Last modified 4 years ago Last modified on 05/01/15 05:03:15

Checklist for Authors of Science Articles in Solar Physics

Goals :

  • Ensure that research is reproducible.
  • Track information that might affect your analysis
  • Make it easier for others to retrieve the data that you used (to reviewing or expand your work)
  • Allow data archives & software authors to find who's using their work, so they can get continued funding.
  • Allow archives to determine when re-calibration may affect published literature.


Policy :

  • Data used in articles should be made publicly available by the time of publication.
  • If the data is not already available from an archive, it should be included as a supplement to the article.
  • Observations should be sufficiently described to allow reviewers or other scientists to easily verify the article's claims.

Information to Keep Track of

When downloading data, keep track of:

  • What data did I collect to analyze?
  • If you collected the data yourself:
    • When and where did you collect it?
    • What are the observing characteristics of the instrument(s) used?
    • Were there any anomalies when observing that might affect the data?
  • If using existing data:
    • What archive did I get it from?
    • Did I use the archive's interface, or use other software like VSO, HELIO, helioviewer, etc?
    • Was there a specific query that I ran to select the data?
      • If so, did I use all of the search results, or did I filter it in some way?
      • If not, what was the selection criteria?
      • Or, what was the list of files / URLs ?
    • Note : the above items are saved in the VSO Shopping Cart, so make a note of the 'Cart ID' if you used it)
    • When did I download the data?

When analyzing data, keep track of:

  • What data did I analyze?
    • Did I exclude any data, and if so, why? (eg, only used AEC or non AEC images)
    • Did I use full images, or cutouts (aka. active region patches) ?
  • What processing did I apply before I did my analysis?
  • What software did I use for processing & analysis?

The Checklist

  • Have I described the data that was used in this research?
    • Including data which yielded a null result?
    • In terms of the instrument / observatory / observatory group used?
    • In terms of day/time being analyzed?
    • In terms of location being analyzed (if not 'full disk')
    • In terms of any subsetting done of the data?
      • If using a lower cadence than the original data:
        • What cadence was used ('1 per minute' vs. '1 per day')
        • How the cadence aligned (eg, '1 per day, first image after midnight UT' vs. '1 per day, closest to local solar noon')
      • If using only a specific observing mode or filter:
        • 'total brightness' vs. 'polarized brightness' for instruments such as SECCHI/COR2
        • Specific wavelengths from SOHO/EIT, STEREO/SECCHI/EUVI, SDO/AIA, etc.
        • AEC vs. non AEC for SDO/AIA.
      • If using cutouts from the original data
        • eg, "200 arcsec patch centered on AR10943" vs. "200 arcsec wide by 400 arcsec high centered on ... "
        • ... "centered on 400 xSun,-600 ySun" vs "centered on 45W60N"
  • If using reduced resolution images
    • The size of the resulting images, and how it was reduced.
    • '1024x1024 images, 4x4 binned' vs. '2048x2048 images, sampled using the lower left pixel'
  • In terms of where I obtained it from (from which archive, at what time)
    • Specified which specific version of the data you used, if the archive provides more than one.
      • eg, 'daily movies' vs. 'level 0 FITS files' vs. 'level 1 JPEGs'
  • Have I described any additional processing that I did to the data for analysis?
    • Flat fielding, point spread removed, etc.
  • Have I acknowledged software and tools used ...
    • to find & obtain data (HEK, VSO, HELIO, AstroGrid, Solar Monitor, etc.)
    • to visualize data (Helioviewer, JHelioviewer, SolarWeather Browser, etc.)
    • to process the data (SolarSoft, PDL, SunPy, IRAF, etc.)

  • If there were models or catalogs used:
    • Have I provided a reference to the article in which they were introduced?
  • Is the data available for others to review?
    • Is the data available from an archive online, or have I included it for submission as a suplement to the article?
    • If I have significantly processed the data, have I included my processed data for submission as a suplement to the article or to an appropriate archive for distribution?