These guidelines cover The Astronomical Journal (AJ) and The Astrophysical Journal (ApJ) (the main journal (Part 1), the Letters (Part 2), and the Supplement Series). Authors are advised to examine carefully current issues of the appropriate journal to familiarize themselves with the journal's conventions and to note any changes in style before preparing a new manuscript for submission. In general, AAS style conforms to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) and The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.).
- How to Prepare Your Manuscript
- Structure of a Manuscript
- Other Online-only Material
- Submitting Your Manuscript
How to Prepare Your Manuscript
Authors are strongly encouraged to prepare their manuscripts using the most recent version of the AASTeX macro package, and to submit them electronically. The journals also accept papers prepared using Microsoft Word (native Word .doc format or Rich Text Format .rtf).Detailed guidelines on the preparation of papers using AASTeX and Word are available.
Papers must be written in English. Authors who are unfamiliar with English should obtain help from colleagues proficient in English. While a polished literary style is not demanded of scientific papers, they should conform to the elementary rules of grammar, syntax, punctuation, and clarity. Slang and jargon should be avoided.
Observance of the following guidelines will prevent some common errors:
- All tables and figures must be mentioned explicitly by number and appear in correct numerical order in the body of the text. That is, Tables 1, 2, 3, and 4 must each be mentioned in the text at least once, and the first mention of Table 3 should not precede the first mention of Table 2.
- The reference list and text citations should agree and be accurate. All references cited in the text must appear in the reference list, and all references listed in the reference list must be cited in the text.
- Acronyms and abbreviations should be spelled out the first time they are used unless they are common throughout the discipline. Terms defined in the abstract should be defined independently in the main text.
- Symbols for chemical elements are in normal type, not italics. The mass number precedes the symbol, e.g., 12C. Roman numeral designations for spectra of ions are given in small capitals and preceded by a space, e.g., H II.
- Standard three-letter abbreviations are preferred for constellation names (e.g., Cep, UMa; for a full list, see the IAU website. Object names and acronyms are spelled out in full in titles.
- Use standard abbreviations for SI (e.g., m, km, mm) and natural units (e.g., AU, pc, cm). If English units such as inches or pounds per square inch are used, metric equivalents should follow in parentheses.
- Expressions of rate, such as kilometers per second, ergs per meter, etc., are set as, e.g., km s-1, erg m-1, not km/s, erg/m. In tables, units should be specified in column or row heads, or explained in a footnote to the table, not given with each individual value in the table body (see sample table).
- Right ascension and declination in text and equations are given in the form: 3h25m8s.15, 90°26'14 5".
- Dates are written in the order: year, month, and day; e.g., 1996 January 1. In tables, use three-letter abbreviations for months, without a period. Universal time designations are written 22:37:48–22:37:52.5 UT (for hours, minutes, seconds).
- Avoid beginning sentences with a symbol, number, or lower-case letter.
- The word "data" is plural and takes a plural verb.
- Closing quotation marks follow periods and commas but precede colons and semicolons.
- In a series of three or more items, include a comma before the final item, e.g., "space, time, and matter."
- The AJ and the ApJ follow American usage of "that" to introduce restrictive clauses, "which" for non-restrictive clauses, and observe generally conservative grammar conventions throughout.
If your paper lists objects that are newly discovered, the IAU Commission 5, through its Task Group on Designations, requests that such objects be designated according to the IAU Recommendations for Nomenclature. The proper procedure is to design a name according to IAU rules and then to register it with the Commission before the paper is published. Please be sure that any object that might have been named in the past is not now given a new, redundant, name.
Structure of a Manuscript
Your manuscript should consist of the following elements:
- Title page
- Abstract and subject keywords
- Appendices (if any)
- Figures with figure legends (if any)
- Tables (if any)
With publication charges now based on digital quanta, it is no longer required to place figures and tables at the ends of manuscripts. This style was necessary when figures were sized and tables counted to estimate page lengths. Now authors are encouraged to integrate figures and tables within the flow of text. AJ and ApJ authors may even submit manuscripts formatted with a more compact, final publication style, using external packages such as emulateapj. ApJL does not accept emulateapj formatting.
