Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Author's e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: Abstracts, Information Systems, Astrophysics Data System, World Wide Web, Digital Libraries.
Recent advances in the field of distributed database technology, wide-area information systems and network connectivity have allowed much of the functionality of the original (or "classic") ADS system to be ported to network services based on the WWW. Easy access to the ASIAS is now provided via simple HTML forms allowing fielded textual searches of the ADS abstract database with links to the online full-text articles. Browsing and printing of such articles is now as easy as pressing a button or selecting a hyperlink in a WWW document.
In the following sections we describe the contents of the
bibliographic database in use with the ADS abstract service, the
WWW searching tools and interfaces currently available, and the
recent addition of full-text journal articles to the ASIAS.
Sources of Bibliographic Data
We have recently increased the number of bibliographic references in
our database by including data obtained from several sources in
addition to NASA's
and Technical Information (STI) Database. The need to supplement
this data has become increasingly necessary as the STI program has
undergone organizational changes which have caused delays and gaps
in the coverage of astronomical literature.
At the time of this writing, our abstract database contains approximately 210,000 unique references collected from the following data sources:
In the next few months, we plan to add data from the following additional sources:
The system we have now in place enables us to keep multiple sources of
abstracts referring to the same publication online.
This allows the user to read both the original author abstract
in addition to the one provided by NASA/STI. Furthermore,
we recently started to collect notes from the authors of papers in our
can now be used to submit author's notes/comments regarding the
contents of a paper or the online abstract information.
Searching the ADS bibliographic data is possible using a number of
different WWW form interfaces depending upon the nature of the query.
Currently the possible search methods available are
List Queries, and
Abstract Query Form provides basic access into the ADS abstracts
Through this interface, users can specify words and names to be
searched for in separate query fields, and modify the query logic by
changing the default settings on the bottom part of the form.
The query fields currently include:
An abstract query is performed by typing text into the input widgets of the WWW query form and submitting it to the abstract server. When the search is completed a ranked list of papers that fulfilled the query requirements is returned. To view the full reference and abstract text for a given paper in the list, the user simply clicks on the hyperlinked bibliographic code.
The reference page for each publication retrieved has a relevance feedback form at the bottom which allows users to find similar references. This is done by generating a new query that uses the relevant text from the selected reference as query terms. This very powerful feature allows users to quickly search through the literature for papers relevant to the topic of interest.
Abstract List Query Form provides the capability to search the ADS
abstracts database for author lists,
NASA/STI keyword lists, synonym lists, and object alias lists.
To run one of these queries, the user can specify one or more of the
The Abstract Bibcode
Query Form allows the user to search the ADS
abstracts database by partial or whole
Bibliographic codes, first adopted by the
are ASCII strings of characters and symbols that provide a unique
identifier for publications. The codes are in the form:
YYYY is the year,
JJJJJ is the
abbreviation for the journal (e.g.
VVVVV is the volume number,
M is a
qualifier for the publication
L for the "Letter" issue of a journal,
P for "Pink Pages", etc.),
PPPP is the
page number, and
is the first letter of the first author's name.
A partial bibliographic code may be entered in which case the
abstract server will return all bibliographic codes
beginning with that string. This effectively allows the user to query
by journal title. For instance, a query on
"1992ApJ" will return all articles in the database which are from the
Astrophysical Journal 1992 volumes. In
addition, a wildcard is allowed before the journal title (e.g. "*ApJ"
will return all Astrophysical Journal articles).
Table of Contents Queries
Table of Contents (TOC) Query form
allows users to retrieve the list of references published in a journal
by entering either the publication date or journal volume number.
Similar to a bibcode query but not as general or powerful,
this form is easier to use in that it doesn't require users to know
the root bibcodes for the journal they are looking up, nor the
publication date of a particular volume.
The TOC query is only available for journals for which we have the
full-text articles online (currently the Astrophysical Journal
The ADS intends to extend the contents of the ASIAS to include
full-text articles from all the major astronomical journals.
To this end, we have recently obtained permission from the American
Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific to
put online the last 20 years of the Astrophysical Journal, the
Astrophysical Journal Letters, the Astronomical Journal, the
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific,
Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica, and
Contributions of the Astronomical Observatory Skalnate Pleso.
We are currently
negotiating with the major European and Japanese Journals to obtain
permission to carry their articles.
Because none of these journals have electronic versions of the articles containing both the final text and graphics (except for the recent prototype system now in place for the Astrophysical Journal Letters), we decided to create electronic images of each journal page using a high-resolution scanner and make them available on our WWW server. The newly dubbed ADS Article Service now offers two different form interfaces to directly view an article selected by Journal name, Volume and page, or by requesting the Table of Contents of a particular Journal by either volume or publication date. When available, scanned journal articles are also directly accessible through hyperlinks from the result page of an abstract query.
Our pilot program, consisting of putting online the Astrophysical Journal Letters from January 1975 to October 1994, was received with great enthusiasm by the astronomical community on the network. The positive feedback from our users has prompted us to accelerate the project's timetable as much as possible. We now plan to have most of the Astrophysical Journal articles online by July 1995, and the Astronomical Journal by September of the same year.
Currently we provide article pages in three different formats:
By pushing the appropriate button on the HTML article forms,
users can retrieve and either save to disk, send to a viewer, or
directly print any of
the online journal articles.All of these options are also readily available
from the abstract service result page, where in addition to the
abstract information, a menu for viewing or printing the journal
article is available.
Having gone through a major overhaul of the Abstract Service server
software, we are now concentrating on increasing the number of
references in our abstract and article databases.
We are also considering consolidating our services and making them
more maintainable and reliable. In particular, these are the major
projects that we will work on in the near future: