News archive

15 May 2024: IOP State of Peer Review 2024

IOP Publishing, the current publisher of ApJ and AJ, has released the results of the “State of Peer Review 2024” survey.

Some key findings:

  • Bias – The proportion of respondents reporting to have experienced bias in the peer review process has gone down since 2020 (16% in 2024, compared with 24% in 2020)
  • Models of peer review — Double-anonymous peer review was the most popular response (over 50%) for both authors and reviewers 
  • Motivation to review – Interest in the paper remains the number one motivation to accept a review invitation, the same as in 2020
  • Use of AI – Views on the impact of generative AI on peer review were polarised

See also the intro below or the full report at  (move forward section by section at the bottom of each page)

IOP Publishing State of Peer Review 2024
In March 2020, we conducted a major survey of peer reviewers in the physical sciences and shared our findings with the community.
The 2020 IOP Peer Review Motivations Survey contained a number of insights into the opinions and attitudes of peer reviewers, and the results informed our IOP Publishing Peer Review Excellence Programme, which was launched at the end of that year.

Four years on, much has changed: the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns altered the way that researchers work and collaborate; the total number of scientific papers being peer reviewed and published has continued to increase; and the emergence of publicly accessible generative AI has presented new opportunities and challenges for scholarly writing.

In addition, we see a rising number of retractions and the commercialisation of research misconduct threatening a system which, for so many years, was built on trust. Peer review underpins all scientific progress and plays a critical role in addressing major global issues. As a purpose-led scientific publisher, we want to be able to fully understand the issues facing peer reviewers today, so that we can listen and effectively respond to their evolving needs.

In March 2024, we ran the same survey from 2020, along with some extra questions. Our goals were to directly compare responses to the questions we asked our community in 2020, to see what has changed, and to gauge the opinions of the physical sciences community on topics such as generative AI, bias in peer review and double-anonymous peer review.


03 May 2024: A&A to remain Open Access also in 2024

EDP Sciences, the publisher of Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) just announced that the journal will continue its open access publication under the Subscribe to Open (S2O) model for the third year in 2024, see the info below and the full press release:

Astronomy & Astrophysics to remain in open access under Subscribe to Open in 2024

Paris, France, 03 May 2024: Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) is delighted to announce the continuation of its open access publication for the third consecutive year under the Subscribe to Open (S2O) model. As other astronomy journals have shifted to open access via the Gold (APC) route, A&A has persistently opted for this subscriber-based approach to maintain immediate open access, ensuring minimal disruption for both authors and subscribers. This decision underscores A&A's commitment to ensuring the broad accessibility of its high-quality research to the global scientific community, while also securing the journal's sustainability and financial stability.

The Board of Directors of A&A and EDP Sciences have reiterated their support for the S2O model despite the ongoing challenges in sustaining subscription levels. This commitment ensures that an additional year of A&A’s high-quality scientific content remains freely accessible to all, without imposing article processing charges (APCs) on authors. Authors retain copyright ownership and align with open access mandates from institutions and funders.

This commitment to the S2O model reflects the journal’s choice of an equitable open access path. The continued support from subscribers is critical to ensure an economically viable publishing solution amidst the evolving challenges of scholarly publishing. <more>

Charlotte VAN ROOYEN
Director of Marketing and Communications
EDP Sciences
17 av. du Hoggar - BP 112 - 91944 Les Ulis Cdx A - France
Phone: +33 7 83 81 12 04


13 December 2023: SciX Digital Library (NASA Science Explorer)

ADS (Astrophysics Data System), best known for their literature portal (, has rolled out their new interface, called SciX Digital Library (NASA Science Explorer) Please note that this is a beta version; comments, bug reporting, etc. are welcome. 

SciX is based on the current ADS infrastructure. Any accounts and personal settings that were set up in ADS are carried over and work as known on SciX. For the foreseeable future, both systems will exist in parallel, but ADS will limit new improvements and developments to SciX.

SciX has been developed in the context of the NASA Open Source Science Initiative which supports open science principles by expanding access and accelerating scientific discovery for societal benefit. Based on ADS’ long-time experience, NASA selected them to extend the ADS discovery platform to all research funded by the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) divisions:

  • Astrophysics
  • Heliophysics
  • Planetary Science
  • Earth Science
  • Biological and Physical Sciences (in progress).  

