News archive

25 July 2014

As we did in previous years, the library will compile a list of ESO-authored papers presented at the SPIE conference on Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2014. If you (co-)authored a paper, please send the SPIE manuscript number (e.g., 9149-81) and the manuscript itself (preferably in PDF) or the arXiv ID to The listing with links to the full texts will be made available at


17 July 2014

Some time ago we had to stop providing access to the Safari ebook platform as their license agreement was reviewed by the ESO legal department. Unfortunately, it turned out that Safari's lawyers were not able to accept specific changes to their license which are mandatory for any contract signed by ESO. Further discussion offered by ESO was rejected by Safari.

As a result, we cannot provide access anymore. We regret this development, but have no means to influence the legal situation.

Should you be interested in programming and technical books in future, please send a request to In some cases, we may be able to provide electronic versions from a dedicated vendor, others will have to be purchased on paper.


10 July 2014

On June 16 we were happy to welcome Chris Erdmann, formerly at ESO and now Head Librarian of the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA, USA, who gave a presentation in which he shared with us some of the technology trends that are currently impacting scholarly communication, such as Authorea and Zenodo (see also Internal Announcement int14154).

In case you missed his talk, here are his presentation slides: Short, Sudden Bursts of Science. The Internal Announcement of Chris' talk can be found here.


3 June 2014

The AAS and IOP Publishing have announced that as of 2015, all AAS research journals published with IOP will become electronic only and will no longer print paper editions. This transition will affect the Astronomical Journal (AJ) and the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ), Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL), and Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series (ApJS).

The reason for this move is that "print publications are simply unable to accommodate the growing amount of content that is 'born digital'."

More details can be found in an IOP press release:


3 April 2014

The journal A&A, published by EDP Sciences, is now also available in ePUB format for easy reading on mobile devices. ePUB adapts to different screen sizes so that scientific articles published in A&A can be downloaded and read offline on most eReaders and tablets with greater reading comfort that PDF or HTML formats. In addition, a Kindle version is planned to become available in the near future.


20 February 2014

Beginning of 2014, SCOAP3 (the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) started operations.

All articles funded by SCOAP3 appear in their repository upon publication. Several formats are available, including PDF, PDF/A and XML. Articles are published under a CC-BY license and can be freely downloaded and further disseminated.

The scope of the SCOAP3 repository is neither to duplicate arXiv nor the publisher platforms. It is rather a staging platform, for further distribution of information.

Among the journals currently provided by SCOAP3 are the European Physical Journal C, the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (JCAP), and the New Journal of Physics. A full listing is available at


18 February 2014

Prompted by a recent enquiry, we had a closer look at a new open access website: ScienceOpen.

This "research and publishing network" aims at providing a platform to find OA content (free of charge) and publish research papers (for a fee of currently US$ 800). Their special focus is on public post-publication peer-review, commenting and rating of articles which they enable by offering online space and tools.

In order to populate their website with content, ScienceOpen aggregates OA articles from various sources, including astro-ph/arXiv. Hence, don't be surprised to find references to manuscripts which you submitted to astro-ph. However, they only list the metadata (authors, title, abstract, arXiv ID, etc.) and link to the original eprint server for access to the fulltexts.

ScienceOpen was founded in 2013 and is currently in beta version; more information can be found on their FAQ page.


8 January 2014

We are sad to forward this artcile from the New York Times: "Halton C. Arp, astronomer who challenged Big Bang theory, dies at 86."
The NYT article is available at


7 January 2014

The AAS and IOP Publishing, publisher of the ApJ and AJ, have announced the launch of the Astronomy Image Explorer (AIE), a new tool to easily find and download images and other media published in AAS journals. Users are invited to re-use the material, provided that credit is given to the original article.

The Astronomy Image Explorer is located at The press release can be found at


10 December 2013

ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.

Researchers and contributors may now link education and employment affiliations to their ORCID Records. The addition of affiliations allows researchers to further distinguish themselves from those with similar names.

Some publishers have already enabled author identification through ORCID iDs (e.g., the Nature Publishing Group).

You can set up your ORCID ID or log into an existing account to add information at


18 November 2013
A new entry at the In The Dark blog announces that the Open Journal for Astrophysics (OJFA) now accepts test submissions. The OJFA is a community-driven effort to establish a peer-reviewed open access journal based on the arXiv infrastructure that charges neither readers nor authors. All services are "provided free by members of the astrophysics community as a service to the astrophysics community."

The full blog post can be found here.


7 November 2013
The Library hosted an IEEE Xplore ( training session on Thursday, 7 Nov 2013, 14:00 - 14:45 hrs.

The session was held by Ms. Eszter Lukacs, IEEE Client Services Manager at SAM (Standards And More) who presented new features and provided Tips & Tricks regarding the IEEE Xplore database, including info on various search modes (basic, advanced, command-driven), how to set up personal accounts and save searches, as well as enhanced features available through the HTML version of articles.

For further information, contact the librarians and check out the presentation slides.


21 October 2013
This year's International Open Access Week takes place October 21-27. The motto is: Open Access: Redefining Impact. Further information can be found at


9 October 2013

The library now provides access to e-versions of Cambridge University Press (CUP) astronomy books from 2012 onward. Purchased titles can be accessed through the library catalog.

