Publication Policy

Policies which govern NANOGrav publications and communications with the scientific community

1. Purpose

The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) is a collaboration of researchers who are actively engaged in using North American radio telescopes to detect and study gravitational waves via pulsar timing. The goals of this policy are:

  • To ensure the timely dissemination of NANOGrav results
  • To ensure that members receive credit for critical NANOGrav work
  • To promote the open exchange of ideas within the Collaboration and foster collaboration among NANOGrav members
  • To publicize NANOGrav and its work in the broader scientific community
  • To increase awareness among all NANOGrav members of projects and publications within the Collaboration

2. Oversight

The NANOGrav Management Team is responsible for managing all aspects of the publication policy. The Management Team shall arbitrate and settle any publication dispute. The Management Team has final oversight on all publications by NANOGrav members that involve the tools and data defined in Section 5.b. Authors may appeal to the Management Team for exceptions to the publication policy in special cases. The Management Team may designate other NANOGrav members (individuals or committees) to act on their behalf in matters involving publication policy. In such instances, final decision-making power remains with the Management Team.

3. Coverage of Policy

This policy applies to Junior, Associate, and Full members of NANOGrav as defined by the membership policy.

The NANOGrav publication policy applies to “NANOGrav publications.” This includes all publications produced by NANOGrav members involving or motivated by NANOGrav data, pre-publication NANOGrav research and research results, or discussions that the members may have had as a privilege of their participation in the NANOGrav Collaboration. This also includes any publication related to NANOGrav science, or which uses NANOGrav-developed tools. The scope of “NANOGrav science” is broad and includes, but is not limited to, pulsar timing observations and data analysis for gravitational wave (GW) detection; detection techniques for GWs; astrophysical interpretation of pulsar timing array measurements; studies of noise in pulsar signals; and studies of the influence of the interstellar medium on pulsar signals.

Unless specified otherwise, this policy applies to all publications, independent of form or venue. This includes, but is not limited to, refereed journal articles, conference proceedings, technical memos, white papers, arXiv-only publications, and student papers.

4. IPTA Publications

Publications written under the auspices of the IPTA (International Pulsar Timing Array) shall follow IPTA authorship guidelines. We encourage such publications to follow policies similar to those for NANOGrav measurement/limit papers as outlined in Authorship.

5. Definitions and Types of Publications.

Every publication covered by the NANOGrav publication policy falls into one of the following three categories.

  1. Types of NANOGrav Science and Non-NANOGrav Science Publications

    A NANOGrav GW measurement/limit publication is a publication that uses NANOGrav data (and data products, time of arrival (TOA), residuals, par files) for the purposes of GW detection and/or upper limits (even if the data have been publicly released). Such publications include measurements/limits on GWs from any source or collection of sources, including backgrounds, individual periodic sources, and burst sources, as well as major data release papers.

    This category includes all publications on NANOGrav science not giving GW measurements/limits. Such publications are on topics related to the NANOGrav goal of detecting, measuring, and extracting astrophysical information from GW signals using pulsar timing. Such publications include ISM studies, noise estimation in timing residuals, data analysis methods, detection techniques, astrophysical interpretation, etc.

    This category includes all publications which use NANOGrav resources as defined in Section 5.b but which are not on topics related to NANOGrav science as defined in Sections 5.a.i and 5.a.ii. An example of such a publication would be a paper using NANOGrav data to analyze a binary pulsar to measure neutron star masses.

    1. NANOGrav GW Measurement/Limit Publications
    2. NANOGrav Non-GW Measurement/Limit Publications
    3. Non-NANOGrav Science Publications
  2. Publications Using NANOGrav Data

    Publications covered by the NANOGrav publication policy may (but need not) fall into one or both of the following categories. These definitions are used in authorship policies in Authorship.

    A publication that uses NANOGrav data is any publication, whether or not on NANOGrav science as defined in Sections 5.a.i and 5.a.ii, that makes use of any data collected for the NANOGrav project, whether or not the data is available to the general public or to other collaborative groups. Such data includes, but is not limited to, pulsar timing array data, supplementary timing observations of individual timing array pulsars, and observations to study other aspects of pulsars that impact NANOGrav science (e.g. ISM studies, individual-pulse studies). The “data team” associated with any given data set are the NANOGrav members who obtained that data or processed it in ways necessary for its use in a publication.

    A publication that uses NANOGrav tools is any publication, whether or not on NANOGrav science as defined in Sections 5.a.i and 5.a.ii, that uses any software, simulation, or other tool developed for the NANOGrav project, whether or not that tool is publicly available. The “developers” associated with any given tool are the NANOGrav members who had a significant role in developing that tool.