SciX is the new digital library that serves all five disciplines.

Further information about SciX is available on the website and on a blog entry by Alberto Accomazzi, ADS.


6 November 2023: Plan S: "Towards Responsible Publishing" proposal from cOAlition S

Five years after the roll-out of Plan S in 2018, the funders behind cOAlition S are now presenting a proposal entitled “Towards Responsible Publishing” which will change the focus of the initiative quite drastically:

While the original Plan S has without doubt given a huge push to OA publishing, it has also often been criticised for being too (commercial) publisher-friendly and unduly endorsing APC-based Open Access. In their new proposal, the initiators identify four problems with the current scholarly communication system (see

The dominant publishing models are highly inequitable. All researchers should be able to publish their work OA without author-facing charges. 

Sharing of research output is needlessly delayed. The current pre-publication peer review model contributes to publication delays which are detrimental to science and society

The full potential of peer review is not realised. When peer review reports and editorial evaluations remain inaccessible, they cannot contribute to a better understanding of the scholarly discourse

The coupling of editorial gatekeeping with academic career incentives is damaging science. The rejection-resubmission cycle and the coupling of editorial gatekeeping with academic career incentives have led to idealising journal selectivity

The revised Plan S aims at solving these issues for research articles through a scholar-led communication ecosystem, characterised as follows:

(1) Plan S now strongly encourages authors to claim their rights to the content they created through the Rights Retention Strategy rather than signing away their rights to publishers. This strategy is recommended for all articles, also those that will be published Open Access.  

(2) The full range of outputs created during the research cycle constitutes the scholarly record, not just the final journal-accepted version (“Version of Record”), and each stage of this process is worthy of being a citable entity with their own DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) as they document the progress that led to the final article. 
(3) Peer review can (should) be happening in the post-publication/post-release phase, and, in alignment with the statements mentioned under (2), reviews are seen as entities of the research process and should be publicly available (with or without disclosure of the reviewers' identity). 

According to the cOAlition S funders (, publishers should evolve into service providers: “In the 21st century, science publishers should provide a service to help researchers disseminate their results. They may be paid fair value for the services they are providing, but no science should be locked behind paywalls!” 

To understand whether this new direction of Plan S resonates with the community, the proposal initiators have started a consultative process, inviting researchers, research performing organisations, and other stakeholders to voice their opinion (Nov.  2023 - April 2024). Details on how to provide feedback can be found at

For further info see:


21 June 2023: EDP Sciences and ESO enhance research discoverability in Astronomy & Astrophysics

EDP Sciences, the publisher of Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A), and the ESO Library, Documentation, and Information Services department (LDIS) have announced the introduction of links between A&A articles and corresponding ESO datasets. This initiative establishes A&A as the first major astronomy journal to feature such links, significantly enhancing research discoverability and facilitating a more comprehensive reader experience.

The ESO Telescope Bibliography (ESO telbib), a longstanding resource developed and curated by the ESO Library, Documentation and Information Services (LDIS) department, references articles published in the major astronomy journals that utilize ESO data. Now, the A&A publication platform, maintained by EDP Sciences, integrates direct links to the associated datasets at ESO telbib by leveraging its API. This development offers researchers approximately 8000 links to ESO data, enabling them to explore and analyze the linked data seamlessly.

By simply following the "ESO data at telbib" links on the A&A publishing platform, readers can easily access the corresponding datasets. This integration expands upon EDP Sciences' existing provision of direct links to essential astronomy databases, including the NASA ADS Abstract Service and the CDS (Strasbourg astronomical Data Center).


The full announcement is available at


3 May 2023: Astronomy & Astrophysics will remain in Open Access under the Subscribe to Open (S2O) model in 2023

Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) has announced that it will continue to publish its research in open access for the second consecutive year under the Subscribe to Open (S2O) model. In contrast to other core astronomy journals that have transitioned or will transition to open access via the Gold (APC) route, A&A has chosen a different approach to achieve immediate open access while minimizing any potential disruption to authors or subscribers. This decision reaffirms A&A's commitment to making its high-quality research easily accessible to the global scientific community, while also ensuring sustainability and financial stability for the journal.