This should include the following items:
- The title of the paper.
- A short title (not more than 44 characters) to be used as the running head.
- Name(s) of the author(s), with correct capitalization and diacritical marks. The consistent use of first and middle names and/or initials from paper to paper is recommended. Authors who wish to identify themselves with Chinese, Japanese, or Korean characters may do so; see the Author Names in non-Roman alphabets instructions.
- One complete postal address for each author, including zip or country code. A current e-mail address, if available, should be provided for the corresponding author. Affiliations should be listed under authors' names.
- Footnotes to the title and to authors' names.
The abstract should summarize concisely the content and conclusions of the paper. The abstract should be a single paragraph of not more than 250 words. The limitation on the length of the abstract is strictly enforced for the ApJL.
A maximum of six subject keywords – see list – should be listed, in alphabetical order, after the abstract.
Sections should be numbered with Arabic numerals. Subsections (second-level headings) should be numbered 1.1., 1.2., 1.3., etc. Third- and fourth-level headings should be numbered, e.g., 1.2.1. and 126.96.36.199., respectively. First-level titles (e.g., Section 1) and Appendix titles should all be in capital letters; second-, third-, and fourth-level (e.g., Section 1.1, Section 1.1.1., Section 188.8.131.52.) titles should capitalize only the first letter of each word, except for articles, conjunctions, and prepositions.
Extensive use of footnotes is discouraged. Footnotes should be confined to providing URLs, affiliations, or other truly peripheral information, and should not be used for discussions of or expansions on the text.
Text footnotes should be numbered consecutively, starting with those on the title page.
Footnotes to tables should be designated by lower-case letters, in alphabetical order, starting with "a" in each table (see sample table). Each table should have its own complete set of footnotes, even if some or all of the footnotes are repeated in later tables.
At the end of the paper individuals, institutions, or funding agencies may be acknowledged. Authors may also acknowledge the referee(s) if they wish. However, it is not appropriate to acknowledge journal staff.
For convenience of citation of equations, authors are encouraged to number all displayed equations. Plain sequential numbering through the manuscript is preferred, with Appendix equations numbered as, e.g., (A79), or starting a new sequence with (A1).
Equations should not be referred to by their numbers alone; e.g., say "substituting in equation (45)" rather than "substituting in (45)."
Authors should ensure that mathematical notation is clear, distinct, and consistent throughout the manuscript. Care should be taken to distinguish between l (el) and 1 (one); O (capital oh), o (lower-case oh), and 0 (zero); ε (epsilon), ɛ (curly epsilon), and ∈ (the symbol for set membership); v (italic vee) and ν (Greek nu); k (italic kay) and κ (Greek kappa); and φ (Greek phi) and ∅ (the symbol for the empty set).
Explicit multiplication signs (dots or crosses), except for scientific notation, grids, vector operators, and when a multiplication wraps to a following line, are omitted.
Vectors are normally distinguished by bold italic type (e.g., B); arrows over symbols are not used to denote vectors. Vector operations and operators (e.g., ×, ·, ∇) are also set bold. Multi-dimensional vectors (n-vectors) are generally set italic (not bold). Tensors may be set bold non-italic if it is necessary to distinguish them from vectors. If you have certain mathematical conventions that you wish to be observed in the typesetting of your paper (such as distinct fonts to distinguish 3- and 4-vectors, tensors, vector components, etc.), please alert the copyeditor to these in an accompanying note or comment.
If other fonts are needed to distinguish functions or other operators from italic (R), script (calligraphic) characters (ℛ) are preferred; blackboard (ℝ), sans serif (R), and Fraktur (ℜ) should be avoided if possible. Named functions or numbers are preferably designated by two-letter abbreviations, e.g., Ra for Raleigh number.
Values given in scientific notation should be expressed with a multiplication sign preceding the power of 10 (e.g., 3.4×10-18); in tables only, to conserve space, the form 3.4E-18 may be used.
