# Astronomical Photographic Plate Collection

“At Harvard College Observatory, women studied and curated over 130 years of the night sky, all preserved on glass plate photographs. The HCO’s Astronomical Photographic Plate Collection (also known as the Plate Stacks) is the world’s largest archive of stellar glass plate negatives, amassing over 500,000 celestial moments captured in time, some dating back to the mid-1800s.”

# How journals are using overlay publishing models to facilitate equitable OA

“Preprint repositories have traditionally served as platforms to share copies of working papers prior to publication. But today they are being used for so much more, like posting datasets, archiving final versions of articles to make them Green Open Access, and another major development — publishing academic journals. Over the past 20 years, the concept of overlay publishing, or layering journals on top of existing repository platforms, has developed from a pilot project idea to a recognized and growing publishing model.

In the overlay publishing model, a journal performs refereeing services, but it doesn’t publish articles on its website. Rather, the journal’s website links to final article versions hosted on an online repository….”

# Key Challenges for AAS Journals in the Next Decade

“Summary ? The American Astronomical Society (AAS) Journals are a vital asset of our professional society. ? With the push towards open access, page charges are a viable and sustainable option for continuing to effectively fund and publish the AAS Journals. ? The existing page charge model, which requires individual authors to pay page charges out of their grants or even out of pocket, is already challenging to some researchers and could be exacerbated in the Open Access (OA) era if charges increase. ? A discussion of alternative models for funding page charges and publishing costs should part of the Astro2020 decadal survey if we wish to continue supporting the sustainable and accessible publication of US research in AAS journals in the rapidly-shifting publication landscape. ? The AAS Publications Committee recommends that the National Academy of Sciences form a task force to develop solutions and recommendations with respect to the urgent concerns and considerations highlighted in this White Paper….”

# The Starchive

“The Starchive is an open source, open access database which will initially contain five distinct stellar samples — the 30 pc list, stars with planets, stars with disks, young stars and brown dwarfs.”

# One Step Closer to the “Paper of the Future” | Research Data Management @Harvard

“As a researcher who is trying to understand the structure of the Milky Way, I often deal with very large astronomical datasets (terabytes of data, representing almost two billion unique stars). Every single dataset we use is publicly available to anyone, but the primary challenge in processing them is just how large they are. Most astronomical data hosting sites provide an option to remotely query sources through their web interface, but it is slow and inefficient for our science….

To circumvent this issue, we download all the catalogs locally to Harvard Odyssey, with each independent survey housed in a separate database. We use a special python-based tool (the “Large-Survey Database”) developed by a former post-doctoral scholar at Harvard, which allows us to perform fast queries of these databases simultaneously using the Odyssey computing cluster….

To extract information from each hdf5 file, we have developed a sophisticated Bayesian analysis pipeline that reads in our curated hdf5 files and outputs best fits for our model parameters (in our case, distances to local star-forming regions near the sun). Led by a graduate student and co-PI on the paper (Joshua Speagle), the python codebase is publicly available on GitHub with full API documentation. In the future, it will be archived with a permanent DOI on Zenodo. Also on GitHub users will find full working examples of the code, demonstrating how users can read in the publicly available data and output the same style of figures seen in the paper. Sample data are provided, and the demo is configured as a jupyter notebook, so interested users can walk through the methodology line-by-line….”

# The Cost of the Open Journal of Astrophysics | In the Dark

“Our recent publication of a paper in the Open Journal of Astrophysicscaused a flurry of interest in social media and a number of people have independently asked me for information about the cost of this kind of publication.

I see no reason not to be fully `open’ about the running costs of the Open Journal, but it’s not quite as simple as a cost per paper.

The Scholastica platform we use (which is very nice, simple and easy to use) costs $99 per month. That includes professional website hosting with a custom domain, a built-in website editor (so the site itself can be easily customized), integrated PDF viewer, indexing through e.g. Google scholar, fully searchable metadata, and readership analytics. That amounts to$1188 per annum, regardless of how many submissions we receive or how many articles get published.

On top of that we pay for the Peer Review service, which amounts to $10 for each submission (subject to an annual minimum of$250). We pay that whether or not a submission is published. So far we have rejected significantly more than we have accepted. This system provides automated emails, deadline reminders, an interface for searching sorting and assigning submissions to editors, file versioning & blindness control, a reviewer database, metrics to track performance, etc.

The final charge is only for papers that are accepted: we pay a fee to Crossref to register the Digital Object Identifier (DOI). That costs a princely \$1….”

# Astronomy & Astrophysics signs transformative Open Access agreement with Max Planck Society

“Paris, France 18 December 2018. Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) the international Journal that publishes papers on all aspects of astronomy and astrophysics and one of the leading journals in its field, has signed a two-year transformative Open Access agreement with the Max Planck Society in Germany. Under this agreement, funds previously paid by the Max Planck Digital Library for subscriptions will, instead, be converted into a publishing fund, enabling corresponding authors from the Max Planck Institutes to publish their articles open access in A&A, and at the same time, granting access to the journal’s content to all Max Planck researchers.”