    1. Publications Using NANOGrav Data
    2. Publications Using NANOGrav Tools

6. Authorship

Publications by NANOGrav members which use NANOGrav resources (data or tools) for non-NANOGrav science are subject to the authorship policies governing NANOGrav data and NANOGrav tools given in Section 6.d but are not governed by other authorship rules in the NANOGrav publication policy.

  1. NANOGrav GW Measurement/Limit Publications as Defined in Section 5.a.i
    1. The authorship of a NANOGrav measurement/limit publication, except for posters and presentations as described in first paragraph of Authorship, shall consist of NANOGrav Full Members, NANOGrav Legacy Members during their first year of Legacy status, and all others who contributed significantly to the publication. Authors shall be listed alphabetically in order of surname. For all authors who are not NANOGrav Full Members (or Legacy Members during their first year of legacy status) a statement detailing the specific contributions made to the publication must be provided to the management team. This statement may be written by the lead/corresponding author or the person seeking authorship. The Management Team will review the author list during the circulation period (see 9.e. below).
    2. Author lists for NANOGrav GW measurement/limit posters, oral presentations (e.g. seminars, colloquia, and conference presentations), and conference proceedings shall be authored by the presenter(s) for the NANOGrav Collaboration (e.g. “Jane Doe for the NANOGrav Collaboration”). Additional individual authors may be named only with approval of the Management Team.
    3. NANOGrav GW Measurement/Limit publication author list will include ”The NANOGrav Collaboration” and will either be preceded by or followed by (as per the journal’s editorial rules) an alphabetical list of authors as described in 6.a.i. This is to be included in the published version ofthe paper. Author lists in preprints (such as arXiv) should match the list anticipated for use in publication.
    4. A section describing the specific contributions of the authors should be included at the end of the paper. This section will begin with the text: "An alphabetical-order author list was used for this paper in recognition of the fact that a large, decade-timescale project such as this is necessarily the result of the work of many people. All authors contributed to the activities of the NANOGrav Collaboration leading to the work presented here, and reviewed the manuscript, text, and figures prior to the paper's submission. Additional specific contributions to this paper are as follows." Followed by a description of the specific contributions of various authors. If more than one author contributed to the work being described the authors should be listed alphabetically. For example the NANOGrav stochastic 9-yr paper has: "ZA, KC, PBD, TD, RDF, EF, MEG, GJ, MJ, MTL, LL, MAM, DJN, TTP, SMR, IHS, KS, JKS, and WWZ made observations for this project and developed timing models. JAE coordinated the writing of the paper. JAE, RvH, and CMFM led this search by directly running the analysis pipelines..."
    5. After consultation with the Management TeamNANOGrav members may write GW Measurement/Limit publications that use NANOGrav data from datareleases predating the most recent data release. These publications need not conform to the requirements listed in items 6.a.i through 6.a.iv of this policy; in particular, the author list need not be alphabetical, and need not include all Full members and Legacy Members during their first year of Legacy status. After initial consultation authors are encouraged to consult with the Management Team early and often in the process. Such papers are subject to the other provisions of the NANOGrav publication policy.
  2. NANOGrav Non-GW Measurement/Limit Publications as Defined in Section 5.a.ii
    1. Author lists shall include all people who make significant contributions to the publication.
    2. Author lists may include specific groups as described in Sections 6.d.
    3. Author order shall be determined by the authors themselves. A typical situation may be a short list of those who make the most significant contributions to the publication followed by an alphabetical list of those with more ancillary roles.
    4. Author lists for posters, oral presentations, and conference proceedings that are NANOGrav non-GW-measurement/limit publications may include full author lists or may be abbreviated, e.g. “Jane Doe for the NANOGrav detection group” at the discretion of the authors.
  3. Publications Not on NANOGrav Science Using NANOGrav Resources as Defined in Section 5.a.iii
  4. Publications Using NANOGrav Data or Tools
    1. Publications that use NANOGrav data or NANOGrav tools that are not publicly available shall include the relevant data team or tool developers as authors.
    2. Publications that use NANOGrav data or NANOGrav tools that are publicly available should consult with the relevant data team or tool developers regarding potential co-authorship. For guidance, the corresponding author of a paper or the major participants in a project may consult with the Management Team.
    3. Publications that use small amounts of published NANOGrav data for illustrative purposes (e.g. for a new detection technique), but which do not present new GW limits/detections, need not include data-takers among the authors.
  5. authors may appeal to the Management Team for exceptions to the authorship policy as stated in Section 2

7. Conferences and Presentations

All presentations shall be gathered on the NANOGrav document repository.

