Data and Curation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

GeneralarXivRefereed statusSubmissions


Q: How often do new articles get added to the database?

This depends on the source. We ingest from arXiv daily; from astronomy journals and other sources weekly, over the weekend; and from physics journals and other sources about once every 3 weeks, also over a weekend.

Q: How do I submit missing articles or corrections to an existing article? Missing references?

For now, use the forms from ADS Classic, linked below and also from the Feedback menu on the search page; these will be ported to the current ADS soon and the links will be updated. Note that some users occasionally encounter errors when submitting these forms; email us if you run into issues.

Q: My paper is visible at the publisher but not in ADS yet.

Published articles are added to the database at regular intervals; see the publishing schedule above. In addition, for most journals, we do not add the article until it has a published volume and page number. While we appreciate the early access versions, we have found that matching them after the fact and tracking all citations correctly is difficult to do correctly.

If sufficient time has passed since the publication date and the article is still unavailable, it may be in a journal we don’t index by default. It’s also possible that the article has been added, but is not appearing the expected collection (astronomy or physics); this is generally the case if the article appears in a general science journal (Nature, Science) where we need keyword information to assign it to a specific collection. Finally, in rare cases deliveries from publishers are missing some articles. If you believe your article should be in the database already, email us for help.

Q: What are bibliographic groups (bib groups)? These appear in a left-side filter.

Bibliographic groups are hand curated by librarians and/or curators at various institutions and generally contain a list of publications produced by researchers at a given institution or using specific telescope(s). If you’re a librarian or curator interested in curating a publicly available collection, email us.

Q: My name is incorrect in an ADS record.

We receive author names and other metadata directly from the publisher. First check that your name is correct on the published article; if it isn’t, first contact the publisher directly to fix it with them. However, if your name is correct with the publisher and wrong in the ADS database, fill out this form and we’ll correct it.

Q: My name has changed since I first started publishing. How can I ensure people find all of my papers when searching for my name?

We maintain a list of author synonyms, so searches for one author name return results for both names. Email us with all of the names you’ve published under to have your names added to this list. (Note that common name variations, such as publishing under your entire first name vs. just an initial, are already included in searches.) You may also consider registering for an ORCID ID and using that to maintain a personal bibliography.

Q: What journals and other material do you index?

Complete lists of the journals, conferences, and other sources we index may be found here.

Q: What papers do you have the full text for?

In general, we have searchable full text for most major journals in astronomy and physics, especially recent volumes. This includes articles in the arXiv.

Q: How do I get my conference proceeding in ADS?

Full instructions for submitting conference proceedings can be found here.


Q: My arXiv paper is missing its references.

We extract references directly from the PDF for arXiv records, which doesn’t always work well, depending on reference and document format. If the paper will be published, we will get the reference list from the publisher and will update the references on the record at that point. Note also that we’re working on a new module for extracting references directly from PDFs and arXiv reference extraction should improve at that point.

Q: My arXiv paper had some citations before it was published. Will these be lost once the published version is out?

We automatically merge the arXiv and published versions of papers, including citations.

Q: The author list of the arXiv and the published versions of my paper are different. What happens when the two versions are merged?

Author metadata from the published version takes precedence, so arXiv-only coauthors will be removed from the record.

Q: The published version of my paper is out and indexed on ADS, but the arXiv version is listed separately.

The published and the arXiv versions of a paper should merge into a single entry automatically. Occasionally that doesn’t work; let us know and we’ll fix it.

Q: My name is correct on arXiv but wrong in ADS. How can I fix it?

Submit your corrections using this form.

Q: My name is wrong in arXiv, will you fix it?

You’ll need to contact the arXiv directly for corrections to your papers on their site.

Refereed status

Q: Why is my PhD thesis listed as refereed?

ADS has decided to list PhD theses as refereed because they go under the review of a thesis committee and are thus “peer reviewed.” However, if you prefer to not see PhD theses appear in your search results, restrict your search results to articles only using the “Publication Type” filter in the left-side column.

Q: A conference proceeding is listed as non-refereed even though it underwent peer review.

Most conference proceedings are not refereed. They may be reviewed by an editor, but rarely is there the kind of rigorous review as is done by many journals. (In general, users and editors and librarians and publishers all have different opinions on what constitutes “peer-reviewed.”)

