders.
The report, along with a summary table (Appendix) can be downloaded at http://www.springernature.com/gp/open-research/journals-books/books/the-oa-effect
3 November 2017
Info from the reuters.com website:
Springer Nature blocks access to certain articles in China
BEIJING (Reuters) - Springer Nature, which publishes science magazines Nature and Scientific American, said on Wednesday it had pulled access to a small number of articles in China to comply with regulations, adding that it viewed the move as regrettable but necessary.
The decision comes after Britain’s Cambridge University Press (CUP) said in August it had removed from its website in China about 300 papers and book reviews published in the China Quarterly journal, after a request from the Chinese government.
CUP, the publishing arm of elite Cambridge University, later reversed its decision and reposted the articles, following an outcry from academics, who attacked the decision as an affront to academic freedom.
11 September 2017
IOP Publishing, the publisher of ApJ and AJ, announced that ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) identifiers have been introduced across all IOP journals. As of today, IOP Publishing will require ORCIDs from corresponding authors submitting to their journals.
ORCID is a non-profit organisation that provides a unique digital name, or ID, which identifies researchers and distinguishes them from others with similar names. By connecting this iD to all their research activities, publications, and affiliations, researchers will be able to benefit from improved recognition, reduce reporting burdens, and ensure they receive full credit for their work.
If you wish to link your ORCID profile to your papers, you can do so through the ADS. A step-by-step guide developed by the ESO Library is available at http://www.eso.org/sci/libraries/edocs/ESO/ADS-ORCID_StepByStep.pdf. In case you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IOP Publishing press release is available at http://ioppublishing.org/news/orcid-scheme-introduced-across-all-iop-publishing-journals/
9 August 2017
In a recent contribution to THE (Times Higher Education), Joanna Dally and Frances Downey imagine the research culture of the future. The article can be found at https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/jisc-futures-what-will-research-look-2035#survey-answer
9 August 2017
The paper by Piwowar et al. on “The State of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles” (https://peerj.com/preprints/3119), submitted to PeerJ Preprints, finds that “half of the papers searched for online are free to read”. The study analysed reader data from the Unpaywall tool, a (free and legal) browser extension that finds open access versions of scholarly articles.
The paper was also featured in a Nature News article.
10 April 2017
Unpaywall is a browser add-on for Firefox or Chrome that will search for Open Access copies of articles across the Internet. They claim to have a greater than 60% find rate for scholarly materials.
Behind Unpaywall is Impactstory, a nonprofit website working to make science more open and reusable online. They are supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
16 February 2017
The ESO Library has created the beta-version of a resolver for references in manuscripts. Using references in .tex or .bbl files, the tool converts them into webpages with links to the ADS or publisher.
The use case we have in mind is the refereeing process: you receive a manuscript for review for which you would like to access the cited papers. Instead of searching for them manually in ADS, you upload the manuscript to the resolver and simply click on the provided links.
If you would like to give it a try, please upload your .tex or .bbl file at http://w4n.hq.eso.org/intra/libraries/resolveref/
Please note that this platform is still experimental, so not all references will currently be resolved correctly. We hope to improve the service based on your feedback: email@example.com
13 November 2016
A recent paper posted on arXiv analyzes the role of the first author gender on the number of citations that a paper receives.
Using machine-learning algorithms, the researches estimate that, as a result of gender bias, astrophysics papers whose first authors are women receive around 10% fewer citations than those that are first-authored by men. The study also notes that women publish 19% fewer articles than men in the 7 years after their first published paper.
The findings have been reported in a Nature News item on Nov. 4.
30 March 2016
A&A and its publishers, EDP Sciences, just announced the launch of the collaborative platform Writing Studio: http://ws.edpsciences.org
Writing Studio is a unique LaTex writing solution designed to simplify the process of writing articles collaboratively on a single version of a paper. Reinforcing an open-source strategy, EDP Sciences has chosen the Open Source ShareLateX to develop this new service.
Writing Studio provides:
- A collaborative LaTeX solution: Multiple co-authors can jointly work on a single version of the paper with up-to-date A&A macros already included.
- Direct communication between co-authors: Co-authors can ask each other questions and can chat for real-time interactions.
- Dropbox integration: Articles can be edited offline and automatically synchronized with the Dropbox online copy.
- Ease of submission (coming soon): Article will be uploaded to the A&A submission system with a single click, with key fields pre-filled ready for checking.
- Easier links to astronomical objects: Authors get auto-completion for stellar objects and additional information using tools developed with the CDS.
- ORCID integration: Authors login to Writing Studio and are recognized by their ORCID iD.
The next step is to link Writing Studio with all the EDP Sciences journals and their submission systems and integrate this tool in a comprehensive
LaTeX dedicated workflow, from the writing of an article through to its online publication.
