95th Spring Meeting of the AAVSO: Writing Scientific Publications Workshop

AAVSO Workshop: Writing and Publishing Scientific Papers


The AAVSO Workshop on Writing and Publishing Scientific Papers was held on May 5, 2006, during the 95th Spring Meeting of the AAVSO in Rockford, Illinois. This half-day workshop was designed to introduce amateur astronomers, students, and academic scientists from outside of astronomy to the field of astronomical scientific publication. Excellent publication quality research is being done by professional and non-professional astronomers alike, and the goal of this session was to show aspiring authors how to go from your observations to a research paper ready for the peer review process.

Wkshp group Paula Szkody gives Keynote talk David Williams gives a talk
Arne Henden gives a talk Pamela Gay gives a talk

The workshop consisted of six talks by members of the AAVSO community, along with discussions and a set of electronic resources and reference materials (see below). The speakers and their topics were:

Session 1:

  • Dr. Paula Szkody (U. Washington, & Editor of PASP):
    Why Publish? and the editorial process"
  • Dr. John Percy (U. Toronto -- Erindale):
    "What and where to publish"
  • David B. Williams (President, AAVSO):
    "How to write a paper: the nuts and bolts of preparing your work for publication"

Session 2:

  • Dr. Arne Henden (Director, AAVSO):
    "Checking the Literature"
  • Dr. Pamela Gay (Councillor, AAVSO, and Harvard U. Science Cntr.):
    "Creating effective graphics and plots"
  • Aaron Price (AAVSO):
    "Creating effective poster presentations"

Electronic resources

Presentations and guides:

  • Why we publish ( pdf | ppt ) by Paula Szkody
  • Checking the Literature ( pdf | ppt ) by Arne Henden
  • What and Where to Publish ( pdf ) by John Percy
  • General Advice for Effective Science Communication ( pdf ) by John Percy
  • Illustrating Your World (pdf | ppt ) by Pamela Gay
  • Creating Effective Poster Presentations ( pdf | mov | ppt ) by Aaron Price
  • From submission to publication ( pdf ) by Matthew Templeton
  • Guidelines for Research Papers Submitted to the JAAVSO ( pdf ) by Charles Whitney


Journal Homepages:

Outside resources:

Literature search:
Data search:
General advice:
  • Advice for beginning researchers by Chris Matzner (CITA, U. Toronto) -- this is geared towards Astronomy students, but has good general information for everyone starting out