Astrophysics Source Code Library

Making codes discoverable since 1999

Style guide

Submissions • Style guide • Editorial policy

ASCL editors write or edit code entries to remove extraneous information and to make records conform with ASCL style standards summarized here (written in the imperative as these were originally written for our own use). For examples of what not to do, look through old entries (2010, 2011), which are rife with all the things we say to avoid.

  • Use active voice if possible, and avoid use of “this software is a [package] [code] for [that]” wording. If the software derives formulas or creates visualizations or calculates velocity moments, say so.
    Avoid: ZODIPIC is a program for synthesizing images of exozodiacal clouds.
    Preferred: ZODIPIC synthesizes images of exozodiacal clouds.
  • Avoid descriptive language that will become outdated quickly, assigns subjective value, or depends on future events: new code; will be updated to include; third release;
  • Use standard American spellings (color rather than colour; polarization rather than polarisation) and grammar.
  • Edit non-standard or awkward text so it will read naturally to a native (American) English speaker.
  • Link ASCL codes mentioned in the abstract of an entry by putting the ascl ID in parentheses after the code name. The ascl ID will render as a link to the other code's entry.
    Example: package RADMC (ascl:1108.016)...
  • List authors’ names in the following format: last name, first name middle initial. Use the full first name if available. For example, Nemiroff, Robert J.
  • List multiple authors with semicolons between names.
    Avoid: Marc Pound and Peter Teuben
    Avoid: Pound, Marc and Teuben, Peter J.
    Preferred: Pound, Marc; Teuben, Peter J.
  • Use ADS URLs for papers rather than native arXiv URLs if possible. When viewing an arXiv entry, click on the NASA ADS link in the “References & Citations” menu on the right of the screen to bring up the ADS entry for the arXiv page, then click on the Bibliographic Code link in the record and copy the resultant URL. This URL eventually resolves to the published paper after it is indexed by ADS.