“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….”
“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….”
The NASA ADS now extracts and indexes cited software repositories published with the DataCite registry, making them discoverable through its platform and resulting in new metrics for software use and reuse in astronomical research….
“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.”
“For over five decades of manned spaceflight missions, NASA astronauts have taken extraordinary photographs of Earth’s surface and dynamic processes. Humans on board the International Space Station (ISS) have a unique platform to perform Earth observations at various viewing angles, seasons, and times of day. Astronaut photos taken from the ISS comprise a true?color (RGB) dataset taken with multiple handheld digital cameras and lens types (prior to 2004, film cameras were in use). Earth observations through astronaut photography are an important and unique remote sensing method when monitoring natural disasters, urban growth, and environmental changes. While astronaut imagery can be used for earth science research, there is also an artistic aspect to the photography that fascinates a wide global population. A broader public audience can be introduced to earth science through high resolution, Earth art photos taken from the perspective of an astronaut. The Crew Earth Observations (CEO) Facility within the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA’s Johnson Space Center supports the acquisition, analysis, and curation of astronaut photography of Earth’s surface and atmosphere. CEO’s website, the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth (eol.jsc.nasa.gov), provides free public access to view, search, and download over three million images taken by astronauts throughout all of NASA’s crewed spaceflight history, with an emphasis on current ISS imagery. The CEO Facility actively curates a digital collection of exceptional Earth art astronaut photos used for public engagement. Our new Downloadable Earth Art page focuses on broad earth science topics including: mountains, water, clouds, agriculture, as well as an “abstract” category. This continuously?updated collection is comprised of freely accessible and high?quality downloadable materials, such as single? and dual?screen digital wallpapers. All Earth Art materials are presented with science?based information that complements the artistic qualities of the imagery, and facilitate connections between general audiences and earth science from the International Space Station.”
“Earth and space sciences data are a world heritage. Properly documented, credited, and preserved, they will help future scientists understand the Earth, planetary, and heliophysics systems. They should be preserved long-term for future use. They should be made openly available to the scientific community and the public as soon as possible. They should be accessible in usable formats with sufficient machine-readable documentation to allow informed re-use. These responsibilities are an integral part of scientific research shared by individual scientists, data stewards, research institutions, and funding organizations….
Statement adopted by the American Geophysical Union 29 May 1997? Reaffirmed May 2001, May 2005, May 2006? Revised and Reaffirmed May 2009, February 2012, September 2015.”
“New author guidelines supporting open and FAIR data in scholarly publishing are being adopted throughout the Earth, space, and environmental sciences community. With the new guidelines, supporting resources are provided. These include a new tool for finding the right repository and answers to frequently asked questions. Adoption of these new guidelines requires a shift in the scientific culture around data sharing. Support for this change is needed by researchers, institutions, funders, journals, repositories, and connecting infrastructure—which will advance research across the geosciences….”
“Digital Access to a Sky Century @ Harvard (DASCH) is a unique project that aims to scan the majority of the Astronomical Photographic Plate Collection’s 500,000 glass plate negatives and produce full photometry results for the entire sky. The DASCH project is uniquely designed for Time Domain Astronomy/Astrophysics, which is one of the most prioritized fields of study in astrophysics today. The stars photographed on glass plates between 1880s-1990s operate as time capsules, allowing astronomers to study how the sky has changed over one hundred years….”