Astronomy Center.org


home - login - register - about - sitemap
advanced search

About the Astronomy Center

About   -   Terms of Use   -   Privacy Policy   -   FAQ

AstronomyCenter.org is a web-based databank that provides faculty with links to a wide range of teaching and learning resources for the Undergraduate Introductory Astronomy course. All materials are classified by their topic and activity type, and have descriptions outlining their content. Information about authors, publishers, costs, and copyright is also provided.

Educators can use this collection to find curriculum materials, images, classroom demonstrations, labs, online learning resources, evaluation instruments, and articles about approaches to astronomy education. The collection can be searched by keyword or browsed by topic or type of resource. Advanced Search with more details can also be performed.

Users of the AstronomyCenter.org are encouraged to actively participate. They may suggest materials for the editors to include in the collection, share comments, and build personal collections of materials. Although anyone may use the database, participation requires the creation of a user account so that contributions can be connected to the user. Account creation is free and requires only a name and email address.

AstronomyCenter.org is a service provided by the American Astronomical Society in collaboration with the American Association of Physics Teachers and the ComPADRE project. It is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the American Physical Society Campaign for Physics. Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the AAS, AAPT, APS, or the NSF.

The Editorial Process

The editorial process is summarized in this chart. The solid line in the figure is meant to separate tasks associated with the Physical Science Resource Center (psrc.aapt.org) and the Astronomy Center (astronomycenter.org). All metadata records will reside in a single database at the PSRC.

The Astronomy Center Review Process
  1. Submission: Astronomy Center users may submit material for the collection. Users may register with the PSRC/Astronomy Center by providing an e-mail address and password.
    1. User suggested resources: users submit an item.
    2. Author-contributed resources: Authors submit an item, possibly for review.
    3. Internal submissions: editors, associate editors or choosers submit an item.
  2. PSRC: Submitted items are filtered: inappropriate or duplicate items are removed. The PSRC administrator (librarian) assigns a tagger to create metadata, then approves the item, and assigns the item to a collection, i.e., the Astronomy Center.
  3. Editor: The editor selects the chooser who will enter astronomy-specific metadata. The editor then approves or declines the item for the collection. Approved items become immediately available on Astronomy Center and the PSRC. Declined items only appear on the PSRC. Items in the collection may then be chosen for review. Authors may request that their items be reviewed when they submit an item or the decision to review an item can be made later by the editor with input form an associate editor or a member of the editorial board. The editor sends an item to an associate editor or directly to a reviewer. The review process may also include an assessment component if the resource's effectiveness in the classroom has been rigorously assessed.
  4. Associate Editor: The associate editor selects a reviewer for each item to be reviewed. Items may be collected together by theme or by resource author. The associate editor will work with the resource author and the reviewer to improve the resource(s) and its metadata. At the conclusion of a review, the associate editor submits the review and comments to the editor.
  5. Reviewer: A reviewer will be chosen from a pool of volunteer astronomy educators who understand the goals of the collection, who are experts in the content area, and who can assess an item's potential effectiveness and ease of use. Each reviewer will have a PSRC account and password with permission to review assigned items.

Review Criteria

The review rubric asks reviewers to consider three areas when reviewing a site for the Astronomy Center collection: quality, potential effectiveness and ease-of-use. The online form asks reviewers to rate the resource as Unacceptable, Some Problems, Average and Useful, High Quality, or Exemplary in each of the three areas and overall. The review process is meant to be a collaborative exchange between the reviewer, the associate editor and author. The process should encourage content authors to improve their online resources and submit them to the collection for wider use.

Anonymity: It is standard policy for the reviewer to remain anonymous to everyone but the editor and associate editor. If a reviewer elects to reveal his or her name, the author and reviewer agree to copy the editor or associate editor on all direct correspondence between the author and reviewer. Comments submitted via the online forms will be archived and visible only to the associate editor and editor.

AstronomyCenter.org Contacts

Managing Editor:
Chris Irwin
American Astronomical Society
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 328-2010 Ext. 107
Executive Officer:
Dr. Susanna Deustua
ComPADRE Director:
Dr. Bruce Mason

You can contact the Astronomy Center staff using the feedback form.

Special requests can be sent to editor@astronomycenter.org