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Welcome to the ADS Article Service!

This service provides free access to over 1 million scanned pages from journals, conference proceedings and books in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The scanned articles can be accessed in three different ways: through the Journal or Proceedings service query forms, users can request a specific scanned page by specifying the publication, volume, and page number; by following ``G'' link displayed under the ``Available Items'' column when viewing a list of bibliographic records; and by following the ``Scanned Article'' link when viewing the page displaying the full bibliographic information for a particular paper.

Please note that all abstracts and articles in the ADS are copyrighted by the publisher, and their use is free for personal use only. For more information, please read our page detailing the Terms and Conditions regulating the use of our resources.

This document discusses the following:

You may also want to check our list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you have comments or questions about the Abstract Service, please don't hesitate to send us feedback.

If you wish to acknowledge us in a publication, kindly use a phrase such as the following: ``This research has made use of the NASA Astrophysics Data System.'' Thanks!

About the Dataset

The ADS article service provides access to the full-text of over 170,000 scientific papers published in astronomical journals, conference proceedings, newsletters, bulletins and books, for a total of over 1.2 million pages. All these pages have been scanned as bitonal images at the optical resolution of 600 dots per inch (dpi) and are stored as compressed TIFF images at two different resolutions (200dpi and 600dpi). All the different output formats supported by the article service software are created on demand (and optionally cached on disk) from the original TIFF images by a number of format translator programs.

We are continuously adding new full-text scans and correcting problems or coverage gaps with existing online publications. To have an accurate idea of the current data holdings, please see the Journal Query Form and the Proceedings Query Form pages. As we attempt to complete our coverage of full text for all astronomical journals, we are looking for donations of a missing titles. If you can help, please let us know.

Please note that most of the recent journal articles are available electronically from their publishers, and therefore have not be scanned by the ADS. Access to the full-text of these papers is controlled by the publishers, which usually require a current subscription. More information on this is available in the Access Control help page.

Access to scanned pages

Page by page access the images of scanned publications is possible through either the Journal Query Form or the Proceedings Query Form. Select the publication, enter the volume number, and either the desired page or plate number (but note that plates are only present in some journals, as explained below). Please note that while some conference proceedings are published as part of a series and therefore are assigned a volume number, others are published as monographs, so enter or omit a volume number when using the Proceedings Query Form as appropriate. If a page number has been specified, the article service will display a view of the the scanned page on the screen. If a volume is entered but no page nor plate number is specified, the table of contents for the entire series and volume will be generated. The user can then browse and print the scanned pages as described in the section Viewing Scanned Pages below.

Access to scanned articles

Full-text scanned articles are available as a collection of scanned pages and are linked from the Abstract Service in two ways: through the ``G'' link associated to a particular record under the ``Available Items'' column, and from the ``Scanned Article'' link on the page displaying the full bibliographical information for a that record. When either one of these links are followed, the user is presented with the first page belonging to the article in question. The user can then browse the and print the scanned pages as described in the section Viewing Scanned Pages below.

If you are looking for an article that falls outside the publication ranges listed in the journal or proceeding query forms, you may want to retrieve the full bibliographic information for the paper as listed in the ADS Abstract Service. From it, you will be able to see if a full-text version of the paper is available from the publisher. To access the record of an article for which publication, journal and page are known you can use the bibcode query form. Similarly, to generate the full table of contents for a particular journal and volume, the table of contents query forms for journals and proceedings may be used.

Viewing Scanned Pages

Once the page to be displayed has been specified, the article service will display a view of the the scanned page as a grayscale image on the screen. Additional pages within the article or section can be viewed by using the navigational links at the bottom of the screen. As an alternative to this single-page browsing mode, users may choose to view the set of low-resolution images for all pages composing the article by selecting the ``Thumbnails'' link at the top of the screen. When viewing thumbnails, a high-resolution image of each page can be displayed by clicking on the corresponding thumbnail.

Other options available from this screen include the ability to retrieve the full bibliographic record and abstract for the article being viewed and in some cases the ability to retrieve a particular plate number. If the article being viewed appeared in a publication that printed the plates at the end of a volume and the plates have not been assigned to the article they belong to, then an option to display a given plate number will be available. The plate number discussed here refers to the sequential number assigned to a plate within a journal volume, and is typically referred to in the full text of the paper. Users must read the article to decide if there is a plate associated with a given paper, and can then use this option to retrieve the plate itself.

The ``Print'' button listed at the bottom of the screen should be used to retrieve a copy of the full-text article (or page) suitable for printing. The format and resolution of the document created for printing are controlled by each user's Default Settings, which can be set via the Article Service Preferences menu. Do not use your browser's Print button to create a hardcopy of the page as it will produce a poor quality output. Please see the Printing section below for more information.

The link named ``More Article Retrieval Options'' presents the users with the full range of possible options available in formatting and delivering the article pages.

Printing pages and articles

When an article is selected for printing from the ADS article server, a document with a particular MIME type (application/remote-printing) is returned. By default, your browser will not be configured to take any action on documents of this type, and it will prompt you instead asking what should be done with the article being downloaded. The options available to you are usually to either save the document to a local file or save it in a temporary directory and run a program on it. Either way, you will have to make your choice before the article download commences.

This setup allows users to customize their setup so that files of this type can be automatically handled by a local printing or viewing program. A user may also choose not to print articles automatically, but rather save them to file and then view or print the file by running the appropriate application on it. Since there are several different possibile alternatives to this depending on the user's local computing environment, we have created a separate help page detailing how this customization may be achieved.

If you find yourself retrieving and printing ADS articles all the time, you may consider setting up your user's preferences as detailed below so that downloading and disposing of an article takes place automatically.

Setting your Preferences

The ADS Preference Settings System page has a sub-menu that allows users to customize certain settings used in the selection of the output format and resolution when viewing and printing articles. This system uses HTTP ``cookies'' to allow users to save some basic preferences which can then be retrieved upon revisiting our site, so a cookie-capable browser is necessary to take advantage of this feature. When chages are made to your preference settings, the page needs to be reloaded in order to see those changes.

For retrieving articles, users may choose to get the article through the browser (for printing or saving to file), or through E-mail or fax. The option of faxing the article is currently only available to users in the United States.

The articles can be returned as:

In order to decide which version of the article you should select for printing, you need to know some information about your system capabilities as explained in the Article service printing page. Please note that the high resolution version of an article may be considerably slower to print than the low resolution version but will give superior results, especially on plots and plates. In additon, the high resolution files are larger than the corresponding low resolution pages, and some printers may not have a large enough spooling area or physical memory required during the printing process.

How you can Help

We are missing a number of journal volumes (both single issues and more extensive sets) and books which we would like to scan. If you have extra copies which you would be willing to donate, please see the list of what we need at


We are grateful to a number of individuals and institutions who have donated hardcopies of journals for the purpose of scanning. The following is a (possibly incomplete) list of individuals who have made the most significant contributions: Among the list of librarians who have contributed extra copies of serials and monographs to our digitization effort, we'd like to thank:

If you wish to acknowledge us in a publication, kindly use a phrase such as the following: ``This research has made use of the NASA Astrophysics Data System.''

Last updated: 14 December 2000