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How to write an article for JOA

(from JOA 2018/3)

In order to make the Journal for Occultation Astronomy (JOA) a more professional publication we have decided to adopt slightly stricter rules for writing articles for the journal. This will reduce the workload of the editors and the layout artist when they prepare an issue for publication.

The Process for Submitting Articles Is as Follows

Send your manuscript by e-mail or postal mail to a member of the Editorial Board (listed in JOA). We can only accept an article by postal mail if it is on a CD or DVD. Your article is then reviewed either by a member of the Editorial Board or an external referee who is a specialist in the subject matter of your contribution. If, for certain reasons, you do not want your article to be refereed by a specific person, please notify us in an accompanying letter. We will then decide if your request can be granted or not. If we cannot fulfill your wishes we will notify you.

After your article has been reviewed we will contact you if there are any questions about its content or to discuss any recommended changes. Af- ter this assessment process has been completed the reviewer sends the latest version of the article (including any changes) and their comments to the Editorial Board. The reviewer can give 1 of 4 recommendations:

You will be informed of the Editorial Board’s decision based on the reviewer’s recommendations. The Board might contact you or the re- viewer again, and they reserve the right to overrule the decision of the reviewer and to decide whether an article is published or not. They will do their best to ensure that articles accepted for publication appear in a timely manner.

When you submit an article we require the following documents:

This is to make the publishing process easier and more effective.

Your manuscript layout should be written according to the following guidelines:


The title of the article has to be as informative as possible. Please avoid titles like you sometimes see in the press, where some information is hidden with the only reason to "force" the reader to read the complete article. To give an example:

The big occultation of... read more.

The main title has to be short; we will not accept titles of more than 150 characters, including spaces. You may use subtitles, such as:

The Triton Occultation of 2017:
   Instrumentation and Observing Stations


List your name, association affiliation(s) and e-mail address, e.g.: Bernhard Deckung - IOTA/ES -


Every article must have an abstract. It is limited to 1000 characters, including spaces. Please describe the content of your paper as infor- matively as possible. Do not cite figures or references in the abstract, because the abstract may appear somewhere else without the full paper, such as the SAO/NASA ADS.

The Article Itself

The article may have the following section headings:

You can use your own section headings, but in any case a Summary is strongly advised. This facilitates the reading.

In all paragraphs, references to journal articles, communications, web- sites, books etc. should be given in square brackets [ ], as follows:

It took a further 10 years until another stellar occultation by Triton has been successfully recorded in May 2008 [3]. Unfortunately the geometry of the chords (two almost grazing chords at the southern limb) limited the derived astrometry and therefore, within a 3-sigma confidence level, no significant value of the atmospheric pressure (and possible changes since 1997) could be derived [4]. All predictions have been carried out with the "OCCULT" program [2, 7, 13]

Figures have to be included as separate files, either in .jpg or .tiff formats. The minimum size is 1024 x 768 pixels. The names of the figures have to be included in the text in their desired positions. For example: . The final placement in the article will be the decision of the JOA layout artist. The figures have to appear in the text with consecutive numbers, such as:

We have taken a picture of the surface of the nearest exoplanet. One of the craters including the IOTA/ES rover is shown in figure 1 . A full map of the surface of the exoplanet can be seen in figure 2 .

Make it very clear in your article where the figures have to be in- serted. Each figure has to have a legend. Do not write legends directly into the figures or pictures. The legend has to begin with text, such as "Figure 1". The legends can either be included in your manuscript after the References or in a separate file in the same format as the main article.


The following are examples of references as they should be formatted when writing for JOA:

[1] Sicardy, B. et al., Large changes in Pluto‘s atmosphere as revealed by recent stellar occultations, Nature 424, 168-170 (2003).

[2] Elliot, J.L. et al., Global warming on Triton. Nature 393, 765-767 (25 June 1998).

[3] Sicardy, B. et al., The Triton stellar occultation of 21 May 2008, EPSC 2008 abstracts (2008).

[4] Sicardy, Bruno, Personal communication (July 2017).



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