If a publication or a conference is generally not peer-reviewed, all articles/proceedings within that publication/conference will automatically be listed as non-refereed. If a particular article/proceeding within the generally non-refereed publication/conference is peer-reviewed, have the editors email us to confirm and we can correct the listing.


Q: How do I submit my PhD thesis?

Some institutions send us their recent PhD theses directly, though it may take a few months post-defense for us to receive them. However, if your institution does not send us your thesis, you have several options to add it to our database:

  • Zenodo Astronomy Thesis collection: This is an open-source repository of astronomy theses and dissertations which is automatically ingested into ADS roughly once a month. If your thesis is already indexed by ADS but the text is not openly accessible, you can upload a copy of the PDF to make it openly available. This is a good option if you’d like your thesis to be openly available and it’s not currently accessible online.
  • ADS submission: You can submit your thesis metadata directly to ADS for indexing. If you want the PDF to be linked to the record, it will first need to be hosted somewhere online and then you can provide the URL and other metadata using this form. If the text of your thesis is not already available online and you’d like it to be, consider submitting it to the Zenodo collection.
Q: My name (or title, etc.) is misspelled on my paper.

If it is wrong on the publisher’s website, you’ll need to contact them to correct the error, as we’ve agreed with the publishers to reflect the data they pass on to us.

If it’s right on the publisher’s website but wrong on ours, we’re sorry for the error! Contact us so we can fix it.

Q: How can I get my software package indexed in ADS?

Software records are automatically indexed in ADS once they have a Zenodo record and have been cited at least once. If you’d like to make your software records eligible for indexing in ADS, complete the following steps:

  1. Upload your software code to Zenodo. You can do this directly or by linking to a Github repository. If you link to a Github repository, you can specify a specific release or version, or you can link to the top-level repository to create a non-version-specific record.
  2. Get the BibTeX (or other bibliographic format) record from Zenodo and cite it in your paper as normal. Your software will not yet be in ADS, so make sure to get the citation information from Zenodo.
  3. Once your paper has been published and is indexed in ADS, ADS will recognize that the bibliography contains a software record and will automatically create a corresponding software record in the ADS database. The publisher will be listed as Zenodo and the bibstem (the abbreviation that appears in the bibcode) will be zndo. The publication type for these records is software.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Zenodo allows you to create different records for different versions of your software, which generally correspond to different releases in Github. This can be beneficial if the software has changed substantially with time, or if different authors have worked on different versions of the code and need to be acknowledged as appropriate. ADS will index each Zenodo version of your software separately, as long as each has citations. Currently, citations are counted for each version separately, but eventually it will be possible to see all citations for all versions of a software package in one record in ADS.
  • The Astronomy Source Code Library indexes astronomy-related software that has been used in a publication. ADS indexes these ASCL records (bibstem: ascl, publication type: software) and they can collect citations similarly to the process above. One difference between the two processes is that ASCL indexes only the non-version-specific record while Zenodo indexes each version separately. It is possible for a given software package to be in both Zenodo and ASCL, if they fit the necessary criteria for each.
Q: I submitted some ORCID claims but they don’t show up when I search by my ORCID ID.

These can take up to 24 hours to index. Please contact us if they aren’t showing up after this time.

This section is intended to be a guideline for editors and authors wishing to submit conference proceedings for inclusion in the ADS Abstract and Scanned Literature Services. Any questions about the procedure should be directed to

The ADS is pleased to include any conference proceedings volume, as well as individual conference proceedings abstracts. This includes both electronic and printed conference proceedings. We have a set of naming conventions detailed below, but are flexible if there is a different naming scheme which is more appropriate for your particular conference. If you would like to have your conference proceedings included in our database before your conference, we request that you submit them to us one month in advance of the start of your conference.

Submitting Bibliographic Records for the ADS Abstract Service

You can use the Proceedings Entry Form to submit the information to make a conference entry in the ADS.

In addition a file containing the following should be sent to the ADS. Individual Article Entries should include the following tags ( ( * ) items are required.)

( * ) %T Title
( * ) %A Author List
%F Author Affiliation
( * ) %P First Page of Article
%L Last Page of Article
%I Links to online resources (see below)
%B Abstract Text
%Z References
%K Keywords

Please note that there are many more details that you can add but these are the required minimum tags. A complete list of ADS tagged fields can be found here. Please note that references containing TeX/LaTeX formatting, AASTeX macros and HTML entities are acceptable.

