ON-LINE ABSTRACTS USED WORLD-WIDE BY OVER 10,000 ASTRONOMERS
Cambridge, MA--Only four years after its inception, the Astrophysics Data System's (ADS)
"Abstract Service" is being used on a daily basis by the majority of professional astronomers
worldwide, creating a vast, virtual library of astronomical and astrophysical literature available,
literally, at their fingertips.
Based at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, MA, and supported
by funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the ADS provides
artificial-intelligence-search capability for the world's astronomical literature with access to all but
the most recent articles. It also includes links to on-line data services, such as the electronic
Astrophysical Journal at the American Astronomical Society and the database of astronomical
objects at the Strasbourg (France) Data Center.
The ADS Abstract Service contains almost 1 million references from astronomy and related
disciplines, as well as the text of some 50,000 articles, drawn from major astronomical journals
published in the past 20 years. The historical literature is now being scanned and will add another
50 to 100 years of journal coverage.
In addition, full journal articles can be read on-line using the ADS, thanks to the generous
contribution of copyright permissions, back issues, and expertise from the majority of the
publishers and copyright holders of the astronomical literature.
In a typical month, more than 10,000 different people use the ADS and retrieve more than 4
million references, as well as 25,000 articles--a usage greater than that reported by any
conventional astronomical library anywhere in the world.
"Our statistics show that about half of all research astronomers worldwide use the ADS system
every day," says Dr. Michael J. Kurtz, an astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical
Observatory (SAO) and one of the ADS project principals.
"I expect the usage of the ADS to increase significantly over the next year because of the rapid
completion of the journal articles database, our collaboration with the Science Citation Index, and
e duplication of our database in France and Japan to provide faster access to our European and
Asian users," says Dr. Gunther Eichhorn, project scientist of the ADS and principal developer of
the Abstract Service, also at SAO.
The ADS is a founding member of Urania, a collaboration of journals, data centers, and individual
scientists to provide a complete digital library environment for astronomy. The ADS itself was
created in 1989 to provide access to astronomical data through the Internet. The ADS abstract
service came on-line in early 1993 in collaboration with NASA's Scientific and Yechnical
Other members of the ADS project team at SAO are Dr. Stephen S. Murray (principal
investigator), Dr. Alberto Accomazzi (computer specialist), and Carolyn S. Grant (computer
Journals cooperating with the ADS to make articles available on line: Astrophysical Journal
(USA), Astrophysical Journal Letters (USA), Astronomical Journal (USA), Astronomy &
Astrophysics (Germany), Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Great Britain),
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (USA), Proceedings of the Astronomical
Society of Australia (Australia), Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan (Japan), Revista
Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica (Mexico), Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of India
(India), and Contributions of the Astronomical Observatory Skalnate Pleso (Slovakia).
Electronic access to the ADS Abstract Service is possible on the World Wide Web at:
For more information, contact:
Dr. Guenther Eichhorn, (617-495-7260; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr. Michael J. Kurtz, (617-495-7434; email@example.com)