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The Research Portal

Posted by Matthew Templeton on July 18, 2010 - 2:15pm


The new AAVSO website has a section devoted to information and tools for Researchers -- those who are interested in using the AAVSO International Database in their research work, and those who are interested in obtaining new observational data.  At the top of the main page, you will find a link marked Researchers that will take you to the new AAVSO Research Portal.

The old AAVSO website lacked information useful for researchers interested in using AAVSO data in their work.  There was little or no discussion of what data we have, how it is obtained, its statistical properties, or how to actually use it in your research.  We're hoping the new Research Portal will go a long way toward correcting that.

Several pages within the Research Portal are worth highlighting:

  • Data Access portal, a clearing house of links for researchers interested in acquiring data from the AAVSO International Database
  • How to use AAVSO Data, which links to our new QuickStart Guide to using AAVSO data.  This contains explanatory and background material to get a new user of AAVSO data acquainted with what we have.
  • The Overview: Long-term visual light curves page is linked from the QuickStart Guide, and gives you a brief glimpse of just how much visual data we have in the AID and for what kinds of stars.  It is by no means comprehensive, but will at least get you started.
  • Our Data Usage Guidelines page
  • Our new and improved Observing Campaigns page, with some more useful information for both researchers and observers

We're developing some exciting new tools for researchers interested in using AAVSO data, including one of my favorites: bulk data download.  With this new tool (coming this Fall), you'll be able to download data for multiple stars, selecting for (RA,Dec) or type, something we've been in dire need of for many years.  We're hopeful that this will greatly facilitate researchers doing class studies of variable stars, or studying multiple variables within a given region.

Like the rest of our website, this section is still under development, and your feedback will help us improve our service to the research community.  If our Research Portal is missing something you want or need, please let us know!  If there are tools or other information we could develop or provide, we will do our best to provide them as our time and resources allow.  Our goal is to make sure the AAVSO International Database is used and used right. If we can do something to facilitate your research, please let us know!

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484