The full announcement is available at


3 Mar. 2023: MNRAS moving to APC-based Open Access

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) announced that the Monthly Notices (MNRAS) will be Open Access (OA) from January 2024, using Article Processing Charges (APCs) of GBP 2,310 per article, to be paid by authors.

From the librarians’ perspective, this is an unfortunate decision. APC-based OA does not achieve the core drivers of the Open Access movement, namely to make publishing more fair, and to stabilize (if not reduce) costs. In order to achieve these goals, collaborative, equitable OA models are needed.

The RAS announcement is available at Further information about their decision to move to OA are available at, including a link to the foreseen APC rates (GBP 2,310 for MNRAS papers and Letters, see


Nov. 2022: A&A S2O Transparency Report 2022 published

To emphasize its commitment to financial transparency, Astronomy & Astrophysics released its first Transparency Report in November 2022 to make a broad range of financial information publicly available.


1 Feb. 2023: New arXiv policy on ChatGPT and similar systems

arXiv recognizes that authors of scientific works use a variety of tools to do the science on which they report, and to prepare the report itself, from simple ones to very sophisticated ones. To address this issue, arXiv has adopted a new policy for authors regarding the use of generative AI language tools.

The full announcement is available at The new policy can be found at


31 Jan. 2023: Optica Open preprint server

Optica Publishing Group (formerly OSA) launched Optica Open today, a new preprint server dedicated to advancing optics and photonics around the globe. Authors can conveniently transmit their Optica Open preprint submissions to an Optica Publishing Group journal or their journal submissions to the preprint server.

All posted preprints will receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), are citable and will be indexed by Google Scholar and Crossref. As with other preprint servers, articles posted to Optica Open are not peer reviewed, although authors may benefit from receiving feedback from their peers.

Through a collaboration with arXiv, a research-sharing platform for physics and other fields, optics-related preprints that have been posted to arXiv are also discoverable in Optica Open. Thousands of arXiv records dating back to 2021 are already accessible in Optica Open, and new records are being added twice daily.

For further information, see the Optica news item.


22 Dec. 2022: Registration now open for Open Research Week 2023, University of Liverpool

The Open Research Week 2023 is a series of free online events hosted by the University of Liverpool. It will take place from February 28 to March 3, 2023. 9 events over 4 days will cover many aspects of open research, including publishing in data journals, promoting open research in smaller institutions, measuring openness, reward and recognition. Celebrating its 5th year, the ORW looks at the future of open, with an opening keynote from Dr. Ross Mounce, Director of Open Access at the Arcadia Fund, and a closing keynote from Ashley Farley, Programme Officer at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


12 Oct. 2022: International Open Access Week 2022

The International Open Access Week 2022 will take place from October 24-30 (  

This global event is now entering its fifteenth year. It is an opportunity for open access advocates to engage their communities to teach them about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.  

The EIROforum organisations CERN and EMBL are organising the following events:  


Oct 25, 11:00 CET How to make your research open with EuropePMC
Oct 25, 14:00 CET Open Research Europe for European Commission Funded Research
Oct 27, 14:00 CET EMBL Open Science for Climate Justice
See the full program and registration links here:

Oct 24-28: Info about SCOAP3 (Open Access for High-Energy Physics research), publisher talks, Open Access to books, and CERN’s Open Access policy and its implementation. Programme:


3 Mar. 2022: Library and Information Centre to become a Directorate for Science department

We are happy to announce that the ESO Library and Information Centre has become a department within the Directorate for Science as of 1 March 2022. Until recently, the L-I-C has been a group within the Offices for Science in Garching and Chile. The name of the new unit will be the Library, Documentation, and Information Services (LDIS) department. We invite you to visit the homepage at and the Internal Announcement at to explore the services and expertise the department provides.


25 Oct. 2021: New Scientist subscription ceases 2021

Since the subscription price of the magazine New Scientist will increase by a factor of 10 (!) as of 2022, the ESO subscription will cease at the end of 2021.