Subscripts and Superscripts
These will be set aligned unless an order of subscripts and superscripts is explicitly requested by the author in a note accompanying the manuscript. If a specific sequence of subscripts and superscripts is required, e.g., Rhijk or Rjkhi, authors should indicate the correct sequence by a comment in the electronic file at the first occurrence.
Single-letter subscripts and indexes referring to variables are conventionally set in italic, but subscripts standing for proper names (E for Einstein), chemical elements (H), or abbreviations of words with two or more letters (eff) are set in roman.
Stacked fractions are not permitted in the body of the text or in superscripts: e.g., inline and superscript fractions should be set as dt /ds, not . Authors should take care that numerators and denominators of inline fractions are delimited clearly to avoid any possible ambiguity (i.e., write [(log Tsq )]/r or log[(Ts)q /r], not log Tsq /r). In displayed equations, fractions are limited to two levels, therefore,
is correct, while
Equations are read as part of the flow of a sentence and are punctuated as such.
Citations in Text
References should be cited in text by the last name of the author(s) and the date of publication (Hale 1929). There is no comma before the date. For papers with two authors, join author names with an ampersand (Press & Rybicki 1992). Papers by three or more authors are cited by the first author followed by "et al." and the date (Goodman et al. 2003).
All sources cited in the text and tables must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper, and all entries in the reference list must be cited in the text. Reference entries should be ordered alphabetically, starting with the last name of the first author, followed by the first author's initial(s), and so on for each additional author. For papers with more than five authors, the last name and initials of the first three authors only should be listed, followed by a comma and "et al." References listed as "et al." are grouped together and last, as if the fourth author started with "z"; they are not alphabetized by the name of the actual fourth author. Multiple entries for one author or one group of authors should be ordered chronologically, and multiple entries for the same year should be distinguished by appending sequential lower-case letters to the year, even if the author groups are not identical: e.g., Smith, E., Rowe, T., & Jones, A. B. 1999a; Smith, A. B., Thomas, J. R., & Peebles, P. J. E. 1999b; Smith et al. 1999c (because all will appear as "Smith et al. 1999" in the text).
Citation of Electronic Sources
Electronic catalogs, databases, observers' guides, instrument documentation, electronic conference proceedings, electronic journals, and other stable (non-changing) documents available online should be listed in the reference list in the same manner as other references. These should give the author(s) or authoring agency, title of the document, location and name of the hosting organization (e.g., Pasadena, CA: JPL), version consulted if any, page or document number if any, and the URL (see examples below). References in this class include databases, manuals, conference proceedings, and similar documents, but not general informational sites for instruments or projects, sites for downloading computer code, or papers posted on personal web pages. Citations of electronic journals should follow normal journal format, omitting page number if none are used, followed by the URL. See below for examples.
Note that URLs for all other electronic resources, such as personal web pages, general informational sites for organizations, telescopes, surveys, projects, proposals, sites for uploading computer or mathematical code, and other sites whose content regularly changes, should be given in a footnote at first mention in the text, but not listed in the reference list.
References to papers in preparation, preprints, or other sources generally not available to readers should be avoided if possible. If no published form is available, preprints may be listed in the reference list. Private communications, unpublished works, and papers in preparation should be cited only in the run of text, giving authors' initials and the year if completion is imminent, e.g., F. Carlon et al. (2009, in preparation).
Authors will be queried for missing, incomplete, or incorrect information in the reference list. It is especially important that authors recheck reference lists after each revision of the text, to be certain that all references cited in the text are in the reference list, and all references given in the reference list are cited.
Examples are given here of some of the most common citation formats.
Martín, E. L., Rebolo, R., & Zapatero Osorio, M. R. 1996, ApJ, 469, 706
Aguirre, J. E., et al. 2011, ApJS, 192, 4
Donat, W., III, & Boksenberg, A. J. 1993, The Astronomical Almanac for the Year 1994, Vol. 2 (2nd ed.; Washington, DC: GPO)
Where specific pages of a book are cited, these should be given at the text citation, not in the reference list.
