How to Submit Scientific Items for Publication in the IAUCs and CBETs
publish scientific contributions
of a follow-up nature
regarding astronomical objects of a transient nature. With the exception
of initial announcements and confirming astrometric and/or spectroscopic
information regarding novae and supernovae, published items are subject to
line charges (cf. IAUC 6529
the current line charges
Note that wide latitude is given to those who have financial difficulty
in paying line charges, so a contributor should not feel that he/she
should not submit an item due to the line-charge policy but rather ask
the CBAT if such charges can be waived.
IMPORTANT: When submitting an item for possible publication, please
provide a postal address to which any necessary line-charge invoice should be
mailed. Submissions omitting this information will be subject to delay.
Do not send any html encoding in your e-mail, as this may cause delays
(or even accidental deletion).
If your item is rather lengthy (for example, as in the case of
reporting long lists of faint confirmed supernovae for announcement),
it may be more appropriate to publish the item only on the unlimited-length,
electronic-only CBETs rather on the limited-length, printed IAUCs.
A brief mention of the CBET content may then be published as a
same-titled abstract on an IAU Circular for a printed record of
For discovery reports, please see our
If you are e-mailing your submission directly to
please note the following:
- Do not send files that require a particular wordprocessor or
DTP package. If you must use such software, please export your
submission as text before sending, but it is likely to be delayed by
many days before being reduced to plain ASCII text (and it is highly likely
in this day of spam e-mail to be deleted altogether without further
consideration); it is strongly
recommended that if you cannot send plain ASCII text by computer e-mail
that you send a fax or write a postal-mail letter instead.
ASCII text also means that you put in HARD carriage returns MANUALLY
every 60-70 characters on a line -- i.e., do not let your word
processor do this for you, as word processors often put in soft
carriage returns that are omitted in e-mail transfer (leaving the
text strung out on very long lines).
- Please read this to see how to
represent non-standard characters such as diacritical marks,
degree symbols, raised or superscripted letters or numbers, Greek letters,
- Do not encode the text in any fashion--send it as plain text.
- ALERT! We have introduced additional screening software to
block spam e-mail, due to its prolific increase; it is strongly recommended
that those sending e-mail to the CBAT (or ICQ or MPC) remove ALL html-encoded
text, as we cannot read such text easily (we do not use web browsers for
reading e-mail) and such text may be deleted by our anti-spam software. (This
means: send plain ASCII text *only*, *not* plain ASCII text plus html-encoded
text in same message.) Additionally, you should put some text in the
subject header that mentions what sort of report and what sort of object
is included in the text of the message (e-mails with blank subject lines
are filtered out by out anti-spam software as probably spam).
- Any supporting images should be UUENCODED.
- No images should be sent until requested by Bureau staff.
If reporting an item that will be subject
to line charges, please ensure that you have indicated the mailing
address to which the line-charge invoice should be sent.
Please try to follow the IAUC conventions regarding textual items (e.g.,
affiliations, units, references, defining acronymns, etc.).
- If you are a professional astronomer and are including a new
proposed designation for a newly reported object, to avoid delays,
please use IAU-approved designations (see
information on IAU
for designations; an example is
All designations with prefixes exceeding one letter must have a space
inserted between the prefix and the catalogued number.
Official genitive forms of the constellation names are given at
the IAU website.
- To avoid delays, please use standard IAUC procedures for listing
authors (first and middle initials, last full name) and affiliations
(providing FULL institutional
names, not abbreviated names or acronyms unless defined first, with
diacritical marks in TeX form; amateurs should
not give their private observatory name but rather city/town and state/country).
- For printed IAUCs (vs. electronic-only CBETs, which do
not have space constraints), the number of "author" names should be kept to
a minimum due to space constraints on the final printed cards. The
person actually contributing the information is the only name required for
publication, if a group is involved; at the option of the contributor,
other people who made observations, contributed to discovery of an object,
reduced data, or contributed in an important way to
discussions involving the published item can be mentioned by name in the
text where appropriate (without affiliations). Please note that we generally
*require* that the person contributing the item for publication be listed
either as the first name for the item or as one of the co-authors. It
is not appropriate to publish an item contributed by a person whose name
does not appear prominently near the beginning of the item, and the IAUC
editors will add on the name of the contributor (the person submitting
the text to the CBAT) to the very beginning if
deemed necessary. Except for discoverers of new comets, novae, or
very bright supernovae (mag < 10) -- where the press may be interested
in full names -- first and middle names should be
reduced to single initials (first letters) only.