20 Oct. 2021: Open Access Transformation for Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A)

The A&A Board of Directors has announced that their journal will move to a Subscribe-to-Open (S2O) model. Library subscriptions, together with substantial contributions from the A&A sponsoring countries, will cover publication and editorial costs. If libraries renew their subscriptions, A&A will be published in full open access in 2022. The full press release is available on the A&A news page.  


27 Sep. 2021: AAS journals switch to OA

On 1 Sep 2021, the AAS announced that their journals ApJ, ApJL, ApJS, and AJ will switch to Open Access (OA) as of 2022. The AAS OA model is based on article publication charges which are to be paid by the authors. An overview of the charges can be found in the Finances section on the AAS OA website. An article in Physics Today, published on 17 Sep 2021, puts the decision into perspective and provides supportive as well as critical comments from the community.


15 Jul. 2021: Adding publications to your ORCID account

The ESO Library prepared the document "Populating your ORCID account with your publications".
It explains how you can use ADS, CrossRef and DataCite efficiently to (auto-)update your ORCID account with your publications.

With ADS you can claim your papers very easily and populate your ORCID account with already published papers.
In contrast, CrossRef and DataCite update your account automatically, if you give them permission (and if you submitted your ORCID to the publisher).


25 Mar. 2021: Open Research Europe platform

A new platform for EU-funded research has become available: 

"Today, the European Commission launched Open Research Europe, a publishing platform for scientific papers that will be accessible to everyone. The platform will present the results of research funded by Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme for 2021-2027, and its predecessor, Horizon 2020.

Open Research Europe will give everyone, researchers and citizens alike, free-of-charge access to the latest scientific discoveries. It directly addresses major difficulties often associated with publishing scientific results, including delays and barriers to the re-use of results and high costs. The platform is an optional service for Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020 beneficiaries so that they can comply with their funding requirements for immediate open access, at no cost to them."

Further information is available at


23 Feb. 2021: Open Access in Astronomy: why should I care?

On 23 Feb. 2021, the Library participated in an ESO Cosmic Duologue session on Open Access. Speakers: Uta Grothkopf (ESO, slides) and Anne Ruimy (Senior Publisher at EDP Sciences, slides). Moderator: Henri Boffin (ESO). The video of this Duologue is available on this YouTube page.


23 Dec. 2020: Nature and Nature Astronomy to become hybrid journals

As of January 2021, several titles included in the Nature portfolio, among them the main Nature magazine and Nature Astronomy, will become hybrid journals. The intent of the publisher is to show that Nature is "fully committed to open research and the benefits this brings for researchers, institutions, funders and the wider public."  

Hybrid journals operate on a subscription basis, but provide researchers with the opportunity to make their individual articles OA for a fee. As this might lead to so-called double-dipping (charging twice for the same content: once through subscriptions, once through Article Processing Charges (APCs)), the hybrid publishing model is seen very critically by the research community. Policies of some funders, for instance the Plan S of the cOAlition S, even exclude publishing research output funded by them in hybrid journals (see

According to Nature, "APCs vary from title to title, starting from €1,570 in Scientific Reports to € 9,500 in Nature.”

More information can be found at


16 Dec. 2020: 16 Society Publishers (incl. AAS) describe their view of OA in Physics

In a statement published on the IOP Publishing website 16 society publishers in physics, among them the AAS, describe their view on “Achieving Open Access in Physics”. They emphsize their commitment to OA, but focus on the (in their view) continued need for hybrid journals (i.e., those journals that operate on a subscription basis but provide researchers with the opportunity to make their individual articles OA for a fee). Unfortunately, there is no mentioning of collaborative OA models which are studied elsewhere (see e.g. the Subscribe to Open Community or the tender issued by the cOAlition S.


5 Nov. 2020: Find OA article versions with the Open Access Helper

In order to retrieve open access versions of scientific articles, many scientists have installed the Unpaywall browser extension ( However, this very useful tool is only available for the Firefox and Chrome browsers.  

An alternative tool is the Open Access Helper. Using the APIs of and, this browser plugin provides access to legal open access versions of articles. It is available for Chrome, Safari, and as an app for iOS and iPadOS. The plugin has additional functionality which can be tuned according to the user’s preferences.  

The Open Access Helper can be downloaded at


21 Oct. 2020: Informal Discussion on Open Access

On October 21, 2020, Uta Grothkopf was invited to present at the ESO Informal Discussion on Open Access. Follow this link to download the slides.