Paper or Chapter in an Edited Collection
Huchra, J. P. 1986, in Inner Space/Outer Space, ed. E. W. Kolb et al. (Chicago, IL: Univ. Chicago Press), 65
Salpeter, E. E., & Wasserman, I. M. 1993, in ASP Conf. Ser. 36, Planets around Pulsars, ed. J. A. Phillips, S. E. Thorsett, & S. R. Kulkarni (San Francisco, CA: ASP), 345
Electronic Conference Proceedings (published only online)
Gomez, M. 2000, in Cosmology 2000, ed. M.C. Bento, O. Bertolami, & L. Teodoro (Lisbon: Inst. Superio Tecnico), 57, http://alfa.ist.utl.pt/~bento/cosmo2000/proc/proceedings.html
Hoffleit, D. 1982, The Bright Star Catalogue (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Obs.)
Electronic Newsletters (published only online)
Gussenhoven, M. S., Mullen, E. G., & Sagalyn, R. C. 1985, CRRES/SPACERAD Instrument Description, Document AFGL-TR-85-0017 (Hanscom, MA: Air Force Geophys. Lab.)
Spitzer Science Center. 2004, Spitzer Observers' Manual (Pasadena, CA: SSC), http://sirtf.caltech.edu/SSC/obs/
Smith, A. B. 1999, arXiv:astro-ph/9812345 (style for preprints before April 2007)
Smith, A. B. 2007, arXiv:0702.1234 (style for preprints after April 2007)
Lockwood, G. W., & Skiff, B. A. 1988, Air Force Geophys. Lab. preprint (AFGL-TR-88-0221)
References to preprints are acceptable only for papers not yet published. For papers that have been accepted but are not yet published, the preprint number may be given at the end of a reference submitted or in press (i.e., Smith, A. B. 1999, AJ, in press (arXiv:astro-ph/9912345)).
Papers Submitted or In Press
Wolk, S. J., & Walter, F. M. 1999, AJ, submitted
Wolk, S. J., & Walter, F. M. 1999, AJ, in press
"Submitted" should be used for manuscripts not yet accepted for publication, and "in press" for manuscripts accepted but not yet published.
Acronyms for some frequently cited journals are given below:
- A&A – Astronomy and Astrophysics
- A&AR – The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review
- A&AS – Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series
- Afz – Astrofizika
- AJ – The Astronomical Journal
- ApJ – The Astrophysical Journal
- ApJL – The Astrophysical Journal Letters
- ApJS – The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
- Ap&SS – Astrophysics and Space Science
- ARA&A – Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
- AZh – Astronomicheskij Zhurnal
- BAAS – Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (AAS Meetings)
- JA&A – Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy
- MNRAS – Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- PASJ – Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
- PASP – Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
- QJRAS – Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society
- RevMexAA – Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica
- SvA – Soviet Astronomy
A web-based tool for creating AASTeX 5.2 deluxetables is available here.
Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals and should be cited in the text by number, e.g., "see Table 1." Each table must be mentioned at least once in the text, and in proper numerical order. In the printed paper, the placement of tables will be determined by their first mention in the text. Tables should not be divided into parts, e.g., related tables should be numbered separately, not given as Tables 3A and 3B. Tables in an appendix may be numbered in the same sequence as the text tables, or may begin a new sequence, e.g., Table 9 or Table A1.
Every table should have a concise title (less than a sentence); more extensive descriptions or secondary information should be incorporated in a note to the table. All tables are typeset with horizontal rules only; no vertical rules are used. Tables should not contain empty rows. Each column, including the first, must have a heading. Column headings should label the entries concisely (one or two words); the first letter of each word is capitalized. Units of measurement should be given in parentheses immediately below the column headings, not listed with the data in the body of the table. To indicate the omission of an entry, ellipsis dots (...) are used.
