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Instructions for Authors

The Astronomy and Astrophysics Instructions to Authors

Table of Contents


Astronomy and Astrophysics and its Supplement Series 1 publish papers on all aspects of astronomy and astrophysics: theoretical, observational and instrumental, independently of the techniques used to obtain the results: numerical analysis, optical, radio, particles, space vehicles, etc.

The Board of Directors has decided that from now on all manuscripts, including letters, submitted to A&A have to be written in LaTeX2E with Springer's A&A macro package. For more information please see TeX-Instructions.


Important new results that require rapid publication can be submitted as a Letter. Letters should be written in LaTeX2E using the new A&A macro package. They must be restricted in length to 4 printed pages. Such papers can generally be published within 4-8 weeks of acceptance. Authors are required to send one hardcopy together with the TeX file and the ps files of the figures to the publisher.

General Remarks

Papers should preferably be written in English.

The section under which the authors propose that the paper appears should be indicated. The sections of the Main Journal are as follows:
1. Letters
2. Cosmology
3. Extragalactic astronomy
4. Galactic structure and dynamics
5. Stellar clusters and associations
6. Formation, structure and evolution of stars
7. Stellar atmospheres
8. Diffuse matter in space (including HII regions and planetary nebulae)
9. The Sun
10. The solar system
11. Celestial mechanics and astrometry
12. Physical and chemical processes

For the Supplements, the sections are:
20. General
21. Atomic and molecular data
22. Instruments and observational techniques
23. Data processing
24. Computational methods

Manuscript Contents

Manuscripts should generally contain the following in this order:
Title, author's name, address of author's institution, abstract, max. 6 key words, main text, acknowledgements, list of references, ps files of figures and tables if not, hard copies of the figures and tables (if the tables are not written in LaTeX).
Pages should be numbered consecutively.


The title of the paper should be concise yet informative.

Authors and addresses

For every manuscript, all authors and all addresses should be listed. Addresses should contain e-mail addresses when possible. A number should precede each address and the authors' names should be marked with the appropriate numerical superscript(s). Please follow the instructions that come with the LaTeX macro package.
To speed up communication with the publisher, authors are requested to provide their telephone and fax numbers or e-mail address. Unless requested otherwise this information will be published with the affiliation to facilitate information exchange between readers and authors.


The Abstract should be complete in itself, summarizing concisely the content and conclusions of the paper. Abstracts should constitute 3-4% of the total length of the paper.

Key words

A maximum of 6 key words should be given after the Abstract. They must be taken from the published Thesaurus (Annual Index or http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00230/about.htm) and must correspond to the codes given on the title page. As the Thesaurus is revised from time to time, authors should take care to use only the most recent version.

Main text

Manuscripts should be divided into numbered sections and subsections, starting with "1. Introduction". Subsections should be numbered 2.1., 2.2., 3.1. etc.; appendices with A, B etc. All sections must have a short descriptive title.

Some aspects of typographic style within the text

The following expressions should always be abbreviated even if they come at the beginning of a sentence (e.g. Sect., Sects., Fig., Figs., Eq., Eqs.).

Abbreviations of concepts, methods, instruments, observatories, etc may be used throughout the text but the full wording with the abbreviation in parentheses should be given once in the Abstract (if appropriate) and/or once at the first place of mention in the main text (usually in the Introduction).

Examples: ..very long baseline interferometry (VLBI)...; ... Westerbork Radio Telescope (WRT)...

Figures and tables

Figures submitted to the Journal must be of very good quality to ensure accuracy and clarity in the final published copy preferably in Postscript form. Artwork should be in good focus, with clean, clear numbers and letters and sharp black lines. Thin lines, particularly in figures requiring considerable reduction, should be avoided. Because of the size of the Journal, the production office attempts to reduce most art to fit a one-column format (88 mm).

If lettered parts of a figure (e.g., 1a, 1b, 1c, etc.) are referred to in the figure legend, each part of the figure should be labelled with the appropriate letter within the image area.

