News archive

Editorial: The 2007 A&A author survey: answers and follow-up (June 2008)

The results and follow-up of the extensive survey carried out last year by the Astronomy & Astrophysics Editorial Office on the perception of the journal by its authors can now be consulted at: Editorial, A&A 480, E3, (2008) for the full pdf version. For the abstract click here. This is a free access article.

The objective of the poll was to assess the perception of the journal in the community so as to better serve its members.

A&A is now implementing changes where it counts to bring about an even more professional peer-review process, an even faster manuscript handling process and an even greater interaction with the Editors.

Dexter, a software program to export data from figures (Feb. 2008)

The ADS has developed “Dexter”, a Java applet that supports the user in the process of generating data points from published figures containing images, plots, graphs and histograms, whenever the original datasets used by the authors to produce figures in the papers are not available electronically. Dexter's basic functional is to let the user manually digitize a plot by marking points and defining the coordinate transformation from the logical to the physical coordinate system. Advanced features include automatic identification of axes, tracing lines and finding points matching a template.

Please have a look at ADS Dexter help to get more information.

The ADS applet Dexter, which is available under the GNU General Public License, has been adapted by EDP Sciences to work with A&A articles.

New A&A online-only sections in 2008 (Dec. 2007)

The new Sect. 15, entitled “Numerical methods and codes” which is devoted to publishing new numerical algorithms and codes of interest, and the Section 12 “Atomic, molecular, and nuclear data” are now published online only. These welcome newcomers add to the other online-only sections: Sect. 13, “Astronomical Instrumentation”, and Sect. 14 “Online catalogs and data”.

See Editorial, A&A vol. 477, issue 1, p. E1 (2008).

First Astronomy and Astrophysics School: Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers in May 2008

EDP Sciences and A&A are glad to announce the "First Astronomy and Astrophysics School: Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers" which will be held in Blankenberge, Belgium, from 19 to 21 May 2008.

The direct purpose of organising an "A&A School" is to teach young authors how to express their scientific results through adequate and efficient science writing. In other words: how to write scientific papers for different forums (journals, proceedings, thesis manuscripts, etc.).

Visit the website at

You can download the announcement.

New A&A membership and new Associate Editor position (August 2007)

See Letter from the Board of Directors of Astronomy & Astrophysics, A&A vol. 472, issue 1, p. E9 (2007).

Why not print in color ? (July 2007)

Don’t think twice, until the end of 2008, take advantage of our color printing offers:

  • Free for letters: figures (for which electronic files are provided in color) are published in color free of charge in the paper version.
  • 50% reduction on regular papers: this discount is applied to the color figure prices.
We are confident that these changes will improve the visibility and diffusion of your articles and hope that you will enjoy our new services.


Section 14 in full Open Access (July 2007)

In line with our aims of close collaboration with our scientific partners, we are pleased to inform you that the articles published in section 14 Online catalogs and data are in full Open Access *.

* Articles in section 13 Astronomical instrumentation have already been in full Open Access since the first 2007 issue.

We are confident that these changes will improve the visibility and diffusion of your articles and hope that you will enjoy our new services.

Letters section in full Open Access (July 2007)

In the goal of enhancing our services to the astrophysical community, we are pleased to inform you that the letters section is now available in full Open Access until the end of 2008.

We are confident that this change will improve the visibility and diffusion of your articles and hope that you will enjoy our new service.

A&A special feature: Extended baselines for the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer: First results (June 2007)

The IRAM interferometer, located on the Plateau de Bure at 2500 meters altitude in the French Alps, has entered a new era since the beginning of 2006. The tracks, on which the six 15-meter diameter antennas move, have been extended, nearly doubling the east-west and north-south baselines. The largest separation of the antennas is now 760 meters, enabling sub-arcsecond angular resolution at millimeter wavelengths.

This special issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters presents first results with the extended baselines of the Plateau de Bure interferometer. Eleven Letters report observations done at sub-arcsecond resolution of objects ranging from nearby star-forming regions and evolved stars to starburst galaxies.

The Astronomy & Astrophysics special feature (volume 468 n°3 – June IV 2007) on the extended baselines for the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer includes 11 Letters. They are freely available on the A&A web site.

Table of contents of the A&A special feature (and free access to the PDF files)

Editorial: New A&A editorial policy for papers about instrumentation (Nov. 2006)

Astronomy & Astrophysics introduces a new editorial policy for papers submitted to Section 13 (Astronomical Instrumentation).

See Editorial , A&A 459, E3, (2006)

2005 Impact Factor: 4.223 (June 2006)

It is with a great pleasure that we communicate to you the new impact factor of ISI.

Astronomy & Astrophysics (0004-6361) benefits from an impact factor of 4.223 with 68577 quotations.

LaTeX2e v6.0 class for Astronomy & Astrophysics (May 2006)

A&A macro package


New A&A memberships and scientific editorial structure for the Letters section (March 2006)

See Letter from the Board of Directors (July 2005)

New in online version of A&A: Cited by (January 2006)

Available with the full html page the 'Cited by' link lists all the papers quoting the present article and referred to in the ADS database.

