Privacy Policy

Last updated: 21 August 2018

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is committed to the value of privacy. This Privacy Policy (Policy) explains how AAS collects, uses and shares information associated with you (Personal Information).


How We Collect Personal Information

We collect and use Personal Information in various ways across the AAS’s activities.

A. Websites. As you use our websites, you may be prompted to enter information when you: (i) create an account, (ii) purchase a product or service (or sign up for a free product or service), (iii) participate in online forums or discussions, or provide feedback or (iv) use personalization features. Information collected may include your name, email and street addresses, work affiliation and job title, work and academic history, and payment information (credit or debit card or bank account). It is generally optional and voluntary to provide information via our websites, although some services are only accessible by registering user details (including as explained in this Policy).

B. Membership. When you become an AAS member, we collect additional information, which may include the information listed in section 1.A above, as well as telephone numbers, web address, academic IDs (e.g. ORCiD), type of AAS membership, AAS journal subscriptions, primary astronomical interest, communications preferences, date of birth, gender, and racial/ethnic group. Some of this information is optional, including date of birth, gender, and racial/ethnic group.

C. Publications. When you submit a manuscript, or act as a referee, using our journal submission site at eJournal Press, you must use or create an account (see section 1.A above). We collect information regarding the manuscript that you submit and ask for your ORCiD if you have one. If you are a journalist and request access to our publications through the American Association for the Advancement of Science EurekAlert! service, AAS receives access to your name, affiliation and contact information.

D. Meetings. When you register to attend an AAS meeting, we collect your name, email and street addresses, telephone numbers, work affiliation, and payment information. You may optionally provide job title, academic history, accessibility requirements, child/dependent care requirements, and meal choices (we may require confirmation whether you will attend a meal). For press registrants, we collect additional details of the publications with which you are affiliated and your role there.

E. Prizes. When you are nominated for an AAS prize, we collect your name, email and street addresses, telephone numbers, and CV/resume. For some early career prizes we also collect your age/date of birth and/or PhD receipt date.

F. Cookies and Analytics.

  • AAS websites use session cookies (small data files stored in your browser) to store data regarding your use of our websites, with different lifetimes based on needed functionality. If you configure your browser to reject cookies, you may still use some, but not all, portions of our sites. For example, accessing our online journals requires that your browser accept cookies. We recommend closing browsers and clearing cookies, caches, and browser history on publicly available machines after use.
  • Our emails may contain a “web beacon pixel” to tell us whether they have been delivered, opened, shared or unsubscribed from and to verify any clicks on links within the email. The pixel may also allow us to collect technical information including your geographic location, browser type and version, device type, and operating system and platform. The pixel will be deleted when you delete the email. If you do not wish the pixel to be downloaded to your device, you can read the email in plain text view or with images disabled.
  • We use Google Analytics, which collects information such as geographical location, webpage views and visits to other websites, including using cookies. To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics, you can install the relevant browser add-on available at

G. Children's Personal Information. The AAS websites are general audience sites and do not knowingly collect any personal information from children. We do not offer AAS membership or other services to children under age 16.

How We Use Personal Information

A. Providing Services. We use your Personal Information primarily to provide you AAS services, including services available to the public, membership services, publication services, meetings, and prizes. This is likely to include email and other communications related to the services that you have selected.

B. Discussion Forums. Users who participate in AAS online forums or discussions may have their messages or postings edited for size and/or content (including to remove inappropriate submissions). By participating in an online forum or discussion, you consent to our use or disclosure of any content you submit.

C. Communications and Marketing. Where you have provided your consent for us to contact you, we may send you emails including the AAS Digest, updates about the AAS Publishing program (which may be sent by IOP Publishing Ltd on our behalf), information on membership and membership services, meeting information, surveys and sometimes relevant non-AAS news events (e.g. in your local area). You are free to withdraw your consent to receive emails at any time by clicking the “unsubscribe” link found at the bottom of the email, by changing your preferences in your member account, or contacting us at or +1 (202) 328-2010 (please state whether you would like to opt out from all email marketing communications or a particular update). Our print Membership Directory is mailed to members who have not opted out of receiving it. If you are based in the United States, we may also send you action alerts regarding public policy issues.

D. Administration. We use some of your Personal Information for administrative purposes, including billing and other financial functions, IT support, and to analyze the demographics of our membership.

E. Press List. If you are a qualified journalist, public-information officer, or other science communicator and apply to subscribe to the AAS Press List to receive email press releases and other announcements from the AAS Press Office, we collect your name, affiliation, contact information, and media type. You may unsubscribe from the AAS Press List at any time by emailing your request to

F. Cookies and Analytics. We use session cookies, web beacon pixels and Google Analytics information to improve our communications and the functions and content of our services and websites.

You can update your communication preferences at any time.

Sharing of Personal Information with Third Parties

Except as described in this section 3, the AAS does not share your Personal Information. We focus on using the information as part of the AAS's services to you and its mission to advance and diffuse the knowledge of astronomy and its application to human welfare. We bear legal responsibility for the transfers described below.

A. AAS Services. Some of the services provided by the AAS (e.g. publications, membership directories, meetings) are designed to be used for sharing information (including Personal Information) with third parties. The AAS enables such sharing to the extent authorized by each member or other user.

B. Subcontractors. The AAS may disclose Personal Information to third parties who support AAS services, including financial services, communications and publications providers, and hotels used for meetings. This sharing is subject to agreements with the third parties to ensure the information is used only for such service support and in accordance with this Policy and applicable law.

C. Aggregated Data. The AAS may process and disclose aggregated information (based on Personal Information held by the AAS) that does not reasonably identify an individual AAS member or user, or specific user transaction on AAS Sites, including to share demographic information with our partners.

D. Disclosure Under Law. The AAS may disclose Personal Information if required under applicable laws (including for law enforcement and national security purposes), or to report a violation or suspected violation of applicable laws to appropriate governmental authorities.

Retention of Information

The AAS applies the following policies on retention of Personal Information:

  • We retain information regarding the AAS services that you use for as long as you use those services.
  • Successful membership applications are retained indefinitely to facilitate the work of historians studying the history of our field. Inactive member user accounts are retained for 5 years.
  • Publications (and associated public information) are available indefinitely. Non-public information regarding publications, such as the report of referee, is retained for five years (except that certain historical information from before 1999, when this policy was adopted, may be available in a restricted-access archive).
  • We retain non-member meeting attendance data for 10 years because we do not allow non-members to present at our meetings more than once per decade. Inactive non-member user accounts without meeting transactions are retained for 1 year.
  • We retain general and routine correspondence for 3 years.
  • Cookies are stored on user computers, and may be deleted at any time by the user.

When data is deleted from AAS systems, it may remain in our back-up storage for 2 years.

Rights Regarding Your Personal Information

You may request access to, correction or deletion of your Personal Information held by AAS, or request that we limit the ways in which we process your information. AAS may choose not to delete Personal Information where the data is necessary to the integrity of AAS services or to the operation of services provided by the AAS to other users. EU customers of AAS have certain rights to restriction of data processing and data portability to other service providers. Users may exercise any of these rights by writing to


The AAS uses industry-standard technological and organizational measures to protect Personal Information and other data from unauthorized disclosure, alteration or destruction, both online and offline. We use encryption to protect sensitive financial and other information, and all connections to our websites are encrypted by default whenever possible. We make available only the minimal amount of Personal Information necessary to leadership, members, meeting attendees, vendors and others. However, data security presents many risks, and the AAS cannot guarantee that information will be 100% secure. The AAS relies on users to select secure passwords, to protect those passwords, and to use appropriate security software on their devices. Please contact the AAS with any information regarding unauthorized use of AAS services.

Third Party Sites and Services

The AAS sites contain links to other sites and services, and other sites and services have links to the AAS. Please be aware that the AAS is not responsible for the privacy practices (or other practices, goods, services or content) of other sites or services. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each website that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by the AAS.

Transfer to United States and EU Compliance

The AAS and its servers are located in the United States. By providing information to the AAS, you are consenting to the transfer of that information to the United States and accepting that the transfer is necessary for our relationship with you. In certain cases, we may implement EU Standard Contractual Clauses for transfer of data to the AAS from EU entities.

Updates to This Policy

From time to time, the AAS may update this Policy to reflect changes in the law, changes in the AAS’s services, or for other reasons. Updated versions of this Policy will be posted on AAS websites. If AAS makes material changes to the Policy, AAS will send a copy of the updated Policy to customers who have provided AAS with their contact information.

Contact Information and Complaints

If you have inquiries or complaints about this Policy or your Personal Information, you should first contact us at If we receive a complaint, we will contact the person who made the complaint to follow up. Further contact information is available at the AAS website.

The AAS works with the appropriate regulatory authorities to resolve any complaints regarding Personal Information that we cannot resolve with our members and users directly. If you are a non-US member or service user of the AAS, you may also have the right to complain to the data protection authorities in your country.