All CUP astronomy books are listed at the publisher's website. This page also provides a search box, covering all subject areas. For astronomy books published before 2012, chances are high that the library holds a print version.

eBooks are available via PDFs of individual chapters.


20 September 2013

The ESO Library participated in the Science Operations (SciOps) 2013 conference and presented a talk on "ESO telbib: an interconnected database". The presentation slides are available from the libraries pages.


13 September 2013

The 10,000th paper using data from ESO's facilities has been added to the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib), our database of refereed papers which have been published by the ESO users community. telbib contains papers dating back to 1996 and is compiled by the ESO Library by scanning the major astronomical journals for scientific papers that contain any of the ESO-defined keywords (e.g., telescope and instrument names). All papers included in the database have been inspected visually to ensure that they directly use ESO observational data. A more detailed description can be found in the ESO Announcement ann13073.


13 May 2013

A new research repository has been announced: Zenodo which has been created through funds from the European Commission's Framework Programm 7 (FP7).

The intention of Zenodo is to provide a platform that allows researchers to share and showcase multidisciplinary research results including publications and especially data which are not part of the existing institutional or subject-based repositories currently available.

The announcement, posted on isgtw (international science grid this week), can be found here


2 Apr 2013

Papers included in the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib) have been enhanced with Altmetric scores. The Altmetric score is a measure of the quality and quantity of attention that a scholarly article has received.

In addition, the telbib database can now be queried automatically through an API (Application Programming Interface). For more inforamtion, see


21 Jan 2013

Recently, news was circulated regarding the idea that mathematicians will launch and run (ideally at zero cost) an open access journal, based on arXiv ("arXiv overlay journal"):

"The idea is that the parts of the publication process that academics do voluntarily — editing and refereeing — are just as they are for traditional journals, and we do without the parts that cost money, such as copy-editing and typesetting."

The plan is to start in April. The group behind the initiative consists of international mathematicians and is called the Episciences Project. If indeed a model could be found where both reading and publishing articles is free, the organizers would call this the "diamond open access".

More information can be found in Gower's Weblog and on Nature.


19 Oct 2012

A recent study published in Science (Oct. 11) brings a positive note to authors of papers that have been rejected by journals: it seems that overall, previously rejected manuscripts in the end are cited more often. The research is based on a survey among 80,000 authors of life science papers.

A scientist who was interviewed for a report on the study in the online magazine The Scientist found the following possible explanation:
“Papers that are more likely to contend against the status quo are more likely to find an opponent in the review system”—and thus be rejected—“but those papers are also more likely to have an impact on people across the system,” earning them more citations when finally published.

Read the Scientist report ("The Benefits of Rejection") and/or the Science paper.


18 Sep 2012

The following new journal has just been announced:

Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation
World Scientific, online ISSN: 2251-1725

"JAI will publish papers describing astronomical instruments being proposed, developed, under construction and in use [...] JAI will consist of high-quality, refereed papers that are electronically accessible (open access)."

The Guidelines for Contributors ( state that article processing fees will be waived for submissions in 2012; however, they do not indicate what the price will be afterwards.


13 Sep 2012

The following new features have been added to the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib,

(1) We implemented stabilobj, a tool that allows users to select an astronomical object in a web page and retrieve information from CDS databases like SIMBAD and VizieR. Text anywhere in the page can be selected. If it is recognized as an astronomical object, a dedicated tooltip (pop-up window) will be displayed with links to the remote databases.
stabilobj has been developed by Sebastien Derriere, CDS; a demo page is available at

(2) A new webpage provides an overview of ESO publication statistics (1996-2011). In order to make our statistics more transparent and reproducible, the numbers are linked to the corresponding records in the telbib database:  

In addition, we continue to maintain the "Basic ESO Publication Statistics" document (available from the ESO libraries homepage or directly at which provides more detailed metrics including instrument-level statistics. 


16 Aug 2012

A recent post on the O'Reilly radar blog describes text mining projects using ADS abstracts of MNRAS, ApJ, and A&A back to vol. 1. They originate from the recent .Astronomy Hack Day and lead to interesting results, for instance on the use of certain keywords in the literature over time or the number of authors per paper. Some of them can be guessed, e.g., the decreasing number of single-author papers during recent years, but now there are numbers to prove it. 

One noteworthy finding is that since approx. the 1960s, there is a steep increase in the number of active research astronomers. At the same time, the number of scientific papers is increasing too, but at a slightly lower rate. In summary, this means that nowadays more astronomers are needed to write the same number of papers.

The blog entry, along with an interview with Robert Simpson, one of the project leaders and some some visualizations can be found at


11 Jul 2012

The library is organizing a session on Open Access Publishing which will take place
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 3 pm (Garching) / 9 am (Chile)
in the ESO Council Room. A video link to ESO Santiago will be provided. 

We will discuss
- why it might make sense to publish in an OA journal
- which criteria can be used to judge the quality of OA journals and publishers
- how you can identify so-called 'predatory' publishers
- what the current situation is of open access publishing in astronomy

Some background information can be found in the introductory presentation given at the Faculty meeting on June 25 (

We are looking forward to a lively discussion.