1 Sep. 2020: News from ESO Garching Library team

We are happy to announce that as of today, Nathalia Escarlate will be joining the Library and Information Centre team in Garching. Nathalia is a trained librarian, documentalist, and data analyst, with experience in database administration and task automation. We are very much looking forward to working with her!

31 Aug. 2020: News from ESO Chile Library team

August 31, 2020, marks the last working day of Maria Eugenia Gómez. It is no exaggeration to say that an era ends. Maria Eugenia has been the heart and face of the ESO Chile Library during the past decades (!), and has shaped and defined the library and its service like nobody else. We cordially thank Maria Eugenia for everything she has done during all these years in La Silla and Santiago, and send her our very best wishes for the new phase in her life, along with un abrazo fuerte. Maria Eugenia, we will miss you!

At the beginning of August 2020, Leslie Saldías started working in the ESO Chile Library, learning about the day-to-day work from Maria Eugenia. As of September, she will become the new Librarian in Chile. Leslie can be reached at Please join us in welcoming Leslie to ESO!!


24 Sept. 2019

Study on manipulated citations

The Dutch publisher Elsevier is looking into the possibility that some peer reviewers are encouraging the authors of work under review to cite the reviewrs' own research in exchange for positive reviews — a frowned-on practice broadly termed coercive citation.

Read more about it in the Nature News at


1 July 2019

Study analysed publishing trends

A recent study analysed >120 million papers to examine how the academic publishing world has evolved over the last century. Although a special focus was on biology, some of the overall trends are also valid for astronomy. (Some are obvious anyway.)

The five key insights from the study are:  

"First, these results support Goodhart's Law [ it relates to academic publishing; that is, traditional measures (e.g., number of papers, number of citations, h-index, and impact factor) have become targets, and are no longer true measures [of] importance/impact. …

Second, it is clear that citation number has become a target for some researchers. We observe a general increasing trend for researchers to cite their previous work in their new studies, with some authors self citing dozens, or even hundreds, of times. Moreover, a huge quantity of papers – over 72% of all papers and 25% of all papers with at least 5 references – have no citations at all after 5 years. Clearly, a signficant amount of resources is spent on papers with limited impact, which may indicate that researchers are publishing more papers of poorer quality to boost their total number of publications. …

Third, we observed an exponential growth in the number of new researchers who publish papers, likely due to career pressures. We also observed that young career researchers tend to publish considerably more than researchers in previous generations did at their career age. …

Fourth, certain trends are shaping the landscape of publishing in top journals. The number of papers in selected top journals has increased sharply, along with the career age of the authors and the percentage of returning authors. The number of submissions to journals like Science has soared in recent years; however, many of these journals mainly publish papers in which at least one of the authors has previously published in the journal. …

Lastly, using citation-based measures to “discriminate between scientists” is like comparing apples to oranges. By comparing academic metrics over 2600 research fields and subfields, we observed vast diversity in the properties of papers in across different domains. Even papers within subdomains presented a wide range of properties, including number of references and median number of citations. … "

A blog post about the study is available at

The full article can be found at


1 July 2019

Microsoft Store's ebooks to disappear for good

In April, it was announced that Microsoft would close its Store’s books section for good. Starting as soon as this week, it is going to remove all purchased books from the reading devices of those who “bought” them:  

“Because of digital rights management—the mechanism by which platforms retain control over the digital goods they sell—you have no recourse. Microsoft will refund customers in full for what they paid, plus an extra $25 if they made annotations or markups. But that provides only the coldest comfort.”

(WIRED: Microsoft’s ebook apocalypse shows the dark side of DRM,

"DRM, or digital rights management, refers to the technology that allows businesses to lock down digital copies of the media they sell. Even ebooks that Microsoft had given away for free will no longer be available to read, Microsoft explains on its site, stating "You can continue to read free books you've downloaded until July 2019 when they will no longer be accessible."