To login to the Writing Studio authors have to use their ORCID iD.
More information is available on A&A's website:
21 March 2016
The Nature Publishing Group announced five new Nature titles for January 2017, among them Nature Astronomy (http://www.nature.com/natastron/about).
The journal "will be a multidisciplinary journal for the field, representing and fostering closer interaction between all of the key astronomy-relevant disciplines. Nature Astronomy will publish the most significant research, review and comment at the cutting edge of astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science."
The editors are not yet known, but will be announced on the “About the Editors” page at http://www.nature.com/natastron/about/editors. More information about Nature Astronomy and the other upcoming titles can be found in the press release at http://www.nature.com/press_releases/nature-five-new-titles.html
19 February 2016
ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities, ensuring that your work is recognised and attributed to you.
ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher IDs. It is not associated with any specific publisher, discipline, or geographic area. The use is free of charge. In order to set up an account, go to http://orcid.org/
An essential part of your ORCID profile is the WORKS section where your publications are listed. Instead of manually entering the bibliographic information of your papers, you can now populate your ORCID record through the ADS. The library has created a short guide that explains how:
Claiming ORCID papers through ADS - a step-by-step guide
Let us know if you have any questions or comments.
16 February 2016
EDP Sciences, the publisher of A&A, announced today the launch of Liberty APCs (Article Processing Charges), a new model where authors choose their own fair price to publish an article in Open Access (OA).
The Liberty APCs model means that authors can choose the level of article processing charge they will pay to publish their article. In 2016. The amount can be as low as 0 EUR. It is expected that authors will investigate all options for funding (e.g., from their funding body, their institution or organization, etc.), but ultimately it will be their decision what they feel is a fair price to pay.
Liberty APC is a useful model for journals at launch stage and for the first years of publication. It provides a useful gauge of a journal’s value before it is indexed, as all authors who have a requirement to publishing Open Access can publish in a journal relevant to their research regardless of access to funding.
For further information, see the press release at http://publications.edpsciences.org/images/stories/news/2016/LibertyAPC_EDPOpen.pdf.
12 August 2015
The AAS has announced a new service to “discover the brightest research in astronomy and astrophysics”: AAS Nova (aasnova.org / Twitter: @AASNova).
According to the announcement distributed by the publisher of the AAS journals, IOP Publishing, the new website, curated by Susanna Kohler, provides "highlights of recently published articles from the AAS journals to inform astronomy researchers about breakthroughs and discoveries they might otherwise overlook."
15 January 2015
The ESO library catalog has undergone a major software upgrade so that the system now uses responsive web design. While providing a similar look and feel as before, the enhanced user interface allows users to search the catalog on a wide range of devices, including smartphones and tablets. We invite you to go to http://eso.koha-ptfs.eu/ to try it yourself.
31 October 2014
As ESO is now introducing Office 365/2013, the library recently purchased some e-books that might be of interest to Office users:
Teach Yourself Visually Office 2013
Office 2013 All-In-One For Dummies
Microsoft Office 2013 Bible
These books can be read online at any time. In addition, you can save the content to your device (desktop and/or mobile reader) using the software Adobe Digital Editions which needs to be installed on your machine.
In case you are interested in other titles in electronic or print format, let us know as we can purchase specific books on request.
25 July 2014
As we did in previous years, the library will compile a list of ESO-authored papers presented at the SPIE conference on Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2014. If you (co-)authored a paper, please send the SPIE manuscript number (e.g., 9149-81) and the manuscript itself (preferably in PDF) or the arXiv ID to firstname.lastname@example.org. The listing with links to the full texts will be made available at http://www.eso.org/sci/libraries/SPIE/SPIE2014.html.
17 July 2014
Some time ago we had to stop providing access to the Safari ebook platform as their license agreement was reviewed by the ESO legal department. Unfortunately, it turned out that Safari's lawyers were not able to accept specific changes to their license which are mandatory for any contract signed by ESO. Further discussion offered by ESO was rejected by Safari.
As a result, we cannot provide access anymore. We regret this development, but have no means to influence the legal situation.
Should you be interested in programming and technical books in future, please send a request to email@example.com. In some cases, we may be able to provide electronic versions from a dedicated vendor, others will have to be purchased on paper.
10 July 2014
On June 16 we were happy to welcome Chris Erdmann, formerly at ESO and now Head Librarian of the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA, USA, who gave a presentation in which he shared with us some of the technology trends that are currently impacting scholarly communication, such as Authorea and Zenodo (see also Internal Announcement int14154).
3 June 2014
The AAS and IOP Publishing have announced that as of 2015, all AAS research journals published with IOP will become electronic only and will no longer print paper editions. This transition will affect the Astronomical Journal (AJ) and the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ), Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL), and Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series (ApJS).
