Publications and Authorship Policy

LOFAR Publication Policy  

Since the building and development of LOFAR involves a large number of people from diverse backgrounds and different traditions of authorship, it has been deemed useful to write down a set of rules on how the project handles publication of science and method papers during the various phases of development and commissioning.

Spirit and objectives

The rules intend to ensure that all contributions to the building and development of LOFAR are appropriately acknowledged. Following the tradition of many astronomical facilities and projects, commissioning data are owned and published by the entire collaboration; a collaboration membership list is kept for this purpose.  
After commissioning, papers are signed only by those who worked on that specific paper, just as is the case with other observatories; this paper will duly cite the method papers on which it is based as normal. Large collaborations working with LOFAR, such as Key Projects, may have their own publication rules; these may not, however, exclude authors who on the basis of the general rules are entitled to sign a paper. While the rules establish who may sign a paper, the rules on who actually should sign are set by the journals in which we publish and the rules of conduct of our scientific societies. Quite universally, this implies that each author of a paper should have contributed significantly to the work described, and is fully responsible for the entire content of the paper.


1. The LOFAR Observatory director, advised by the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT)  Board, determines when commissioning of LOFAR, or a part or mode of LOFAR, ends.

2. The ILT Board has formed a three person publication committee which rules on all matters related to publication policy and rights.

3. These rules apply only to commissioning and related data, not to data obtained under proposals for LOFAR open time.

4. Commissioning data are all data taken before the mode with which they were taken ended commissioning. These data are owned and published by the entire collaboration. The Publication Committee ensures that a list is maintained of all people who are entitled to sign these papers at any time (the Authors List).

5. Papers intended to appear in refereed journals and edited books should be submitted to the committee for internal refereeing and for those entitled to sign to make known their intention to be co-authors.

6. Conference papers must also be internally refereed, but may be signed by the presenter and those who helped write it only, however must then be labelled ‘on behalf of the LOFAR collaboration’. The same holds for popular and outreach papers.

7. To protect junior members of the collaboration, a project they will undertake may be announced to the collaboration and protected for a specific period as being led and performed primarily by this junior member. The announcement is made to the collaboration via the publication committee and contains an adequate description by which its scope can be judged, a term by which a draft paper will be ready, and a list of names of who will work on it. The proposal is accepted or rejected by the publication committee based on response from the collaboration and evaluation of whether the stated work can be done in the stated period. The publication committee rules on cases where multiple groups claim the same project.

7. None of the above rules, nor any other restrictions, apply to the publication of data of which the  proprietary period has expired (to ensure that collaboration members can never face more restrictions than outside users).  


The Publication Committee, currently B. Stappers, J. Hessels, M. Hoeft (up to Dec 2012 consisting of R. Vermeulen, J. Hoerandel, B. Stappers),  will oversee the application of these rules and arbitrate in conflicts arising from them.

The  Authors List (sometimes called, informally, the "Builders List") is maintained including all those who are entitled to sign papers.   

LOFAR acknowledgement

The authors are requested to add the following statement statement as a footnote or acknowledgment, in thei publication:

"LOFAR, the Low Frequency Array designed and constructed by ASTRON, has facilities in several countries, that are owned by various parties (each with their own funding sources), and that are collectively operated by the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) foundation under a joint scientific policy."


An example of an one-paragraph description of LOFAR is given below 

"LOFAR was originally designed and constructed by ASTRON as an array in the Netherlands with baselines up to 100 km. Its capabilities are geared to key science projects on Deep Extragalactic Surveys, Transient Radio Phenomena and Pulsars, the Epoch of Reionoization, High Energy Cosmic Rays, Cosmic Magnetism, and Solar Physics and Space Weather. Now, the International LOFAR Telescope, mostly constructed by the end of 2010, and to be completed in 2011, has 40 stations in the Netherlands, plus at least 5 stations funded in Germany, and 1 each in France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, that provide additional sensitivity and angular resolution on baselines extending to more than 1000 km. Future additions are envisaged."


Submitting a paper for internal refereeing

A paper is submitted by the original authors to the email address: lofar-papers [at] astron [dot] nl . The author who has done the actual submission step is the Contact Author.

The Publication Committee will coordinate the refereeing. In most cases it will appoint 2 referees from within the "Authors List". The referees within 2 weeks will come back with comments and will discuss them with the Contact Author, who can then make changes to the paper.

The paper will then be announced to everyone in the Authors List who will have 2 weeks to indicate themselves whether they wish their name to appear on the paper (opt-in system). Communication with the people in the Authors List will be done through the lofar-papers email account.

