AAS Publishing News: Preparing Your Manuscript Just Got Easier

Watermarking using the command \watermark{DRAFT, v2}.

Watermarking using the command \watermark{DRAFT, v2}.

Are you an astronomer considering submitting a paper to an AAS journal (i.e., AJ, ApJ, ApJ Letters, or ApJ Supplements)? If so, this post is for you! Read on to find out about the exciting new things you can do with the AAS’s newest LaTeX class file, available for download now.

Why the Update?

AAS publishing has maintained a consistent class file for LaTeX manuscript preparation for the past decade. But academic publishing is changing rapidly in today’s era of electronic journals! Since its journals went fully electronic, the AAS has been continuously adding new publishing capabilities based on the recommendations of the Journals Task Force and the needs and requests of AAS authors. The AAS’s manuscript preparation tools are now being updated accordingly.

What’s New in AASTex 6.0?

There are many exciting new features and capabilities in AASTex 6.0. Here are just a few:

  • Tracking options for author revisions include \added{text}, \deleted{text}, \replaced{old}{new}, and \explain{text}.

    Tracking options for author revisions include \added{text}, \deleted{text}, \replaced{old}{new}, and \explain{text}.

    Based on emulateapj
    Do you use the popular class file emulateapj to prepare your manuscripts? AASTex 6.0 is based on emulateapj, rather than on the older AASTex 5.2 (though 5.2 is still supported). This means that it is easy to produce a double-columned, single-spaced, and astro-ph-ready manuscript. Since two thirds of the AAS journals’ authors use emulateapj, this transition was designed to make manuscript preparation and sharing an easier and more seamless process.

  • Tools for collaborations
    Do you work in a large collaboration? AASTex now includes new tools to make preparing a manuscript within a collaboration easier. Drafts can now be watermarked to differentiate between versions. New markup for large author lists streamlines the display so that readers can access article information immediately, yet they can still access the full author list and affiliations at the end of the paper. And author revision markup allows members of a collaboration to track their edits within a manuscript, for clearer organization of versions and edits.
  • An example figure set, which the reader can download as a .tar.gz high-resolution set or as powerpoint slides.

    An example figure set, which the reader can download as a .tar.gz high-resolution set or as PowerPoint slides.

    Additional figure support
    Do you have a lot of similar figures that you’d like associated with the electronic journal article but don’t all need to be included in the article pdf? New support is now available for figure sets, which allow readers efficient access to the full set of images without slowing down their ability to read your article. In addition, AASTex 6.0 now offers new markup for displaying figures in a grid, providing authors with more control over figure placement.

  • New features for tables
    Do you frequently work with large data tables? You might be especially happy with the changes in table-handling in AASTex 6.0. Now you can automatically number columns, hide columns with a single command, specify math mode automatically for a designated column, control decimal alignment, and even split wide tables into multiple parts.
  • software

    Example use of the new software command.

    Software citation support
    Do you want to cite software and third-party repositories within your articles? With AASTex 6.0, there’s now a \software command that can be used to highlight and link to software that you used in your work. In addition, the ApJ BibTeX style file has been updated to support software citation.

Where Can You Get More Information?

Wishing for still more improvements?

The AAS publishing team would love your input! You can contact them at aastex-help@aas.org with additional suggestions or ideas for the next iteration of AASTex.