References cited in a table may be listed in full in a reference column or listed by number, either in the order in which they are listed in the column or following an alphabetical ordering of the references, with the full citation by name(s) and year in a note below the table. Alphanumeric abbreviations (e.g., SR86) may be used in place of numbers if these are used elsewhere in the text. The note to the table should then read, e.g., "References. (1) Smith & Roe 1986; (2) Peebles 1993." (see sample table below). All references cited in tables must also have a complete entry in the reference list.
It is in the best interest of both the author and the reader to move lengthy tables to the online edition in the machine readable table format. Machine readable tables (MRTs) consist of formatted ASCII data with a meta-data header that utilizes the same standards and styles as in CDS's Vizier tables. tables. When tables are longer than ~200 data rows, authors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the MRT format by making their tables machine readable in the online edition. Tables longer than 400 data rows will only appear in full in the online edition. unless an exception has been granted by the Editor-in-Chief. In either case, the complete data set will always appear in the online edition in the MRT format, while the first 5-10 lines of each table will appear in the print/pdf edition. (For the ApJL only, there is a limit of one machine-readable table per Letter and a lower limit of 50 data rows for becoming an online-only table.)
Authors who require machine-readable tables should request this at the time of submission, and must include the data with the submission so that it can be evaluated during the review process. The data should be either raw ASCII (formatted or delimited) or in the form of a LaTeX table. Word/RTF users should save the table as a tab-delimited ASCII file. It is desirable to include information regarding the format, units, and a short description of each column when an ASCII table is submitted. The machine-readable table standards can be found HERE.
Conversion to the MRT format will be done after acceptance but before the paper is sent to the publisher for production. Authors will be queried at this point to "proof" the resulting MRTs. Authors may also attempt to create their own machine-readable tables using a web-based converter. When submitting, authors should name the ASCII tables tab#.txt, where # is the table number. Author created MRTs will be verified at acceptance and may also require "proofing" if significant changes were required to maintain the AAS standards and styles.
For each online-only table the author must consider how its corresponding version will appear in the main article. These tables give readers an idea of the format and content of the full data set in the electronic edition. In the majority of cases, the "stub" table should be the same as the full table but with only the first 5 to 10 lines of data shown. The following text should be included in the table notes:
"Table X is published in its entirety in the electronic edition of <>, A portion is shown here for guidance regarding its form and content."
The author is responsible for creating the stub version of the table, and it should be included in the manuscript. All stub tables should be cited and numbered as if it were a full table.
In the rare cases in which the tabular data are so complex or wide that an example table is not practical, authors have two options: (1) show only the most significant columns in the stub table with a table note describing additional data available online, (2) make a table "key" that provides information about each tabular column. An example of Option 2 can be found in Schneider et al. 2010, AJ, 139, 2360, where Table 1 provides a key to the full data sets for Tables 2 and 5.
For further information, authors are urged to contact the AAS Journals' Staff Scientist, Dr. Greg Schwarz.
Authors are encouraged to submit all figures electronically as vector Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) files; detailed guidelines are available. Spelling and use of numbers and units in figures should conform to usage in the body of the text and figure legends.
A readme file detailing any special requests for sizing or arranging figures should accompany submission of the manuscript. Production staff will do their best to accommodate these requests.
Figures should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals and should be cited in the text by number, e.g., "see Figure 1." Each figure must be mentioned at least once in the text, and in proper numerical order. In the printed paper, the placement of figures will be determined by their first mention in the text. This includes online-only figures.
Figure legends should clearly and concisely label and explain figures and parts of figures. The first sentence of each figure legend should be a descriptive phrase, omitting the initial article (the, a, an). In multi-part figures, the legends should distinguish (a), (b), (c), etc., components of the figure. Note that if parts are identified in the legend as (a), (b), (c), particularly for single figures composed of multiple panels, these letters should be clearly labeled in the figure itself. Otherwise panels should be referred to by position (top right, top left, middle, bottom, etc.). All lines (solid, dashed, dot-dashed, dash-dotted, etc.) and symbols (filled or open circles, squares, triangles, crosses, arrows, etc.) should be explained in the legend. Graphics or glyphs should not be used in figure legends.