[Where IAU guidelines suggest that credit for discovery goes to the
entire team (as in the case of large spacecraft teams;
see http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/rules.html), the contributor will
normally be the team leader unless the team leader delegates this
task to another team member; thus, while a published item may begin
with "(Team-leader name) and the (spacecraft name) Science Team reports
...", discovery credit is assumed to not rest with the team leader but
rather with the entire team, the initial name being a practical
addition to the item to identify the actual person submitting the item
to the CBAT for publication.]
- Include references as much as possible, to explain any concept that is
not obvious to general astronomy readers; reference to previous items
regarding the same object on IAUCs is particularly encouraged.
- References should be given as follows: last name of author, year of
publication, journal name [no punctuation between journal name
and volume number] volume number, page number. (In
the case of two authors, both last names should be given; in the case of
more than two authors, give only the first author's last name, followed by
et al.; example: Clinton et al. 1925, Ap.J.
252, 16.) References to previous IAUC publications should be
given as (IAUC 9999). Some standard journal abbreviations used on IAUCs:
Ap.J. = Astrophysical Journal; A.J. = Astronomical Journal; MNRAS =
Monthly Notices; A.Ap. = Astronomy and Astrophysics. Book titles should
be given as: Johnson (1900, title, Cairo: Crescent Press, p. 222),
or Johnson (1901, in title, ed. by Thompson et al., Berlin:
Springer, p. 333). [The use of WWW URLs are strongly discouraged, as
most WWW pages cannot be guaranteed to be kept going longer than a few
months or years, and the IAUCs are a long-term archival publication,
meaning that it is preferable that all citations be to references that
will be available for centuries to come.]
- To avoid delays, please use IAU-approved units (s for
seconds, optical wavelengths in nm, instrument apertures in meters, etc.).
Give positions to proper number of digits (R.A. is normally given
to one more significant digit than Decl. for declinations within about
70 degrees of the celestial equator). Give times to
decimals of a day in Universal Time; use of JD is discouraged, but
be sure to never use MJD. Dates should be given in the order YEAR MONTH DATE.
- Use TeX notation for exponents,
subscripts, and special math characters. Be very explicit for displaying
any chemical transitions (in the text) -- that have subscripts or superscripts --
as to how these should be displayed. Spell out "degrees" instead of using
the special control character that makes a superscript "o".
Write positions thus:
R.A. = 23h23m23s.23, Decl. = +23o23'23".2 (equinox YYYY.Y).
- Be clear with regard to technical abbreviations that are presumed
known by the general readership; a good example is in the specification
of chemical lines, which many astronomers routinely utilize --
but often they
eliminate the necessary space between the two-letter chemical-element
abbreviation and the roman numerals customarily used in astronomy to
denote ionization state: be sure to write "Fe II" or "Si II" or "Ni II",
and not "FeII" or "SiII" or "NiII". Likewise, please put a space
between "SN" and the supernova designation, and put a
space between any designation prefix that exceeds 1 letter and the
numerical catalogue value that follows, and put spaces between
mathematical delimiters (such as the symbols for "times" and
"plus-or-minus') and the values before and after them,
rather than running them all together.
- Those reporting discoveries of new objects need to give full information
regarding proper sources (atlases, catalogues, etc.) that have been checked,
in order to bolster their evidence.
IMPORTANT NOTICE (2001 Sept. 11):
We regret that the WWW report form ceased to function following an upgrade of the
OS on the webserver (note that no recompilation or relinking was performed...).
Until such time as this form is fixed, use
this mailto link or your
own e-mail software to send messages.
If you send your discovery report or proposed IAUC item
via e-mail, but please do not send e-mail encoded in HTML or in any kind of
PC-software binary language -- only in plain ASCII text.
Especially if using a PC, please physical enter a RETURN
character (by typing your RETURN or ENTER key) at the end
of each on-screen line (i.e., after every 70 characters or so) to prevent
very long lines being mailed.