Category Archives: ADASS


ASCL poster for ADASS XXVIThe Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL) is a free online registry of codes used in research; it is indexed by ADS and Web of Science and has over 1300 code entries. Its entries are increasingly used to cite software; citations have been at least doubling each year since 2012, and every major astronomy journal accepts citations to the ASCL. Codes in the resource cover all aspects of astrophysics research and many programming languages are represented. In the past year, the ASCL has added dashboards for users and administrators, started minting DOIs for codes it houses, and added metadata fields requested by users. This presentation covers the ASCL’s growth in the past year and the opportunities afforded to it as one of the few domain libraries for science research codes, and will solicit ideas for new features.

Alice Allen, Astrophysics Source Code Library
G. Bruce Berriman, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology
Kimberly DuPrie, Space Telescope Science Institute/ASCL
Jessica Mink, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Robert Nemiroff, Michigan Technological University
Thomas Robitaille, Freelance
Judy Schmidt, Astrophysics Source Code Library
Lior Shamir, Lawrence Technological University
Keith Shortridge, Australian Astronomical Observatory
Mark Taylor, University of Bristol
Peter Teuben, Astronomy Department, University of Maryland
John Wallin, Middle Tennessee State University

Download poster


The Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems (ADASS) conference starts today in Trieste, Italy with two tutorials, Everything you’ve heard about Agile development is wrong by Simon O’Toole and Multi-dimensional linked data exploration with glue by Thomas Robitaille, and then the opening reception.

The ASCL has two activities at ADASS this year. I’m presenting a poster on the ASCL’s growth over the past year; the poster will be featured in a separate blog post tomorrow. On Tuesday, Peter Teuben, chair of the ASCL Advisory Committee, and other ASCLers here are running a Birds of a Feather session on Implementing Ideas for Improving Software Citation and Credit; this is a follow-up of last year’s session on Improving Software Citation and Credit. This year, we will look at some of the ideas that came out of last year’s session along with ideas generated at the Engineering Academic Software seminar held in June, 2016 and WSSSPE4, held last month at the University of Manchester, and work to implement them. These ideas include:

  • collecting and publishing stories from people who have released their software to share their experience with doing so
  • updating software sites you own to explicit state how your software should be cited
  • emailing code authors who don’t have clear citation instructions on their repos/code sites to suggest they make clear how their codes should be cited
  • adding preferred citation methods to ASCL entries via the “Suggest a change or addition” link or sending them to associate editor Kimberly duPrie or me to add directly
  • looking at your organization’s annual research activity report and suggesting ways it can specifically request software activities
  • writing a document that provides guidance about the types of software contributions that add value to science
  • developing guidelines for recognizing software contributions in hiring and promotion
  • gathering representative research software engineering job descriptions and adding them to the AstroBetter wiki, and suggesting other ways they can be shared for use them as examples

We look forward to an interesting and productive BoF, and an interesting and productive ADASS overall. And gelato, too!

Upcoming events and sessions, Fall-Winter 2016/7

I’ll be representing the ASCL at next month’s WSSSPE4 meeting in Manchester, and in October, the ASCL will be at ADASS XXVI and will hold an Advisory Committee (AC) meeting while there. Peter Teuben, chair of the ASCL AC, will moderate a Birds of a Feather session at ADASS on Implementing Ideas for Improving Software Citation and Credit; this is a follow-up on the discussion at last year’s BoF Improving Software Citation and Creditwith a goal of taking action on some of the ideas generated at last year’s BoF. Watch this space in October for more!

For January’s American Astronomy Society meeting in Texas, the Moore-Sloan Data Science Environment at NYU and the ASCL have organized another Special Session, Perspectives in Research Software. This will follow the format of previous sessions, with presentations in the first half of the session and discussion open to all for the second half. Bruce Berriman from the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech will moderate; the presenters include Ivelina Momcheva (Space Telescope Science Institute),  Tracy Teal (Data Carpentry), Lior Shamir (Lawrence Technological University), and Michael Hucka (Caltech). I’m rationally exuberant about this session!

Improving Software Citation and Credit BoF session slides

On Tuesday, October 27, the ASCL held a Birds of a Feather session at ADASS on Improving Software Citation and Credit. The session was opened with a brief presentation by Bruce Berriman, who reported on a Software Publishing Special Interest Group meeting held at the January 2015 AAS meeting and the ongoing work that has come out of that. I followed with a quick overview of other efforts to improve software credit and citation, not just in astronomy but across disciplines, after which Keith Shortridge moderated a lively discussion among the forty people present. The slides Bruce and I presented are now available online.

Previously, we shared resources for the session and the Google doc created during the session to capture some of the main points from the discussion.

Some of the posters, some of the codes

I used to read ADASS posters in part to find new codes to register. I still do that, but it’s harder these days, for reasons that make me very happy: many of the codes are already in the ASCL! Here is a sampling from a quick and definitely not thorough perusal of posters.

