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What do we do?

Astrobites is a daily astrophysical literature journal written by graduate students in astronomy since 2010. Our goal is to present one interesting paper per day in a brief format that is accessible to undergraduate students in the physical sciences who are interested in active research.

Why read Astrobites?

Reading a technical paper from an unfamiliar subfield is intimidating. It may not be obvious how the techniques used by the researchers really work or what role the new research plays in answering the bigger questions motivating that field, not to mention the obscure jargon! For most people, it takes years for scientific papers to become meaningful.

Our goal is to solve this problem, one paper at a time. In 5 minutes a day reading Astrobites, you should not only learn about one interesting piece of current work, but also get a peek at the broader picture of research in a new area of astronomy.

If you’re new to Astrobites and aren’t sure where to start reading, check out a few selected posts from our first four years.

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What is astro-ph?

astro-ph is the astrophysics section of arXiv.org, where researchers post their latest work (often before official review and publication).  We always link back to the original arXiv post, where you can download the original article (for free).  Occasionally, we will take on special topics such as results presented at conferences, tips for applying to graduate school, or tutorials for specific research tools.

Who Writes Astrobites?

Astrobites is written by a team of graduate students at universities around the world. We bring a diverse set of research interests and backgrounds to our writing. Please visit the Meet the Authors to learn more about each author.

Astrobites Committees

In addition to writing daily posts, our authors are encouraged to serve on Astrobites committees. Those committees include:

Administrative Committee: Collectively responsible for ensuring that Astrobites committees, working groups and chairs are upholding their designated responsibilities; Act as intermediaries and advisors to members of the organization; Promote expansion of the collaboration’s work by e.g. promoting its use in classrooms, expanding its readership, or starting up extensions of the site for different media or target audiences.  Committee members: Jenny Calahan, Mia de los Reyes, Gourav Khullar, Amber Hornsby, Haley Wahl, Michael Hammer, Kate Storey-Fischer

Scheduling Committee: Responsible for ensuring that postings are consistent/timely. Chair will organize the schedule, but committee will share responsibility for ‘emergency’ postings that arise. Committee members: Jenny Calahan, Haley Wahl, Mitchell Cavanagh

Moderating Committee: In charge of responding to comments on various social media platforms to increase reader engagement. Committee members: Huei Sears, Ellis Avallone, Joanna Ramasawmy, Sam Factor, Vatsal Panwar

Policy Committee: The Policy Committee works with the AAS Bahcall Public Policy Fellow (currently Ashlee Wilkins) to schedule posts about science policy and how it intersects with astronomy. Committee members: Kaitlyn Shin, Lukas Zalesky, Mike Foley, Tarini Konchandy, Ali Crisp, Huei Sears

Education Committee: This committee focuses on building Astrobites as a pedagogical tool across the astronomical community. The work here emphasizes on educational activities during AAS meetings, and education research work to map the efficacy of Astrobites in a typical classroom. Committee members: Ali Crisp, Mike Foley, Jason Hinkle, Jamie Sullivan, Briley Lewis, Will Saunders, Nora Shipp, Michael Hammer, Vatsal Panwar

Editorial Committee: Ensuring editorial consistency by maintaining the Astrobites style guide, operating periodic editing workshops, and helping the scheduler assign editors. Committee members: Jamie Sullivan, Emma Foxwell, Tarini Konchandy, Haley Wahl, Ellis Avallone, Jason Hinkle, Ishan Mishra; Contact: submissions@astrobites.org

Hiring/Application Committee: Responsible for the annual application process. Specific responsibilities include advertising the call for applications, responding to inquiries, guiding the committee through reading and ranking the applications, and helping new authors get set up. The time responsibilities for leading this committee fall mostly within a 3 month period surrounding the application deadline, which is typically in September or October. Committee chairs: Haley Wahl, Tomer Yavetz; Contact: hiring@astrobites.org

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee: The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee aims to address issues of representation, marginalization, and community through education (acknowledging minoritized population issues in physics and astronomy, outreach to budding astronomical communities), advocacy (supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives in academic spaces) and efforts to make the Astrobites collaboration inclusive. Committee members: Kate Storey-Fisher, Joanna Ramasawmy, Nora Shipp, Ellis Avallone, Kaitlyn Shin, Jamie Sullivan, Mia de los Reyes, Huei Sears, Luna Zagorac

Public Relations / Advertising Committee: Dedicated to advertising Astrobites to new audiences. Committee: Haley Wahl, Michael Hammer, Wei Yan, Ashley Piccone, Lukas Zalesky

AAS Chair (in charge of organizing our AAS/EWASS conference materials and presentations): Gourav Khullar

SciBites Chair (Liaison for SciBites network): Briley Lewis

Social Media Chairs (in charge of maintaining our Facebook and Twitter presence, and growing readership of the site through these tools): Michael Hammer, Huei Sears

Website Chair: (in charge of maintaining our websiteSam Factor

Slack Chair (explores Slack as a possible means of communication): Ali Crisp

Astrotweeps Chair (runs the Astrotweeps Twitter account): Haley Wahl

Undergraduate Czars (Reach out to undergraduate readers and contributors): Jason Hinkle, Will Saunders

(Committee chairs bolded)

Statement of Inclusivity

Scientists are members of a broad human community, and may thus experience societal prejudices that directly affect their ability to contribute to the scientific endeavor.  We at Astrobites support and encourage universal participation in science, regardless of minoritized status. We affirmatively declare our support for a scientific community open to — and providing support and safety for — every individual, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or medical condition. Such support includes ensuring that universities, laboratories, and professional societies do not tolerate any form of harassment, and have transparent procedures for addressing such harassment when it occurs. We reject racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and prejudice stemming from religion or citizenship.  Eliminating these injustices is the only way to ensure that all people can benefit from participation in the science, and we accept this task as integral to the pursuit of science and scientific outreach.

Follow us on twitter @astrobites, like astrobites on Facebook, or send us an email on info@astrobites.org!

As an independent graduate student organization, since 2016 Astrobites has been hosted and supported by the American Astronomical Society.

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Astrobites is grateful to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Research Computing Group at Harvard University and James Guillichon / Vox Charta for past web hosting.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of any institutions the author(s) may be associated with. Astrobites is not affiliated with the arXiv.

Astrobites is hiring! Click here to apply!