SSSC Publication Policy

Scope/Types of Papers

The policy below applies to manuscripts, white papers, or other documents that are planned to be published/made publicly available in peer-reviewed journals (e.g. ApJ/MNRAS), preprint servers (e.g astroPh/ArXiv), or other formally published mediums (such as Research Notes of the American Astronomical Society), that make use of LSST data or derived LSST data products and include LSST Solar System Science Collaboration (SSSC) members as authors/coauthors. For brevity, the term ‘paper’ will be used below when referring to all of these kinds of written materials.Exempt from this policy are: student theses, conference abstracts (e.g. DPS/LPSC abstracts), colloquia/seminar talk abstracts, and other brief notices that contain less than half a page of text, such as ATels (Astronomer’s Telegram), CBETs (Central Bureau Electronic Telegrams), & Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (MPECs).

When Is the Publication Policy Voluntary

If the paper contains/utilizes LSST data products/software/data available to all data rights holders or makes use of publicly released LSST data/derived products, then the SSSC Publications Policy is optional and voluntary, but recommended. When Is the Publication Policy Mandatory: The publication policy is mandatory if the paper contains/makes use of proprietary SSSC Community Products.

Research Exclusivity

No individual or group owns a specific research topic. All SSSC members can pursue a paper on any research topic/project of their choosing.

Publication Coordinators

The SSSC will have two publication coordinators whose roles are to guide manuscripts through the collaboration publication policy process. They also will maintain the SSSC Architects list and the list of proprietary SSSC Community Products. The publication coordinators will also ensure that the SSSC has access to these lists. They will also be responsible for maintaining a public version of the SSSC Architects list.

Proprietary SSSC Community Products

These are catalogs, software, and other products designated as such by their creators. If a data product uses a proprietary SSSC Community Product, it is automatically considered to be a Proprietary SSSC Community Product itself. If the specific data product or software becomes publicly available (published online or published in a journal), or becomes incorporated as a LSST project data/software product, then it will at that point forward no longer be considered a proprietary SSSC Community Product. The SSSC Publication Coordinators will maintain the list of proprietary SSSC Community Products. Producing Proprietary SSSC Community Products will not grant LSST Data Rights, but may lead to SSSC Architect status.

Overview of Publication Review Process

This policy covers two separate processes for papers: 1) Working Group Review 2) Extending co-authorship to Architects. If the paper is on the voluntary track, authors can ask for working group review and not go through with extending authorship to the Architects (or vice versa). Publications that follow the mandatory track, must do both aspects of the publication policy.

Working Group Review

The publication coordinators with consultation from the lead author will select which working group(s) should receive the paper. They will send out the paper draft to the selected working group(s) with a deadline for review.

Paper comments and feedback are expected to be sent directly to the lead author. Members of working groups are encouraged but not required to send feedback on all papers sent for working group review.

Working group review is not an endorsement of a paper. It provides an opportunity to strengthen manuscripts and also inform the collaboration of on-going research efforts within the SSSC. The lead author is not obligated to respond to all manuscript comments received. It is up to the lead author of the paper to decide what to do with the feedback they receive. The lead author does not need to make the requested changes to the paper if they disagree with the received feedback.

If a paper goes through working group review, we ask that the following text be added to the paper’s acknowledgements section:

We thank the LSST Solar System Science Collaboration for manuscript feedback

If the working group review step is voluntary, then the paper can be submitted to the journal or posted on a preprint server before feedback has been received. After the working group review step, it is expected that the paper draft would be updated, during the referee review stage or with another version posted on the preprint server, to incorporate the feedback if deemed necessary by the lead author.

If the paper is required to undergo the working group review, the paper should not be submitted to a journal or posted on a preprint server until after the waiting period for feedback has completed.

Journal Resubmissions/Updated Drafts Responding to Journal Peer-Review Feedback/Updated Online Pre-prints

If a paper underwent working group review and later has been revised due to feedback from a journal referee or due to community feedback after posting of an online preprint, etc., the lead author is not required to send the revised paper manuscript for further working group review.

SSSC Architects

SSSC Architects are SSSC members whose efforts are acknowledged to have laid the groundwork for LSST Solar System science and/or made notable contributions to the collaboration that significantly enhance or enable Solar System science with LSST.

Requirement for Architect Status

A sum of 1-2 years dedicated effort to the SSSC, or equivalently significant contribution, that directly benefits the SSSC.

How is SSSC Architect Status Bestowed?

An individual applies (or is nominated by other members of the SSSC) to the Publication Coordinators with a short statement detailing how the applicant (or nominee) satisfies the requirements for Architect status. The application is reviewed and voted on by the working group leads, publications coordinators, and SSSC co-chairs. A majority vote is needed for SSSC Architect status to be rewarded.

The list of SSSC Architects will be maintained by the Publication Coordinators with a brief description (~1-3 sentences) of each person’s contributions. A public version of the SSSC Architects list will be made available on the SSSC website.

Extending authorship to the Architects

If a paper extends authorship to the Architects, the publications coordinators will send the paper to the SSSC Architects list. Each Architect requesting authorship must contact the paper’s lead author and publication coordinators with a brief (a few lines) description, but as specific as possible, of how their efforts have specifically enabled this paper. Upon the lead author’s receipt of this description, the Architect is now deemed a co-author on the paper. The ordering of SSSC Architect names added to the paper author list is determined at the discretion of the paper’s lead author, but is recommended to be alphabetical.

If the paper is required to undergo the full SSSC publication policy, then the paper must not be submitted to a journal or posted on a preprint server until after the deadline for Architect responses. If extending authorship to SSSC architects is voluntary, then the lead author may submit or post the paper on a pre-server, but it is recommended to wait until after the deadline for Architect responses.

LSST Builders

Individuals on the LSST Builders list ( are treated as regular SSSC collaboration members, but they can apply for (or be nominated for) SSSC Architect status.


Papers have two tracks: regular and fast track. Fast track is designed for high impact papers that need to be submitted/released quickly and therefore need speedy review and response from the collaboration.

Regular track papers have a timeframe of two weeks for working group feedback and for Architects to reply to the authorship request.

Fast track papers have a timeframe of one week for working group feedback and for Architects to reply to the authorship request.

To start this process, the lead authors will contact the publication coordinators including a copy of the paper. At this time if the process is voluntary, authors should specify if they are extending authorship to the SSSC Architects and/or are asking for working group review. The publication coordinators are expected to respond in 3 business days. If the publication coordinators and lead author cannot agree on which track a paper should take and whether the paper is required to go through the full publication policy process, the lead author can appeal to the SSSC co-Chairs for a decision.

Conflict Resolution Process

Concerns regarding a paper, including but not limited to authorship and author ordering, should be raised directly to the paper’s lead author. If a satisfactory conclusion/compromise cannot be reached between the disputant(s) and paper authors, then the issue can be referred to the Publication Coordinators and then to the SSSC Co-chairs for arbitration/mediation as needed.

As outlined in the SSSC Charter, abiding by the collaboration publication policy is a responsibility for all SSSC members. Suspected violations should be reported to the Publication Coordinators. Egregious and/or repeat offenses will be referred to the SSSC leadership for action. This may result in the revocation of SSSC membership, if the person(s) are determined to have violated the SSSC Publication Policy and Charter .

Overriding Policies

All publications/papers (co-)written by SSSC Members must follow LSST Data Rights Policies. Where there are disagreements between the LSST Data Rights policies and this document, the LSST Data Rights Policy is the overriding document that should be followed.

Creative Commons License

The SSSC Publication Policy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. We freely encourage other researchers to reuse and adapt this Publication Policy