The reason for this move is that "print publications are simply unable to accommodate the growing amount of content that is 'born digital'."
More details can be found in an IOP press release: http://ioppublishing.org/newsDetails/american-astronomical-society-journals-going-electronic-only.
3 April 2014
The journal A&A, published by EDP Sciences, is now also available in ePUB format for easy reading on mobile devices. ePUB adapts to different screen sizes so that scientific articles published in A&A can be downloaded and read offline on most eReaders and tablets with greater reading comfort that PDF or HTML formats. In addition, a Kindle version is planned to become available in the near future.
20 February 2014
Beginning of 2014, SCOAP3 (the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) started operations.
All articles funded by SCOAP3 appear in their repository upon publication. Several formats are available, including PDF, PDF/A and XML. Articles are published under a CC-BY license and can be freely downloaded and further disseminated.
The scope of the SCOAP3 repository is neither to duplicate arXiv nor the publisher platforms. It is rather a staging platform, for further distribution of information.
Among the journals currently provided by SCOAP3 are the European Physical Journal C, the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (JCAP), and the New Journal of Physics. A full listing is available at http://repo.scoap3.org/.
18 February 2014
Prompted by a recent enquiry, we had a closer look at a new open access website: ScienceOpen.
This "research and publishing network" aims at providing a platform to find OA content (free of charge) and publish research papers (for a fee of currently US$ 800). Their special focus is on public post-publication peer-review, commenting and rating of articles which they enable by offering online space and tools.
In order to populate their website with content, ScienceOpen aggregates OA articles from various sources, including astro-ph/arXiv. Hence, don't be surprised to find references to manuscripts which you submitted to astro-ph. However, they only list the metadata (authors, title, abstract, arXiv ID, etc.) and link to the original eprint server for access to the fulltexts.
ScienceOpen was founded in 2013 and is currently in beta version; more information can be found on their FAQ page.
8 January 2014
We are sad to forward this artcile from the New York Times: "Halton C. Arp, astronomer who challenged Big Bang theory, dies at 86."
The NYT article is available at http://nyti.ms/1cKEW2Y
7 January 2014
The AAS and IOP Publishing, publisher of the ApJ and AJ, have announced the launch of the Astronomy Image Explorer (AIE), a new tool to easily find and download images and other media published in AAS journals. Users are invited to re-use the material, provided that credit is given to the original article.
The Astronomy Image Explorer is located at http://www.astroexplorer.org/. The press release can be found at http://ioppublishing.org/newsDetails/astronomy-image-explorer-launched
10 December 2013
ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.
Researchers and contributors may now link education and employment affiliations to their ORCID Records. The addition of affiliations allows researchers to further distinguish themselves from those with similar names.
Some publishers have already enabled author identification through ORCID iDs (e.g., the Nature Publishing Group).
You can set up your ORCID ID or log into an existing account to add information at https://orcid.org/signin
18 November 2013
A new entry at the In The Dark blog announces that the Open Journal for Astrophysics (OJFA) now accepts test submissions. The OJFA is a community-driven effort to establish a peer-reviewed open access journal based on the arXiv infrastructure that charges neither readers nor authors. All services are "provided free by members of the astrophysics community as a service to the astrophysics community."
The full blog post can be found here.
7 November 2013
The Library hosted an IEEE Xplore (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/) training session on Thursday, 7 Nov 2013, 14:00 - 14:45 hrs.
The session was held by Ms. Eszter Lukacs, IEEE Client Services Manager at SAM (Standards And More) who presented new features and provided Tips & Tricks regarding the IEEE Xplore database, including info on various search modes (basic, advanced, command-driven), how to set up personal accounts and save searches, as well as enhanced features available through the HTML version of articles.
21 October 2013
This year's International Open Access Week takes place October 21-27. The motto is: Open Access: Redefining Impact. Further information can be found at http://www.openaccessweek.org.
9 October 2013
The library now provides access to e-versions of Cambridge University Press (CUP) astronomy books from 2012 onward. Purchased titles can be accessed through the library catalog.
All CUP astronomy books are listed at the publisher's website. This page also provides a search box, covering all subject areas. For astronomy books published before 2012, chances are high that the library holds a print version.
eBooks are available via PDFs of individual chapters.
20 September 2013
The ESO Library participated in the Science Operations (SciOps) 2013 conference and presented a talk on "ESO telbib: an interconnected database". The presentation slides are available from the libraries pages.
13 September 2013
The 10,000th paper using data from ESO's facilities has been added to the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib), our database of refereed papers which have been published by the ESO users community. telbib contains papers dating back to 1996 and is compiled by the ESO Library by scanning the major astronomical journals for scientific papers that contain any of the ESO-defined keywords (e.g., telescope and instrument names). All papers included in the database have been inspected visually to ensure that they directly use ESO observational data. A more detailed description can be found in the ESO Announcement ann13073.