 List of papers recently submitted and in preparation

The LOFAR Key Science Projects maintain a list of LOFAR papers (last updated in April 2012) recently submitted to (internal) referees or in preparation, based on commissioning data. 

An up-to-date list of papers processed by the Publication committee appears below.


Submitted to Publication Committee Title Main Author Journal/Conf Status
Jan 2014 Radio detections of cosmic rays reveal strong proton-like component at 10e17 - 10e18 eV Buitink et al. Journal Nature (2014)
19 Dec 2013 Measuring a Cherenkov ring in the radio emission from air showers at 110-230 MHz with LOFAR Nelles et al. Journal AA submitted (2014)
3 May 2013 Discovery of Radio-recombination lines towards Cygnus A Oonk et al. Journal MNRAS, 437,3506 (2014)
17 Jun 2013 The first Coronal Mass Ejection Observed with the LOW FREQUENCY ARRAY (LOFAR) Bisi et al Journal (Ap. J. Suppl.) submitted
15 Jun 2013 Cosmic Ray Conference Proceedings CR Key Project (various authors) Proceedings submitted
12 Jun 2013 Detecting Cosmic Rays with the LOFAR Radio Telescope Schellart et al
Journal AA, 560, A98 (2013)
21-Jan-13 Studying Galactic interstellar turbulence through fluctuations in synchrotron emission: First LOFAR Galactic foreground detection M. Iacobelli Journal AA, 558, A72 (2013)
16-Jan-13 The LOFAR view of Cosmic Magnetism R. Beck Conference  AN 334, No. 6, 548 – 557 (2013)
The brightness and spatial distributions of terrestirial radio sources A. Offringa Journal MNRAS, 435, 584 (2013)
15-Oct-12 Initial (deep) LOFAR observations of Epoch of Reionization windows: I. The North Celestial Pole Yatawatta Journal AA, 550, 136
14-Oct-12 Pilot Pulsar Surveys with LOFAR T. Coenen Conference approved
28-Sep-12 Jupiter Synchrotron Emission with LOFAR Girard Conference approved
27-Sep-12 Detecting Radio Emission from Air Showers with LOFAR Nelles Conference approved
21-Sep-12 Differential Frequency-dependent Delay from the Pulsar Magnetosphere Hassall Journal AA, 552, 61
24-Aug-12 Synchronous X-ray and Radio Mode Changing in a Pulsar: Evidence for a Rapid Global Transformation of the Magnetosphere Hermsen Journal Science, 339, 436 (2013)
2-Jul-12 Observations of transients and pulsars with LOFAR international stations Serylak Conf approved
28-Jun-12 RLs towards Cas-A hotspot A. Asgekar Journal (A&A) AA, 551, L11 (2013)
11-Jun-12 The LOFAR radio environment A. Offringa Journal (A&A) AA, 549, 11 (2013)
18-Jun-12 LOFAR, the Low Frequency Array R. Vermeulen Conf (SPIE) approved
18-May-12 M87 at metre wavelengths: the LOFAR picture F. de Gasperin Journal (A&A) AA, 547,56 (2012)
17-May-12 Calibrating high-precision Faraday rotation measurements for LOFAR and the next generation of low-frequency radio telescopes C. Sotomayor-Beltran Journal (A&A) AA, 525, 58 (2013)
19-Dec-11 LOFAR – the new software telescope for long radio waves R. Beck Conf approved
15-Dec-11 The LOFAR Magnetism Key Science Project J. Anderson Conf approved
7-Dec-11 LOFAR Abell 2256 observations between 18 and 67 MHz R.J. van Weeren Journal AA, 543,43 (2012)
28-Nov-11 The Dynamic Spectrum of Interplanetary Scintillation: First Solar Wind Observations on LOFAR R. Fallows Conf. approved
11-Nov-11 Probing the Magnetic Fields of Nearby Spiral Galaxies at Low Frequencies with LOFAR D. Mulchahy Conf approved
9-Nov-11 LOFAR: The Low Frequency Array M. van Haarlem, M. Wise Journal 2013arXiv1305.3550V
9-Nov-11 Wide-band Simultaneous Observations of Pulsars: Disentangling Dispersion Measure and Profile Variations  T. Hassall Journal AA, 543, 66
3-Nov-11 LOFAR: opening a new window on low frequency radio astronomy R. Morganti Conf approved
4-Aug-11 LOFAR calibration and wide-eld imaging C. Tasse Conf approved
22-Jul-11 Radioastronomy with LOFAR J.-M. Griessmeier Conf approved
  Observing pulsars and fast transients with LOFAR B. Stappers Journal AA, 530,80 (2011)
Design: Kuenst.    Development: Dripl.    © 2014 ASTRON