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Editorial on including Computational Notebooks in AAS Journals

Commentary from the AAS Journals

Published onFeb 22, 2024
Editorial on including Computational Notebooks in AAS Journals


We have introduced a policy to guide authors on including computational notebooks in their submissions to the AAS Journals.

The AAS Journals are committed to encouraging best practices in documenting and sharing the software used in our community’s research. Our proactive software policy (Vishniac & Lintott, 2016) explicitly allows the publication of papers whose sole purpose is to describe such work, making it discoverable and helping to give credit to those whose contributions to the scientific enterprise comes through the development of such tools. We have also partnered with the Journal of Open Source Software (Vishniac & Lintott, 2018) to provide review of the software itself. 

We have not yet encouraged the sharing of source code through the journal itself, preferring to point to repositories elsewhere. However, tools such as Jupyter notebooks have made sharing working versions of the code behind an article easy. We therefore have introduced a “Policy on Computational Notebooks and the AAS Journals” [as found on] that encourages authors to link to public repositories containing such notebooks and provides a set of best practices for including such links in peer reviewed papers. This will allow readers to quickly find materials the authors wish to share, without requiring the journals to immediately solve the difficult problem of the long-term preservation of often rapidly evolving software tools. 

We thank Erik Tollerud and Frank Timmes for input on this Editorial and the Policy Guidance.

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