CIGALE [ascl:1111.004] and LePHARE [ascl:1108.009]
PySALT [ascl:1207.010]
SoFiA [ascl:1412.001]
Splotch [ascl: 1103.005]
TOPCAT [ascl:1101.010]
Vissage [ascl:1402.001]

It’s lovely to see ADASS folks I’ve met before, and lovely to see codes I already know. It’s also great to meet new people and run across new codes, and I’ll be highlighting some of the new codes added as a result of this ADASS in a future blog post.

Resources for ADASS Birds of a Feather session: Improving software citation and credit

The ASCL has organized a Birds of a Feather session (BoF) at ADASS to discuss improving software citation and credit to be held on Tuesday, October 27; the following links may be helpful for the discussion.

Astronomy software citation examples and ideas (working [Google] document arising from AAS SPSIG discussion)

Astronomy software indexing workshop

Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE)

Force11 Software Citation Working Group (Mission statement, member list, timeline, communications plan, etc. on GitHub)

Center for Open Science‘s Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines


Google doc created during the BoF session; anyone with the link can comment.

ASCL poster at ADASS XXV

ASCL poster for ADASS XXVThe Astrophysics Source Code Library, started in 1999, moved to a new infrastructure in 2014 with enhancements developed in response to feedback from users and publishers. With one-click author search, flexible browsing options, and a simple form-based submission process, the ASCL offers a better experience for users. Since the introduction of the new platform in mid-2014, users have submitted nearly 100 codes, more than in all previous years combined. Data sharing options, including the ability to pull all of the resource’s public data in JSON and XML, provide new ways to collaborate with the resource. The ASCL now houses information on more than 1000 codes and its entries are increasingly used for citation, with over 15% of its entries cited, up from 7.5% in January of last year. Exciting opportunities to collaborate have been presented to the ASCL, including participation in the 2nd Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences and a request from the AAS to form a special interest group on software publishing. This presentation will demonstrate the new capabilities of the ASCL and discuss its growth and recent outreach and collaborations.

Alice Allen, Astrophysics Source Code Library; G. Bruce Berriman, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology; Kimberly DuPrie, Space Telescope Science Institute/Astrophysics Source Code Library; Jessica Mink, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Robert Nemiroff, Michigan Technological University; Judy Schmidt, Astrophysics Source Code Library; Lior Shamir, Lawrence Technological University; Keith Shortridge, Australian Astronomical Observatory; Mark Taylor, University of Bristol; Peter Teuben, Astronomy Department, University of Maryland; John Wallin, Middle Tennessee State University

Download poster (PDF)

ADASS poster: Data Analysis Software for the ESPRESSO science machine


Abstract: The Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectral Observations (ESPRESSO) is an extremely stable high-resolution spectrograph which is currently being developed for the ESO VLT Combined Coudé Laboratory by an international consortium of four nations and ESO. With its groundbreaking characteristics (resolution up to ~200,000; wavelength range from 380 to 780 nm; centimeter-per-second accuracy in wavelength calibration; possibility to use all 4 unit telescope at once) ESPRESSO is aimed to be a “science machine” – i.e., an instrument whose subsystems are fully-integrated way to directly extract science information from the observations. In particular, ESPRESSO will be the first ESO instrument to be equipped with a dedicated tool for the analysis of data, the Data Analysis Software (DAS), consisting in a number of recipes to analyse both stellar and quasar spectra. In this talk, I will present my work on the quasar branch of the DAS. I will describe the details of the pipeline and of its GUI, ESO Reflex, which is aimed to get over the shortcomings of the existing software providing multiple iteration modes and full interactivity with the data. I will also discuss some new algorithms implemented in the code, which will allow to determine the continuum level of emission in quasar spectra, to fit the spectral lines, and to identify the absorption systems in a coherent scheme. The scientific importance of a carefully-designed, physically-motivated approach to data analysis will be highlighted throughout.

Authors: Guido Cupani (INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste)
Valentina D’Odorico (INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste)
Stefano Cristiani (INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste)
Jonay Gonzalez-Hernandez (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias)
Christophe Lovis (Université de Genève)
Sérgio Sousa (Universidade do Porto)
Eros Vanzella (INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna)
Paolo Di Marcantonio (INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste)
Denis Mégevand (Université de Genève)

ASCL poster at ADASS


Abstract: The Astrophysics Source Code Library (ASCL) is a free online registry of codes used in astronomy research; it currently contains over 900 codes and is indexed by ADS. The ASCL has recently moved a new infrastructure into production. The new site provides a true database for the code entries and integrates the WordPress news and information pages and the discussion forum into one site. Previous capabilities are retained and permalinks to continue to work. The site offers more functionality and flexibility than the previous site, is easier to maintain, and offers new possibilities for collaboration. This presentation covers these recent changes to the ASCL.

Authors: Robert Hanisch (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
Alice Allen (Astrophysics Source Code Library)
Bruce Berriman (Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology)
Kimberly Duprie (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Jessica Mink (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Robert Nemiroff (Michigan Technological University)
Lior Shamir (Lawrence Technological University)
Keith Shortridge (Australian Astronomical Observatory)
Mark Taylor (University of Bristol)
Peter Teuben (University of Maryland)
John Wallin (Middle Tennessee State University)