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Machine Readable Tables in the AAS journals

The continual expansion of capabilities in electronic publishing are now allowing us to expand our abilities to publish machine-readable tables as part of our on-line journals. We now have expanded these capabilities, by producing and posting standard format, machine-readable versions of long tables. Unlike the normal ASCII tables which only contain the raw, tab delimitted data, these machine readable tables are formatted in a standard way so that the information can be easily read into a computer. In addition, each file includes a meta-data header which documents the format and some of the scientific content of the table including units and a short description of each column.

There are two reason for producing machine readable tables. The first is that authors can now present all of their data in the electronic edition and therefore are not limited by the prohibitive costs of printing the entire data set. The second reason is a service to the readers to provide long tables in a format that allows an easy way to access and manipulate the data. We will continue to produce the normal, raw ASCII tables for all other tables, thus, the information contained in shorter tables will still be accessible to the journal's readers.

We hope that readers of the AAS journals will begin to use these machine-readable tables, and we encourage authors to consider using the capability when they wish to publish large data attachments. You may request this processing at the time of submission.

For more information on submitting and manipulating machine-readable tables follow these links.

  1. Guidelines for submitting machine readable tables
  2. How do you interpret the mata-data header in a machine readable table?
  3. Links to programs that read and manipulate data in a machine-readable table
  4. How Machine readable tables are created and Proof tips.