Subject: APO Technical Bulletins? Annals?

From: richmond@astro.Princeton.EDU

Submitted: Tue, 14 May 1996 12:44:15 -0400 (EDT)

Message number: 62 (previous: 61, next: 63 up: Index)

  I would like to suggest that APO consider creating a formal
mechanism for designating printed material as "APO Technical 
Bulletins", or "Annals", or "Observatory Publications",
or some such term.  Material so designated would be archived
(physically) at APO, physically in the libraries of all
APO institutions, and electronically by some means.

  What's the point?  I can see several uses for such "Internal"
documentation; I think that _all_ the following would be of
interest to FUTURE users of APO:

      1. descriptions of the various instruments, both fundamental
           (drawings, schematics, etc.) and tutorials on their use

      2. long-term analysis of weather patterns, instrument downtime,
            pointing accuracy, staff levels, etc. 

      3. short descriptions of projects successfully achieved
            at APO.  ("But," you might say, "the future user
            can just check the refereed literature, right?")

      4. short descriptions of projects that FAILED to work
            at APO (and these WON'T be in the literature, I can
            guarantee).  It would help new users of APO to know
            that, for a hypothetical example, the WF camera
            has such severe coma at the edges that one can't 
            do photometry to better than 10%
      5. technical papers describing work done on-site by 
            graduate students -- material that might not make it
            into the refereed literature, but which represents 
            months of hard work
      6. progress reports for on-going projects, such as
            the work Karen (and the other observing specialists)
            have been doing to understand the behavior of 
            telescope focus with temperature, altitude, etc.

      7. quarterly (or annual) reports describing scientific
            projects during the last interval, changes to staff,
            changes to instrumentation, changes to computer
            resources, etc.

  If such "Technical Publications" were to exist, they would allow
material which is now "hearsay" to be cited properly in refereed
journals which require it.  They would provide students with a tangible
result for a summer's effort on the mountain, one which could be 
placed on a resume or vita.  They would allow new users to "catch up"
on the current state of things without having to travel en-masse
to the site and talk to all the staff (yes, I'm thinking of JHU, 
and future JHUs).

  In our library, I can walk over to shelves full of "Lick Observatory
Bulletins" and "Annals of the Harvard College Observatory".  I can't
do the same for APO, but I believe that I should be able to do so.

                                          Michael Richmond
APO APO APO APO APO  Apache Point Observatory 3.5m  APO APO APO
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