Authors using PostScript (".ps") or Encapsulated PostScript (".eps") files for figures are requested to submit these with the final version of their manuscripts. Authors should check that laser-printed originals of these figures (especially for grayscales) are acceptable.
If possible, the ps files should be included on the disk(s) submitted to the editors, but if they would require too much disk capacity they may be sent directly to the publisher by e-mail/ftp (see TeX Instructions) after final acceptance of the paper by the editors.
At the request of the editorial office, the file (labelled with the manuscript number assigned by the editorial office) should be transmitted to the publishers. If you have colour illlustrations in your manuscript, please send us colour separated files if possible.

If you have already incorporated the illustrations into the TeX file, please also send us the epsf or psfig files. As far as possible, authors should plan the size and shape of each figure so that after reduction they will fit the column width (max. 88 mm). If necessary, figures may extend across the entire page width (max. 180 mm). Intermediate widths with a side caption are also possible (max. 120 mm).

The illustrations should be placed at the top of the column and flush-left according to layout conventions.

Coloured figures: Authors will be expected to make a contribution towards the cost of four-colour reproduction and printing. The present rates (inclusive and tax-free) are DM 1200 for the first page of coloured illustrations (irrespective of the size and number of the figures) and DM 600 for each additional page.

Figure captions: Part figures should be numbered by boldface letters (a,b,c etc.) but without punctuation and without parentheses. The following examples will illustrate the required style.

Fig. 1. Spectrum of the cosmic blackbody radiation in the radio window
Fig. 7a and b. MSDP observations made on April 14 1994: a intensity map, b velocity map
Fig. 7a and b. MSDP observations made on April 14 1994: intensity map (a), velocity map (b)
Fig. 2a-d. Flares observed at Debrecen Observatory: a June 15. 06:24UT (event 1), b June 15, 14:17UT (event 4), c June 16, 06:03UT (event 9), d June 17, 08:01UT (event 12)
Fig 4. a Blackman-Tuckey power spectra of sunspot areas. b FFT power spectra of sunspot areas
Fig. 12a. Spectra of the nucleus and extranuclear regions of MKn 930
Fig. 12b. Ionized gas velocity field in Mkn 930 along PA=0

Tables: The tables should be prepared using LaTeX (see examples in the instructions that accompany the macro package).


These should be kept to a minimum and numbered consecutively with arabic numerals as superscript but without any parentheses.

Literature citations

The following examples illustrate the required style in the main text: (Copernicus 1986); (Copernicus & Galilei 1988); (Hubble et al. 1985; Newton et al. 1987; Ptolemaus & Copernicus 1989a, b, 1992); Recently Galilei et al. (1992, 1993) showed that... .
For frequently cited papers an abbreviated form of citation is recommended, e.g. Paper I, Paper II.


First-order (boldface) headings should be styled as shown in the following examples:

(a) Only one appendix, additional heading optional:
Appendix: derivation of Eq. (6)

(b) Two or more appendices, additional headings optional:
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix A: age distribution and cosmic-ray propagation
Appendix B: distribution of cosmic rays


In preparing the reference list please adhere to the following format. Attention should be paid to the order of the items in each reference and to the punctuation used. Please see Sect. 4 in the User's Guide that comes with the new macro package.

Bohr N., Einstein A., Fermi E. 1992, MNRAS 301, 257 (BEF)

Curie M., Curie P., 1991, A\&A 248, 612

de Gaulle C., 1996, Solar Astronomy, Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford

Heisenberg W., Yang C.N., 1993, Chin. Astron. 537, 36 (Paper III)

Laurel S., Hardy O., 1994, Active Galactic Nuclei. In: Churchill W., Roosevelt F.D., Stalin J. (eds.) The Evolution and Distribution of Galaxies. Wiley, New York, p. 210

Shakespeare W., Goethe J.W. von, Moliére J.-B., et al., 1955, Supernova 1994D. In: Duck D., Mouse M. (eds.) Proc. IAU Symp. 408, The Physics of Supernovae. Reidel, Dordrecht (in press)