  1. Circulation of Abstracts, Titles, and Author Lists
    1. Conference and poster abstracts, titles, and author lists, for presentation on NANOGrav science topics as defined in Sections 5.a.i and 5.a.ii, shall be circulated to the NANOGrav Collaboration via email at least one week before submission to the conference organizers.
    2. Only abstracts for talks or posters on behalf of the NANOGrav Collaboration (i.e. “Jane Doe for the NANOGrav Collaboration”) shall require Management Team approval. Other types of abstracts for talks and posters do not require such approval, but should be circulated to the Collaboration as described in Section 7.a.i.
    3. All circulated abstracts shall be gathered on the NANOGrav document repository.
  2. Presentations Including a GW Measurement/Limit

    Some conferences and seminar series routinely post presentation slides and/or video recordings of presentations on the Internet. Presentations that include NANOGrav GW measurement/limit statements that are part of such a conference or series may be posted on the Internet under the same restrictions described for presentations in Section 7.b.i.

    Conference proceedings that are NANOGrav GW measurement/limit publications may not be submitted until the main NANOGrav GW detection/upper limit paper that describes the results is on the arXiv or published.

    1. Circulation and Approval

      No poster or oral presentation (e.g. seminar, colloquium, conference presentation), nor any abstract for such, may make a quantitative statement about GW measurement/limits derived from NANOGrav data without the express approval of the Management Team, unless the result has already been published in an archival journal or on the arXiv, or unless the quantitative statement is on a list of approved measurement/limit statements maintained by the Management Team on the NANOGrav wiki. This approval must be obtained at least one week prior to the presentation. Any unpublished results shall be labeled as “preliminary.” Such presentations shall be circulated to the entire Collaboration, in draft form, one week before the presentation is given.

    2. Posting of Presentation Slides and Recordings
    3. Conference Proceedings Including a GW Measurement/Limit
  3. Archiving of Presentations

8. Student Publications

A “student publication” is a thesis (graduate or undergraduate), term paper, or other publication primarily or exclusively written by a student for submission to an educational institution for academic purposes.

Student publications may be authored by a single author (the student). Such publications shall acknowledge other contributors to the work.

Student publications shall not be the first presentation of a new GW measurement or new astrophysically significant GW upper limit.

Student publications shall be circulated to the Collaboration one week before submission. The purpose of circulation is to make the Collaboration aware of the student work and to allow the student to receive feedback on the publication. However, the student supervisor, not the Collaboration, is ultimately responsible for reviewing student work.

  1. Definition
  2. Authorship
  3. Student Publications Including a GW Measurement/Limit
  4. Circulation

9. Review and Submission Procedures

  1. A corresponding author shall be designated by those working most closely on any given publication in consultation with the Management Team.
  2. The corresponding author is charged with ensuring that the NANOGrav review and submission procedures are followed for the publication.
  3. The corresponding author along with the co-authors working most closely on the publication have the responsibility for the entire paper as an accurate, verifiable, report on the research.
  4. Publications which do not arise from pre-existing projects should be placed on the project list in a timely manner.
  5. Circulation
    1. Rough draft manuscripts shall be circulated within the NANOGrav Collaboration for a minimum of one week for discussion of major content issues.
    2. Draft manuscripts shall be circulated within NANOGrav for a minimum of one additional week for discussion of minor content issues, for a total of at least two weeks of circulation before submission to a journal (or publication in another form).
    3. Early and frequent circulation of outlines and manuscripts is strongly encouraged, however. The circulation time-scales in Sections 9.e.i and 9.e.ii should be regarded as an absolute minimum.
    4. All Collaboration members may suggest changes to the content and author list.
    5. Non-authors may not distribute draft manuscripts further without permission of authors.
  6. The corresponding author shall share editorial correspondence with all other authors on any given publication (not necessarily the full NANOGrav Collaboration).
  7. If major changes in content are required during the refereeing process, the manuscript shall be circulated as described in Section 9.e.
  8. For refereed papers, the corresponding author shall notify the NANOGrav Collaboration when the paper is accepted.
    1. A database of NANOGrav publications with bibliographic information shall be maintained.

10. Project List

  1. Student and other projects by NANOGrav members on NANOGrav related science shall be listed on the NANOGrav wiki.
  2. Such projects, including graduate student projects, shall be protected from prior publication by others provided the project is completed in timely manner.
  3. The status and progress of all unfinished projects and unpublished publications, including graduate student projects, shall be reviewed at regular intervals by the Working Group (WG) chairs who shall report to the Management Team.
  4. Anyone who has made significant contributions to a project in NANOGrav forums and WGs may propose themselves as an author on papers which arise from that project.
  5. Information about projects in progress shall not be circulated beyond the NANOGrav Collaboration except by the project team.