Writing on the BoingBoing blog earlier this month, long-time DRM opponent Cory Doctorow succinctly explained why Microsoft ebook owners aren't happy about the news, despite the full refund offered: "When I was a bookseller, nothing I could do would result in your losing the book that I sold you. If I regretted selling you a book, I didn't get to break into your house and steal it, even if I left you a cash refund for the price you paid"

(Forbes: 'The Books Will Stop Working': How The Microsoft Store Is Retiring Its Books Category,


21 June 2019

American Astronomical Society to acquire Sky & Telescope

The American Astronomical Society has agreed to acquire Sky & Telescope (S&T) magazine and its related business assets, including the website, SkyWatch annual, digital editions, astronomy-themed tours, and S&T-branded books, sky atlases, globes, apps, and other stargazing products.

S&T's current owner, the magazine- and book-publishing company F+W Media, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2019. 

More information can be found at


27 May 2019

Overview of publication business models

Open Access, subscriptions, transformative agreements…. to help disentangle these concepts, the ESO Library has developed a schematic overview of the most common publication business models currently used in science publishing, with a special focus on Gold Open Access and transformative agreements in the context of Plan S (DOI 10.18727/docs/4). If you have any questions or suggestions, contact us at


16 April 2019

ADS Classic to be discontinued

The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is changing interface. The new interface, codenamed Bumblebee and under development since 2015, has now reached parity with ADS Classic. The plan is to begin disabling searching in Classic in May 2019, with full site retirement foreseen for Q3 2019.  

For further information, see the ADS blog (updated April 12, 2019) including suggestions to regular Classic users in order to prepare for the transition.


8 March 2018

telbib graphs now available in CSV and XLS format

The ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib) connects ESO data papers with the observations in the Science Archive and provides a variety of publication statistics. Search results can be visualized in various ways, resulting in “on-the-fly" graphs. In addition, telbib also provides a set of predefined charts.

Following requests from telbib users, additionally the underlying data tables of all charts are now available in the web browser, or as downloads in CSV or XLS format. This new download option gives users more flexibility to process the data according to their needs. All telbib charts are interactive; the data exported in the CSV and XLS tables correspond to the selection made by the user.


9 January 2018

The first ebooks in the AAS-IOP Astronomy collection are now available:

Astrophysics of Red Supergiants
Emily Levesque
This is the first book of its kind devoted to our current knowledge of red supergiant stars, a key evolutionary phase that is critical to our larger understanding of massive stars. The book is accessible to a broad range of experience levels, from graduate students up to senior researchers, in fields ranging from stellar astrophysics to supernovae and high-redshift galaxies.

Understanding Stellar Evolution
Henny J.G.L.M. Lamers & Emily Levesque
Based on a series of graduate -level courses taught at the University of Washington since 2004, the book is written for physics and astronomy students, and anyone with a physics background who is interested in stars. It describes the structure and evolution of stars, with emphasis on the basic physical principles and the interplay between the different processes inside stars. An extensive set of accompanying lecture slides is available for teachers.

A selection of forthcoming titles can be found here.


16 November 2017

The Library invites everybody who publishes in scientific papers to join a presentation about ORCID. ORCID provides you with a unique author identifier that reliably and clearly connects you with your research contributions and affiliations.
Probably most of you have already heard about ORCID and/or have an ORCID. Questions that will be answered in this presentation include:

  • What is ORCID?
  • How can I link my existing papers to my ORCID profile?
  • How can I automatically connect my ORCID account with future papers?  

We offer two dates for our presentation in the library:
Thursday, 14th December, 2 - 2:30 pm and
Wednesday, 17th January, 3:30 - 4 pm
If you have any questions before these dates don’t hesitate to email the librarians.


14 November 2017

Members of ResearchGate, a commercial academic social network through which scientists share (also copyrighted) publications, may be interested in the following news:

"The academic social network ResearchGate has taken moves to restrict access to at least 1.7 million scholarly articles following threats of legal action by a coalition of publishers including Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS), Times Higher Education reports today (November 9). The change, which follows months of conflict between the organizations, means that papers once freely available to download now have to be requested directly from their authors.”