13 May 2013
A new research repository has been announced: Zenodo which has been created through funds from the European Commission's Framework Programm 7 (FP7).
The intention of Zenodo is to provide a platform that allows researchers to share and showcase multidisciplinary research results including publications and especially data which are not part of the existing institutional or subject-based repositories currently available.
The announcement, posted on isgtw (international science grid this week), can be found here
2 Apr 2013
Papers included in the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib) have been enhanced with Altmetric scores. The Altmetric score is a measure of the quality and quantity of attention that a scholarly article has received.
In addition, the telbib database can now be queried automatically through an API (Application Programming Interface). For more inforamtion, see http://telbib.eso.org/api-docu.php
21 Jan 2013
Recently, news was circulated regarding the idea that mathematicians will launch and run (ideally at zero cost) an open access journal, based on arXiv ("arXiv overlay journal"):
"The idea is that the parts of the publication process that academics do voluntarily — editing and refereeing — are just as they are for traditional journals, and we do without the parts that cost money, such as copy-editing and typesetting."
The plan is to start in April. The group behind the initiative consists of international mathematicians and is called the Episciences Project. If indeed a model could be found where both reading and publishing articles is free, the organizers would call this the "diamond open access".
19 Oct 2012
A recent study published in Science (Oct. 11) brings a positive note to authors of papers that have been rejected by journals: it seems that overall, previously rejected manuscripts in the end are cited more often. The research is based on a survey among 80,000 authors of life science papers.
A scientist who was interviewed for a report on the study in the online magazine The Scientist found the following possible explanation:
“Papers that are more likely to contend against the status quo are more likely to find an opponent in the review system”—and thus be rejected—“but those papers are also more likely to have an impact on people across the system,” earning them more citations when finally published.
18 Sep 2012
The following new journal has just been announced:
|Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation
World Scientific, online ISSN: 2251-1725
"JAI will publish papers describing astronomical instruments being proposed, developed, under construction and in use [...] JAI will consist of high-quality, refereed papers that are electronically accessible (open access)."
The Guidelines for Contributors (http://www.worldscientific.com/page/jai/submission-guidelines) state that article processing fees will be waived for submissions in 2012; however, they do not indicate what the price will be afterwards.
13 Sep 2012
The following new features have been added to the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib, http://telbib.eso.org):
(1) We implemented stabilobj, a tool that allows users to select an astronomical object in a web page and retrieve information from CDS databases like SIMBAD and VizieR. Text anywhere in the page can be selected. If it is recognized as an astronomical object, a dedicated tooltip (pop-up window) will be displayed with links to the remote databases.
stabilobj has been developed by Sebastien Derriere, CDS; a demo page is available at http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/~derriere/stabilobj/
(2) A new webpage provides an overview of ESO publication statistics (1996-2011). In order to make our statistics more transparent and reproducible, the numbers are linked to the corresponding records in the telbib database:
In addition, we continue to maintain the "Basic ESO Publication Statistics" document (available from the ESO libraries homepage or directly at http://www.eso.org/sci/libraries/edocs/ESO/ESOstats.pdf) which provides more detailed metrics including instrument-level statistics.
16 Aug 2012
A recent post on the O'Reilly radar blog describes text mining projects using ADS abstracts of MNRAS, ApJ, and A&A back to vol. 1. They originate from the recent .Astronomy Hack Day and lead to interesting results, for instance on the use of certain keywords in the literature over time or the number of authors per paper. Some of them can be guessed, e.g., the decreasing number of single-author papers during recent years, but now there are numbers to prove it.
One noteworthy finding is that since approx. the 1960s, there is a steep increase in the number of active research astronomers. At the same time, the number of scientific papers is increasing too, but at a slightly lower rate. In summary, this means that nowadays more astronomers are needed to write the same number of papers.
The blog entry, along with an interview with Robert Simpson, one of the project leaders and some some visualizations can be found at
11 Jul 2012
The library is organizing a session on Open Access Publishing which will take place
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 3 pm (Garching) / 9 am (Chile)
in the ESO Council Room. A video link to ESO Santiago will be provided.
We will discuss
- why it might make sense to publish in an OA journal
- which criteria can be used to judge the quality of OA journals and publishers
- how you can identify so-called 'predatory' publishers
- what the current situation is of open access publishing in astronomy
Some background information can be found in the introductory presentation given at the Faculty meeting on June 25 (http://www.eso.org/sci/libraries/edocs/ESO/OApublishing_ESO_Faculty.pdf)
We are looking forward to a lively discussion.