Reproduction of color figures in the print version of a journal carries an additional charge. Authors may avoid the additional charge, if applicable, by choosing to have figures appear in black and white in the print version and in color in the online version of the journal. Authors should not use color in files that are intended for black and white reproduction in the print version. We recommend the use of gray levels between 20% and 70%, with at least 20% difference between the levels of gray, when preparing gray-scale figures. A screen of 80 lpi or lower (coarser) should be used, and figures should be rendered as close to final publication size as possible, since reduction can cause levels of gray to drop out. Shaded areas that are extremely dark or light may not reproduce well, and should be avoided if possible.
Color EPS files for print should be prepared as channeled CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) files rather than RGB (red, green, blue) files. Most computer-generated figure files are created using the RGB color model, which is used for devices, such as computer monitors, that create color with light. The CMYK system uses the four process colors used in printing and is therefore the necessary format for figure files to be used for printing. Color figures prepared as RGB EPS files can be converted to CMYK, but because the available color gamut in the RGB model is much larger than the gamut available in the CMYK model, it is very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to match the colors exactly between the two formats. No guarantee can be given as to the quality of color in files that must be converted from RGB to CMYK. It should also be noted that hard copies produced from RGB files by desktop color printers can still contain colors outside of the range of the CMYK palette. Desktop printers may use dyes or wax transfers that create colors that cannot be duplicated by the available CMYK color palette. Color figure files intended for use only in the online version may be submitted as RGB files.
The optimum resolution for CMYK files is 300 dpi.
Online-only figures are intended to provide supplementary information that is not critical to the scientific content of the paper but that provides additional useful information for the reader. They are not allowed when the figures are an integral part of the paper, or simply to limit page charges. Such materials will carry a nominal publication charge depending on the number and size of the figure files, but again this will be a small fraction of the cost of printing the same volume of material. Note that online-only materials are subject to the same peer-review standards as the rest of the manuscript, and their inclusion should be justified on scientific grounds.
Note that supplementary online figures are not permitted in the ApJL.
Online-only figures must be numbered according to standard figure numbering rules, and must be numbered in sequence with the rest of the figures appearing in the paper. Large figure sets should be numbered as parts of a single figure in the format 1.1 ... 1.n or 1a ... 1z rather than as a run of individually numbered figures. At least one figure in a series must be displayed as an example figure for the print version. The example figure caption should include the note: "Figures 1.1–1.n are available in the online version of the Journal." Authors should clearly indicate in their readme file when submitting which figures are to appear only in the electronic version. If each component of an online-only figure has its own figure caption, the captions should be included in a separate LaTeX file called efigscaptions.tex. Further details about Figure sets and a web-based tool for creating them are available.
Finally, note that, while The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series welcomes the submission of substantial astronomical data sets for publication, enormous compendia of uninterpreted data are best archived in an astronomical data center. We continue to work on establishing effective cross-linking between scientific papers and the supporting data.
Online-only Color Figures
Authors may avoid the additional charge for print color by choosing to have figures appear in black and white in the print version and in color in the online version of the journal. If they wish to take advantage of this option, authors should submit both black and white and color EPS files of the figure(s) for the print and online versions, respectively. (Authors should not use color in files that are intended for black and white reproduction in the print version.) Color figure files intended for use only in the online version may be submitted as RGB files. Figure captions should be written so that color information is placed inside parentheses (e.g. "The dotted line (colored blue in the online version) is the Ho = 75 km s-1 Mpc-1 model").
Other Online-only Materials
The AAS Journals are committed to serving the needs of its authors and its readers. Toward this goal, our "Data behind the Figure" (DbF) option archives more information with the paper in common formats (Machine readable tables or FITS). The DbF option makes more data available for the long term and will facilitates further use of the data, thus increasing long-term citations of papers. For readers the data that was once difficult to extract from an image can now be on your desktop with one click. Note that DbF is not appropriate for all data, specifically extremely large data sets (> 100 MB) or data that is already available online (e.g. NASA archives). A list of published papers with DbFs can be found here.