The full article published in The Scientist is available at

A THE (Times Higher Education) news item mentioned in The Scientist can be found here:


7 November 2017

IOP Publishing, the publisher of ApJ and AJ, has issued two online guides:

Introduction to refereeing

This guide is for reviewers and offers help and advice, including some dos and don’ts for writing a referee report

• An introduction to the peer review process
• How to write a referee report
• After you submit your report
• Ethical issues
• Frequently asked questions
• Publishing glossary/IOP publications

Introductory guide for authors

This guide will help researchers submit an article to IOP journals, and includes advice on what the publisher looks for in articles, and how to prepare files and manage revisions.


7 November 2017

A white paper entitled “The OA effect: How does open access affect the usage of scholarly books?” has been published today by Springer Nature. According to the press release, the report shows that "there is a tangible benefit to publishing academic books using immediate, or ‘gold’, open access (OA) models.”

Key findings are that on average, OA books are

  • downloaded 7 times more than non-OA books
  • cited 50% more (over a four-year period)
  • mentioned online 10 times more (over a three-year period)

This is the fist large-scale analysis investigating the effect of open access books. A sample of 216 Springer Nature OA books and 17,124 non-OA books was included in the download analysis (using SpringerLink data), and 184 OA books and 14,357 non-OA books in the citations and mentions analysis (using data from Bookmetrix). The report also contains qualitative analysis from authors and funders.

The report, along with a summary table (Appendix) can be downloaded at


3 November 2017

Info from the website:

Springer Nature blocks access to certain articles in China

BEIJING (Reuters) - Springer Nature, which publishes science magazines Nature and Scientific American, said on Wednesday it had pulled access to a small number of articles in China to comply with regulations, adding that it viewed the move as regrettable but necessary.

The decision comes after Britain’s Cambridge University Press (CUP) said in August it had removed from its website in China about 300 papers and book reviews published in the China Quarterly journal, after a request from the Chinese government.

CUP, the publishing arm of elite Cambridge University, later reversed its decision and reposted the articles, following an outcry from academics, who attacked the decision as an affront to academic freedom.


Read full article here.


11 September 2017

IOP Publishing, the publisher of ApJ and AJ, announced that ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) identifiers have been introduced across all IOP journals. As of today, IOP Publishing will require ORCIDs from corresponding authors submitting to their journals.

ORCID is a non-profit organisation that provides a unique digital name, or ID, which identifies researchers and distinguishes them from others with similar names. By connecting this iD to all their research activities, publications, and affiliations, researchers will be able to benefit from improved recognition, reduce reporting burdens, and ensure they receive full credit for their work.

If you wish to link your ORCID profile to your papers, you can do so through the ADS. A step-by-step guide developed by the ESO Library is available at In case you have any questions, email us at

The IOP Publishing press release is available at


9 August 2017

In a recent contribution to THE (Times Higher Education), Joanna Dally and Frances Downey imagine the research culture of the future. The article can be found at


9 August 2017

The paper by Piwowar et al. on “The State of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles”  (, submitted to PeerJ Preprints, finds that “half of the papers searched for online are free to read”. The study analysed reader data from the Unpaywall tool, a (free and legal) browser extension that finds open access versions of scholarly articles.

The paper was also featured in a Nature News article.


10 April 2017

Unpaywall is a browser add-on for Firefox or Chrome that will search for Open Access copies of articles across the Internet. They claim to have a greater than 60% find rate for scholarly materials.

Behind Unpaywall is Impactstory, a nonprofit website working to make science more open and reusable online. They are supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


16 February 2017

The ESO Library has created the beta-version of a resolver for references in manuscripts. Using references in .tex or .bbl files, the tool converts them into webpages with links to the ADS or publisher.

The use case we have in mind is the refereeing process: you receive a manuscript for review for which you would like to access the cited papers. Instead of searching for them manually in ADS, you upload the manuscript to the resolver and simply click on the provided links. 

If you would like to give it a try, please upload your .tex or .bbl file at

Please note that this platform is still experimental, so not all references will currently be resolved correctly. We hope to improve the service based on your feedback:


13 November 2016

A recent paper posted on arXiv analyzes the role of the first author gender on the number of citations that a paper receives.

Using machine-learning algorithms, the researches estimate that, as a result of gender bias, astrophysics papers whose first authors are women receive around 10% fewer citations than those that are first-authored by men. The study also notes that women publish 19% fewer articles than men in the 7 years after their first published paper.

