Data publication

The CDS hosts and provides access to different kinds of data. Here are some information, best practices and useful tools for publishing your data at CDS.

Best practices

Best practices

A great overview of best practices for publishing data in astronomy and astrophysics journals has been published in Chen et al. 2022. Authors are strongly encouraged to follow these guidelines, nicely summarized in a checklist in Appendix A of the paper.

Your data in VizieR

The VizieR database is storing and distributing the astronomical data (tables and associated data) to promote their usage primarily by professional astronomers.

In order to ensure the scientific quality of the data, we therefore require that the data are related to a publication in a refereed journal, either as tables or catalogues actually published, or as a paper describing the data and their context.


Image surveys and data cubes

You can easily create your own HiPS survey (possibly all-sky!) from a set of FITS images or FITS data cubes. This feature has been available in Aladin Desktop versions 7.5 and above. There is also a dedicated program named Hipsgen that can be run from the command line.

Aladin Desktop

You can create HiPS surveys interactively from Aladin Desktop, following these guidelines.


You can also download the Hipsgen.jar java program, described in Bot et al. 2020, to generate HiPS from the command line, without graphical user interface. You can read the complete documentation (PDF) for Hipsgen.

Astronomical object names

CDS documentalists make daily updates to the SIMBAD database, linking astronomical objects to the published papers they appear in. This task is made a lot easier and faster if object names are properly written in the papers.

Authors are encouraged to:

Dictionary of nomenclature

The dictionary of nomenclature is the reference service on how to write object identifiers. You can query the dictionary of nomenclature to check how acronyms are best written (e.g. M for Messier objects, or NGC, or HD).

Name resolver

You can validate the syntax of individual object identifiers using the Sesame name resolver. Sesame makes use of the SIMBAD, VizieR and NED databases to try to interpret object identifiers.

Test Sesame :

LaTeX tools

Some journal editors provide a way to tag astronomical objects in your LaTeX manuscripts. This is done with a \object tag in Astronomy and Astrophysics and a \objectname or \object tag in AAS journals (AJ, ApJ).

CDS provides tools to validate these tags in your manuscripts (upload your .tex file and the validity of your object names will be checked) :

More support

If you need more support for data publication, for instance for non-tabular data such as images, spectra, time series, do not hesitate to contact us.