The Pierre Auger Observatory shares 10% of data | symmetry magazine

“Pierre Auger scientists have released data before, both in their open-access scientific publications and for the purposes of education and outreach on their website. But this is the first time they’ve released such detailed information about each cosmic-ray event. The release includes 10% of their dataset through 2018—a collection of every 10th recorded event….”

Langley Automated Sensor Inter-calibration System (LASICS): Open Access Tools for Satellite Imager Inter- Calibration

Abstract:  Satellite imager calibration teams are tasked with maintaining stable measurement records to facilitate reliable monitoring of geophysical parameters and ensure dependable input for forecast models. Satellite imagers are neither uniformly calibrated nor radiometrically scaled to a common reference standard. Consistent inter-calibration between various earth-orbiting satellite imager pairs is a critical step in the creation of seamless earth-scene reflectance data records over time for input to higher level algorithms that retrieve earth system climate-sensitive properties. Each imager inherently by virtue of its optics (and associated properties like spectral response etc.) and orbit will have a unique measurement of the same earth-scene reflected signal. A key part of this is the computationally efficient and optimal identification and prediction of science opportunities where the imager pairs from the irrespective earth-orbits near-simultaneously view the same stable terrestrial targets with nearly identical viewing and solar geometry.


Improving data access democratizes and diversifies science | PNAS

Abstract:  The foundation of the scientific method rests on access to data, and yet such access is often restricted or costly. We investigate how improved data access shifts the quantity, quality, and diversity of scientific research. We examine the impact of reductions in cost and sharing restrictions for satellite imagery data from NASA’s Landsat program (the longest record of remote-sensing observations of the Earth) on academic science using a sample of about 24,000 Landsat publications by over 34,000 authors matched to almost 3,000 unique study locations. Analyses show that improved access had a substantial and positive effect on the quantity and quality of Landsat-enabled science. Improved data access also democratizes science by disproportionately helping scientists from the developing world and lower-ranked institutions to publish using Landsat data. This democratization in turn increases the geographic and topical diversity of Landsat-enabled research. Scientists who start using Landsat data after access is improved tend to focus on previously understudied regions close to their home location and introduce novel research topics. These findings suggest that policies that improve access to valuable scientific data may promote scientific progress, reduce inequality among scientists, and increase the diversity of scientific research.


OpenMARS: A global record of martian weather from 1999 to 2015 – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  The Open access to Mars Assimilated Remote Soundings (OpenMARS) dataset is a reanalysis product combining past spacecraft observations with a Mars Global Circulation Model (GCM). The OpenMARS product is a global surface/atmosphere reference database of surface and atmospheric properties for almost nine Mars years that can be used by Mars scientists and engineers interested in global surface/atmospheric conditions and the physical, dynamical and chemical behaviour of the atmosphere for the recent past on Mars.


In the OpenMARS dataset, spacecraft observations of temperature, dust and water vapour from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on the NASA Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, temperature and dust from the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft and ozone from the Spectrometer for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) instrument on the European Space Agency (ESA) Mars Express orbiter are combined with a Mars GCM used at the Open University.

A Public Data Archive for the Italian Radio Telescopes – NASA/ADS

Abstract:  The amount of data delivered by modern instrumentation and observing techniques is bringing radio astronomy in the era of Big Data, and the nowadays widely adopted Open Data policies allow free and open access to data from many radio astronomy facilities. A fundamental ingredient to enable Open Science in the radio astronomical community and to engage also public participation (the so called Citizen Science) is thus the availability of public archives in which data can be accessed and searched with modern software tools. A web-based, VO-compliant public archive has been built to host data from the Italian radio telescopes managed by the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The archive main features consist in the capability to handle the various types of data coming from the different observing instrumentation at the telescopes; the adoption of a policy to guarantee the data proprietary period; the accessibility of data through a web interface and the adoption of VO standards to allow for successful scientific exploitation of the archive itself in the data mining era. We present the progress status of the public Data Archive for the Italian radio telescopes being developed to provide the international community with a state-of-the-art archive for radio astronomical data.


The MAST API: Accessing Space Telescope Data Programmatically – NASA/ADS

Abstract:  Best known as the archive for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) is a multimission data center which provides public access to data from a wide range of astronomical missions. Throughout its history MAST has provided a variety of interfaces which enable both interactive and programmatic discovery of archive data. In this paper we will present the web service API (Application Programming Interface) for MAST, and associated Astroquery Python module. The MAST web service API aims to facilitate access to MAST data by providing a consistent, predictable, and flexible interface, that can be accessed using any language with the capability to send/receive HTTPS requests. The associated Astroquery API provides an intuitive streamlined interface for Python users that removes the need to craft and parse HTTPS requests/responses. In this paper we will discuss the method for building and executing MAST queries, and parsing the output, both in the web service API and using Astroquery. We will give examples of common API queries, and discuss integrating MAST API queries into an analytic workflow. We will finish with a discussion of the future of the MAST API.


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….”