Animations in the form of mpeg files can be included as, or to accompany, figures in articles in the online version of the journal. This can be especially useful for papers that present the results of numerical simulations or calculations. The animation file should be numbered as a figure in the normal run of figures. The author should also provide a clean, separate copy of a single still frame or set of frames to appear as the figure in the print version.
Authors may elect to post any of their source code pertinent to their paper. The code can be written in any language, but extremely long and complex programs with numerous subroutines are not appropriate. Executable files are not accepted.
Note that the ApJL does not permit source codes.
Authors wishing to submit source codes as a part of their paper need to be aware of the following:
- Codes often change, but the published materials in the journal do not. Authors cannot update their code or fix bugs for codes published in the online version. However, authors may include a URL in the paper to link to updated versions of the code. (AAS journal policy is to not live link URLs to outside websites due to their potentially transient nature and the rapidly changing landscape of the world wide web. However, some exceptions will be made for links to data or information at permanent sites such as the major data centers. This policy should not discourage authors from printing URLs in their papers.)
- Source codes that use copyrighted material cannot be posted with the copyrighted material included (e.g., a code that uses Numerical Recipes subroutines of Press et al.). In these cases, the author must exclude any copyrighted material and include a statement explaining where and how the missing material can be obtained and implemented into the code.
- Authors must sign a fair-use agreement along with the usual copyright release form. The fair-use agreement puts the copyright of the software in the author's name, via a GNU public license, to make it freely available while protecting the author's rights.
Authors should attach the following metadata header to their source code. The metadata header provides information to the code users to help them compile and use the code. Authors should provide information, when appropriate, for each line of the metadata header given below. The information between the "[ ]"s provides instructions and examples for the author and should be removed before submission.
Code names: [e.g., program.f]
Language: [e.g., Fortran 77]
Code tested under the following compilers/operating systems: [e.g., gcc/Linux]
Description of input data: [include units and formatting]
Description of output data: [include units]
System requirements: [e.g., minimum floating point precision]
Calls to external routines: [e.g., SIMPLX.F from "Numerical Recipes'' by Press et al.1992]
Additional comments: [e.g., Program calculates the minimum of a function]
The AAS gives permission to anyone who wishes to use these subroutines to run their own calculations.
Permission to republish or reuse these routines should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that the AAS does not take responsibility for the content of the source code. Potential users should
be wary of applying the code to conditions that the code was not written to model and the accuracy of the
code may be affected when compiled and executed on different systems.
For any additional questions, authors are urged to contact the AAS Journals’ Staff Scientist, Dr. Greg Schwarz.
If the source code contains numerous subroutines files, all of the files can be packaged together and submitted as a UNIX tar file. The metadata header should then be included in the packaged file as a separate file called readme. All source code submissions should be called sourcecode.txt for a single program or sourcecode.tar for a tar file containing a series of files.
Errata are intended to correct errors in the original papers and should not contain updates or other new results. They should also not be written for insignificant or minor corrections such as author affiliation updates or author ordering changes. The Editor-in-Chief (Letters Editor in the case of the ApJL) must approve each erratum before it can be published and may require an erratum to be sent back to the original referee for comment. Authors will be charged the normal publication charge for errata except if the error is the responsibility of the Editorial Office or IOP Publishing, in which case the author will not be charged. For the ApJL, the charge for publication of an erratum is $150.
Prepare the erratum as you would a normal manuscript. The erratum title should begin with the word "Erratum:" followed by the original paper title and ending with the original paper reference in parentheses. For example, Erratum: "Observations of the Small Points of Light in the Celestial Heavens" (2000, ApJ, 500, 1). The original author list and affiliation(s) should be included after the title. Do not include footnotes, key words, or an abstract; the erratum text should begin directly after the author list and affiliation(s). Include any new tables or figures that are referenced in the erratum after the text. The standard AASTeX package can be used to create the erratum. Include a README file detailing the changes and the reasons for the change. Note that an erratum is considered as a new submission and will be given a new manuscript number.