Re:JBAA papers

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Posted by Richard Miles at 21:51 on 2012 Aug 23

Have made time to further follow the discussion / read attachments / view your first draft of a paper entitled "An analysis of periodicities in perturbations by Jupiter to the orbit of dwarf planet Ceres, with application to other major asteroids" for the first time.Certainly plenty of constructive criticism and useful material has been made available in the course of the online discussions over the past few weeks thanks to the contributions from all concerned and especially from yourself Steve. We should certainly be able to exploit much of this to hone the process of accepting articles and papers for publication in the JBAA. Thanks everyone.Allow me to broach the concept that a significant fraction of material submitted for publication never sees the light of day by appearing in said publication. There are a whole host of reasons for this but generally speaking having more articles and papers than space to publish is generally a healthy situation. Remember that from time to time some draft articles/papers will inevitably be received which really are unsuitable for publication anywhere. However, your draft paper is certainly not in this category as I found it to be of interest to myself as the current Director of the Asteroids and Remote Planets Section. It is good to see that you used Aldo Vitagliano’s SOLEX software to further pursue your initial numerical-based analysis. The question whether or not this should have been revised and reproduced as a JBAA paper is a difficult one. I remember well a paper I wrote and submitted in 2004 entitled "Methane abundance in Titans stratosphere", in which I used photoelectric and CCD observations of the central flash seen during the occultation of 28 Sgr by Titan obtained from two observing sites (both run by amateur astronomers) in 1989 to calculate the concentration of methane in Titan’s upper atmosphere – the paper was rejected by a professional astronomer and that was the end of the matter. Looking back on it I certainly believe this was unfair. So like you I have been on the receiving end of what I considered an unfair process.So yes, let’s see how we can further improve matters for future JBAA authors. As I have just published a lengthy theoretical paper in the journal Icarus, I have first-hand experience of how the publisher Elsevier operates and there are a few approaches they use which may be adopted in suitably modified form by the BAA, for example.The idea of a second publication alongside the Journal has been discussed in the past and indeed has been tried in the past. What has now changed the game is the internet. Needless to say how we best utilise the internet has been a perennial topic for Council. Various approaches can be envisaged: Some BAA observing sections have their own publications which can exist in both paper and in online form, but doing this for ALL sections requires volunteers to come forward to help make these possible. Roger Dymock, my predecessor as Director of ARPS, used to publish "Impact", which was an online section newsletter. In total 23 issues were published between March 2006 and April 2008 and each issue required several days work to compile and edit. If "Impact" was still extant, your draft paper could have been published as an online one. Is there scope for BAA online publishing of material of a more technical nature? Or how about some lengthy technical papers being published as an extended abstract in the Journal and the full article is then made available online? Some professional papers have started to appear with an online Appendix for example, in which items of a more technical nature or which are physically big, or which are best displayed as a high-res PDF are made available.Finally, how about publishing your paper on astro-ph? It’s accessible at: might be able to help you do this.Richard