This service is based on the ADS service 'Citations to the article'.

Latest articles FREE for Astronomy & Astrophysics (June 2005)

As a service to the authors, to enlarge dissemination of scientific information and to increase the visibility of articles, EDP Sciences is pleased to announce the launch of the Latest articles FREE service for Astronomy & Astrophysics. This service allows non-subscribers to the journal to have, on registration, free access to the full online edition of the most recent issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics on EDP Sciences website.

The Latest articles FREE service is devoted to individuals for their private studies, scholarship or research, without any commercial benefit.

Closure of the Japanese mirror site (April 2005)

As of April 1, 2005, The EDP Sciences mirror site at is no longer available.

Please use one of the following sites:
- CDS mirror site

New search tools available for Astronomy & Astrophysics (2004)

Search on full-text PDF files can now be performed for Astronomy & Astrophysics.

For this journal you can now:

  • search words in full-text PDF articles;
  • search in authors/title/abstract/keywords;
  • find an article using its reference (journal/volume/starting page);
  • find an article using its DOI.
Astronomy & Astrophysics Search Engines

Newly accepted? Then it's online (November 2004)

As a new service to authors, Astronomy & Astrophysics now gives online access to the unedited preprint version of accepted papers several weeks ahead of publication, on the author's consent. This service is free of charge for authors.

The first PDF files of accepted papers were published online on November 16, 2004.

Permission is asked to the author either through MMS (Manuscript Management System) for regular articles or by the editorial office for Letters. The PDF file is produced by the publisher from the LaTeX file sent by the author and is released if the final size is less than 3Mb without any conversion problem. This online version does not take into account corrections made during copy-editing and production processes.

Online access to PDF forthcoming papers is granted to all Astronomy & Astrophysics subscribers.

Go to A&A Forthcoming Papers list .


Letter from the Board of Directors (October 2004)

New policy concerning expanded European and non-European A&A memberships

Aage Sandqvist

It is now thirty-five years since the scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) was founded by the merging of six national journals from four European nations, namely France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden; Belgium and the other Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland and Norway, also participated. They were subsequently joined by five other western European nations, namely Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland (Norway later withdrew). A&A has no international legal status as such but is represented by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which also manages its financial transactions.

In the early nineteen-nineties, A&A with great foresight took an important step - which the European Union would follow more than a decade later - by incorporating eastern European countries into its sponsoring membership: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and the Slovak Republic; Estonia became a full member in 1998. A&A was now truly "A European Journal", as then stated on the front cover.

In the meantime, A&A grew in importance as a vehicle for world-wide dissemination of astronomical research and an ever-increasing number of high-quality papers began streaming into the A&A Editorial offices from non-European countries, as well as from other European non-member countries. It became obvious to us that A&A no longer was merely a European Journal and in 2001 we removed the "A European Journal" from the front cover.

Eventually, some of these non-European countries began approaching us with queries about potential membership in A&A and in 2002 we admitted the first such country, Argentina, with an observer status. Meanwhile, the Board intensified its study of the financial and administrative consequences of a wider expansion including the admission of member countries beyond Europe - a special subcommittee was appointed.

The Board of Directors, at its meeting in Tartu, Estonia on 8 May 2004, made the important decision - after a lengthy and thorough discussion - that A&A will henceforth consider applications for sponsoring membership from any country in the world with well-documented active and excellent astronomical research. Each application will be carefully treated on a case-by-case basis. Subsequently, at this meeting, the Board admitted Argentina to full membership in A&A starting on 1 January 2005. In addition, three other applicants were admitted to observer status, namely Brazil, Chile and Portugal. The above-mentioned special Board subcommittee will continue its work and submit recommendations on the restructuring of the Board and its Executive Committee, a necessary consequence of the foreseen expansion.

Editorial: Editorship and peer-review at A&A (June 2004)

Claude Bertout (Editor-in-Chief) and Peter Schneider (Letters Editor)

PDF file of the Editorial
See table of contents of the relevant issue (420-3)

Abstract. We present an overview of current issues involved in editing Astronomy & Astrophysics, going from the detail of editorial policies and procedures to some more general aspects.

Table of contents of the editorial.

1. Introduction
2. Considering a submission for publication
2.1. Regular papers
2.2. Letters
2.3. Papers describing instruments and observational techniques
2.4. Catalogs and data papers
2.5. Papers on special subjects
3. Some style issues
4. The peer-review process at A&A
4.1. How do we select referees?
4.2. The referee report
4.2.1. Regular papers
4.2.2. Letters
4.2.3. Special A&A Issues
4.3. Possible complications in the peer-review process
4.3.1. Delay in finding a referee
4.3.2. Delay in getting the referee report
4.3.3. Offensive attitude of referee or author
4.3.4. Delay in revising the paper
4.3.5. Some statistics and conclusions
5. Acceptance and publication
5.1. Letters
5.2. Regular papers
5.3. Language editing
5.4. On-line material 5.4.1. Publishing data at the CDS
5.4.2. On-line material
5.5. Page charges
6. Outlook
6.1. Impact factor issues
6.2. Electronic-only publication of A&A?