Simplified abbreviations of frequently used journals

AJ Astronomical Journal (the)
ARA&A Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
AZh Astronomiceskij Zhurnal
A&A Astronomy and Astrophysics (Letters indicated by number)
A&AR Astronomy and Astrophysics Review (the)
A&AS Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series
Acta Astron. Acta Astronomica
Acta Astron. Sin. Acta Astronomica Sinica
Afz Astrofizica
ApJ Astrophysical Journal (the) (Letters indicated by number)
ApJS Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series (the)
Ap&SS Astrophysics and Space Science
Ark. Astron. Arkiv for Astronomi
Astron. Nachr. Astronomische Nachrichten
Aust. J. Phys. Australian Journal of Physics
Aust. J. Phys. Astrophys. Suppl. Australian Journal of Physics Astrophysics Supplement
BAAS Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Science
Chin. Astron Chinese Astronomy
IAU Circ. International Astronomical Union, Circular
Icarus Icarus
Ir. Astron. J. Irish Astronomical Journal
J. R. Astron. Soc. Can. Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
JA&A Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics
MNRAS Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Mem. R. Astron. Soc. Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society
Mem. Soc. Astron. Ital. Memorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana
Mitt. Astron. Ges. Mitteilungen der Astronomischen Gesellschaft
Mon. Notes Astron. Soc. S. Afr. Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
Nat Nature
Observatory Observatory (the)
PASJ Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
PASP Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
PASPC Ditto, Conference Proceedings
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. A Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A
Proc. Astron. Soc. Aust Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of Australia
QJRAS Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society
Rev. Mex. Astron. Astrofis. Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica
Ric. Astron. Specola Vaticana Ricerche Astronomiche Specola Vaticana
Sci Science
Sci. Am. Scientific American
Sky Telesc. Sky and Telescope
Space Sci. Rev. Space Science Reviews
SvA Soviet Astronomy

Units, symbols and nomenclature

In general, authors should leave the mark-up of the manuscript to the publisher's editorial staff since they try to follow a uniform procedure to which the typesetters are accustomed. However, authors can considerably help the publisher by observing the following rules:

a) The text should make clear distinctions between physical variables, mathematical symbols, units of measurement, abbreviations, chemical formulae, etc.
b) Italic and boldface should be used appropriately to identify physical or mathematical variables. In general, variables are set in light italic, vectors in boldface italic. Physical constants such as the speed of light, the Boltzmann constant, the Hubble constant and the solar mass are also set in light italic.
c) Italic should never be used for units of measurement e.g. km, erg cm-2, s-1or for chemical formulae unless, of course, these items fall within a passage that is entirely in italic.
d) As far as possible italic should be avoided for the following: mathematical signs such as "d" (total differential), "e" (base of natural logarithm), "i" (imaginary unit), "pi" (3.14159..), "µ" (prefix micro), and abbreviations used as subscripts or superscripts to variables, but serving merely as labels, e.g. Qd (d=dust), me (e=electron). However, in conformity with the rest of the text, italic should be used if the subscripts or superscripts are variables in themselves.
e) For common units of measurement (SI and non-SI), standard abbreviations should be used. Unusual units may, at the authors' discretion, be written in full, at least at the first mention. Some traditional, non-SI units persist in the astronomy literature. Some are acceptable (e.g. erg, angström/Å) but others are obsolescent and should be avoided (e.g. micron /µ). Compound units in which the meaning "per" is implied can be written using either a solidus or a negative index: A&A prefers the latter style, e.g km s-1 instead of km/s.
f) For the correct naming of astronomical objects outside the solar system, it is suggested that authors refer to the recommendations on nomenclature given by the International Astronomical Union.

Page proofs

For all papers, except Letters, page proofs will be sent to the authors. Please note that corrections should be restricted to typographical errors; costs for extensive additional changes will be charged to the author. Where absolutely essential the addition of a "Note added in proof" will be considered. A note added in proof appears at the end of the paper, following the reference list.


For each article, 25 offprints are supplied free of charge, how ever many authors there are. Additional copies may be ordered at cost price. The offprint order form must be filled in and returned together with the corrected proofs.

Permission to reprint

Requests for permission to reprint figures or tables which have already been published in A&A should be addressed to the copyright holders, not to the publishers. The address is: Professor C. Bertout, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Editorial Office, Observatoire de Paris, 61 avenue de l'Observatoire, F-75014 Paris, France (e-mail: aanda@obspm.fr ).

1 Les Editions de Physique, Avenue du Hoggar, Zone industrielle de Courtaboeuf, BP 112, F-91944 Les Ulis Cedex, France. e-mail: article@ed-phys.fr. Telefax: 169288491.

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