Advice to contributors

Published contributions usually take one of the following forms:

The Editors also publish thesis abstracts from newly qualified astronomy and astronomy-related PhDs.

All papers and short contributions are subject to peer review by the normal refereeing process. Other material may be reviewed solely by the Editors, in order to expedite processing. The nominal publication date is the first day of the month shown on the cover of a given issue, which will normally contain material accepted no later than four months before that date. There are no page charges. Authors of papers, correspondence, and meeting summaries are provided with 25 free reprints if required; additional reprints may be purchased.


Material may be submitted as `hard copy', or (preferably) by electronic mail to the address given in the contact information on these pages.

  • Hard copy: Three copies should be submitted. Photocopies are acceptable only if they are of high quality.
  • Email: Contributions may be submitted as email, preferably as standard (La)TeX files or as Microsoft Word files, provided they conform to the Magazine's style. REFERENCE TO PERSONAL MACROS AND HIDDEN FORMATTING MUST BE AVOIDED. Those submitting letters, book reviews, or thesis abstracts are encouraged to use one of the Magazine's templates:
  • Figures may be submitted, separately, as standard Adobe Postscript files, but authors must ensure that they fit properly onto A4 paper.

Advice on layout, references, units and nomenclature, and copyright

Layout | References | Units & Nomenclature | Copyright


The general format evident in any recent issue should be followed. ALL MATERIAL MUST BE DOUBLE-SPACED. Unnecessary vertical spreading of mathematical material should be avoided ( e.g., by use of the solidus or negative exponents). Tables should be numbered with roman numerals, and be provided with a brief title. Diagrams should be numbered with arabic numerals, and have a caption which should, if possible, be intelligible without reference to the main body of the text. Lettering should be large enough to remain clear after reduction to the page width of the Magazine; figures in `landscape' format are preferable to `portrait' where possible.

Layout | References | Units & Nomenclature | Copyright


Authors are requested to pay particular attention to the reference style of the Magazine. References are quoted in the text by superscript numbers, starting at 1 and running sequentially in order of first appearance; at the end of the text, those references are identified by the number, in parentheses. The format for journals is:

(No.) Authors, journal, volume, page, year.

and for books:

(No.) Authors, [in Editors (eds.),] Title (Publisher, Place), year[, page].

where the bracketed items are required only when citing an article in a book.

Authors are listed with initials followed by surname; where there are four or more authors only the first author et al. is listed.

For example:

  1. G.H. Darwin, Observatory, 1, 13, 1877.
  2. D. Mihalas, Stellar Atmospheres (2nd Edn.) (Freeman, San Francisco), 1978.
  3. I. Gatley et al., in C. Leitherer et al., (eds.), Massive Stars in Starbursts (Cambridge University Press), 1991, p. 133.

Journals are identified with the system of terse abbreviations used (with minor modifications) in this Magazine for many years, and adopted in the other major journals by 1993 (see recent issues or, e.g., MNRAS, 260, 1; ApJ, 402, i; A&A, 267, A5; A&A Abstracts, Section 001).

Layout | References | Units & Nomenclature | Copyright

Units & Nomenclature

Authors may use whichever units they wish, within reason, but the Editors encourage the use of SI where appropriate. They also endorse IAU recommendations in respect of nomenclature of astronomical objects (A&AS, 52, no. 4; 64, 329; and 68, 75).

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