The findings have been reported in a Nature News item on Nov. 4.


30 March 2016

A&A and its publishers, EDP Sciences, just announced the launch of the collaborative platform Writing Studio:

Writing Studio is a unique LaTex writing solution designed to simplify the process of writing articles collaboratively on a single version of a paper. Reinforcing an open-source strategy, EDP Sciences has chosen the Open Source ShareLateX to develop this new service.

Writing Studio provides:

  • A collaborative LaTeX solution: Multiple co-authors can jointly work on a single version of the paper with up-to-date A&A macros already included.
  • Direct communication between co-authors: Co-authors can ask each other questions and can chat for real-time interactions.
  • Dropbox integration: Articles can be edited offline and automatically synchronized with the Dropbox online copy.
  • Ease of submission (coming soon): Article will be uploaded to the A&A submission system with a single click, with key fields pre-filled ready for checking.
  • Easier links to astronomical objects: Authors get auto-completion for stellar objects and additional information using tools developed with the CDS.
  • ORCID integration: Authors login to Writing Studio and are recognized by their ORCID iD.

The next step is to link Writing Studio with all the EDP Sciences journals and their submission systems and integrate this tool in a comprehensive
LaTeX dedicated workflow, from the writing of an article through to its online publication.

To login to the Writing Studio authors have to use their ORCID iD.

More information is available on A&A's website:


21 March 2016

The Nature Publishing Group announced five new Nature titles for January 2017, among them Nature Astronomy (

The journal "will be a multidisciplinary journal for the field, representing and fostering closer interaction between all of the key astronomy-relevant disciplines. Nature Astronomy will publish the most significant research, review and comment at the cutting edge of astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science."

The editors are not yet known, but will be announced on the “About the Editors” page at More information about Nature Astronomy and the other upcoming titles can be found in the press release at


19 February 2016

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities, ensuring that your work is recognised and attributed to you.

ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher IDs. It is not associated with any specific publisher, discipline, or geographic area. The use is free of charge. In order to set up an account, go to

An essential part of your ORCID profile is the WORKS section where your publications are listed. Instead of manually entering the bibliographic information of your papers, you can now populate your ORCID record through the ADS. The library has created a short guide that explains how:

Claiming ORCID papers through ADS - a step-by-step guide

Let us know if you have any questions or comments.


16 February 2016

EDP Sciences, the publisher of A&A, announced today the launch of Liberty APCs (Article Processing Charges), a new model where authors choose their own fair price to publish an article in Open Access (OA).

The Liberty APCs model means that authors can choose the level of article processing charge they will pay to publish their article. In 2016. The amount can be as low as 0 EUR. It is expected that authors will investigate all options for funding (e.g., from their funding body, their institution or organization, etc.), but ultimately it will be their decision what they feel is a fair price to pay.

Liberty APC is a useful model for journals at launch stage and for the first years of publication. It provides a useful gauge of a journal’s value before it is indexed, as all authors who have a requirement to publishing Open Access can publish in a journal relevant to their research regardless of access to funding.

For further information, see the press release at


12 August 2015

The AAS has announced a new service to “discover the brightest research in astronomy and astrophysics”: AAS Nova ( / Twitter: @AASNova).

According to the announcement distributed by the publisher of the AAS journals, IOP Publishing, the new website, curated by Susanna Kohler, provides "highlights of recently published articles from the AAS journals to inform astronomy researchers about breakthroughs and discoveries they might otherwise overlook."


15 January 2015

The ESO library catalog has undergone a major software upgrade so that the system now uses responsive web design. While providing a similar look and feel as before, the enhanced user interface allows users to search the catalog on a wide range of devices, including smartphones and tablets. We invite you to go to to try it yourself.


31 October 2014

As ESO is now introducing Office 365/2013, the library recently purchased some e-books that might be of interest to Office users:
Teach Yourself Visually Office 2013
Office 2013 All-In-One For Dummies
Microsoft Office 2013 Bible

These books can be read online at any time. In addition, you can save the content to your device (desktop and/or mobile reader) using the software Adobe Digital Editions which needs to be installed on your machine.

In case you are interested in other titles in electronic or print format, let us know as we can purchase specific books on request.


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.