A long entry should continue on the next line(s) with no repetition of the percent sign and keying letter. All entries should be in ascii and there should be no tabs or control characters. Blank lines can delimit paragraphs in the abstract, but should not otherwise be present within a record. A title, author list, and page number are required. Other information such as author affiliation, links to online full-text, abstract text and references are strongly recommended as well. The more information that you can provide for each article, the better. This additional information will aid in searching and using advanced features in the ADS.

This information can be submitted via email to or placed on our anonymous ftp site, under Please send us an email indicating when you have transferred things to us, so that we can include it in our database as soon as possible.

Including Full-text Papers in the ADS

It is possible for us to make the full-text of articles published in conference proceedings available via the ADS Article Service. This section describes the requirements and procedures to be followed in order to do that.

Note: We do not publish original material that is not published elsewhere, since we are not a publisher.

Provide written permission from the copyright holder allowing the ADS to publish electronically the papers in the conference proceedings. The relevant letter should state something along the following lines:

The <full description of the copyright holder> grants permission to the NASA Astrophysics Data System at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to: 

1. Convert postscript files to tiff files for <name of conference> 

2. Add a note at the bottom of each page with the following content: 

    (©) <name of copyright holder> - Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System 

3. Make the images of the articles electronically available, free of charge, for all volumes starting 1 year after publication 

Feel free to modify as you see fit, especially item three, then send a copy of a signed copy of the permission letter to:

    Donna Thompson
    NASA Astrophysics Data System
    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    60 Garden Street, M.S. 83
    Cambridge, MA 02138

Send us either a printed copy of the conference proceedings book or (if available) the set of full-text files used to create the proceedings. If only a printed book is available, please send it to Alberto Accomazzi at the address listed above along with the permission letter. If full-text PostScript or PDF files are available for all papers, please read on.

To submit the full-text files with the necessary information for us to process them, you will need to create a tar or zip archive and transfer it to our ftp server. This is what must be included in the archive file:

  • All the files containing the full-text, including front-matter (introductory) and back-matter (index) pages if available. You should make sure that these files are either in PostScript or PDF format, and that they have been created using 600dpi or higher resolution fonts. (Note: if you are using dvips to create the postscript file, you can specify the options -D600 -Z on the command-line to have 600dpi fonts included).

  • A file named README, containing general information concerning this publication, the name and email address of the person submitting the full-text papers to us, and any additional information we should be aware of.

  • A file named PUBLICATION, containing the full name of the conference or book (you should use the same name given in the journal field above).

  • A file named COPYRIGHT, containing the copyright string that needs to be displayed at the bottom of each page that the ADS creates and places online in its article service (please do not try to include the copyright symbol © since we already do this for you).

  • A file named BIBSTEM, containing the bibliographic abbreviation for the publication (e.g. ASPC..117 or 2000immm.proc). This should be the same abbreviation that has been used to create the bibliographic entries described above.

  • Optionally, a PAGEMAP file containing mapping of full-text file names to page numbers, if these cannot be determined from the full-text files themselves. Whether or not this is needed is a function of how the files were originally created; usually if you used LaTeX and dvips to create the postscript files then the page numbering displayed on each page is carried into the postscript files and can be automatically extracted at least for “regular” pages. Pages which are part of the front-matter may need to have entries associated with them. The format of the PAGEMAP file is the following:

          # This is a comment
    C1-C4         # first file has cover pages 1-4
    C6            # second file has cover page 6
    1-8 8A 9-15   # third file has pages 1-8, insert 8A, 9-15
          file4.pdf   16-           # fourth file has pages 16 and up

When in doubt, please contact us for help.

Create a compressed tar or zip archive containing of all the full-text files, the README file, and name of the file using (if possible) the standard acronym adopted by the ADS in naming bibliographic entries for the conference. For example, the archive file containing papers submitted to the ASP Conference Proceedings n.117 should be named ASPC117.tar.gz or ASPC..117.tar.gz. The archive for files containing the conference 2000immm.proc should be named 2000immm.proc.tar.gz.

Deposit the tar archive on our anonymous ftp server under the URL and notify us. We will contact you with any questions regarding the full-text processing of the files.

Archiving Conference Proceedings in the ADS

As more conferences are published electronically, editors are turning to the ADS for long-term archiving of their full text proceedings. We can agree to this under the following conditions:

  • The conference is originally published elswhere (e.g. through a university or observatory publication, or through another publisher).
  • We receive the pdf or postscript files as described above.
  • The data have been published at least three years ago.