STAR Publication Policies

Publication Policies

(updated - 9 April 2001)

Goals - In this section "publication" will signify the announcement of results through seminars, conferences, and/or scientific journals. The publication goals of the STAR Collaboration are as follows:

  1. The speedy publication of results that the Collaboration has agreed are sound and ready for publication.
  2. The avoidance of rumors and premature publication.
  3. The equitable assignment of credit to individuals for their work.
POLICIES - The following policies and practices have been adopted to further the above listed goals.


  1. Data from all parts of the STAR detector shall be available to all members of the STAR Collaboration for analysis. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of all collaborators to see that the necessary correction algorithms and correction parameters be updated and made available to the entire Collaboration in a timely manner. Any member of the Collaboration is free to analyze any part of the data. It is anticipated that all STAR data will be analyzed in collaboration with the STAR Physics Working Groups (PWG), with the possible exception of technical papers. PWGs shall be designated and PWG convenors appointed by the spokesperson for each major physics analysis topic in STAR. The PWG convenorships are expected to rotate approximately every two years at the discretion of the spokesperson.

  2. Given the overriding principle of open communication within the collaboration, collaborators should, upon request of a colleague, provide relevant code and input assumptions that would permit results to be checked and confirmed. Computer code will be kept in a common STAR software archive, and code and Data Summary Tapes (DST's) will be accessible to all collaborators.


  3. Members of the Collaboration should exercise caution and good judgment when discussing experimental results with individuals outside the Collaboration before the results have been published (i.e., presented publicly in a seminar or conference or submitted for publication in a scientific journal). These results should clearly be labeled "Preliminary". When individuals outside the Collaboration are consulted for advice on the analysis or interpretation of the data, those individuals should be asked to respect the confidentiality of the data.

  4. Members of the Collaboration should not present unpublished results outside the collaboration in seminars, conferences, or other public forum until after:

    1. The figures and presentation are posted in a password-protected location on the STAR web pages, designated for new STAR figures and presentations, and the collaboration notified with a response period of two weeks for comments to the designated author and to the spokesperson (or designee).

    2. The figures are approved by the appropriate PWG or spokesperson-designated technical group for technical papers.

    3. A rehearsal has been held in front of several members of the Collaboration, including a Council member and, if possible, the Spokesperson. It is the responsibility of the member's Council representative to ensure this step. For major conferences, such as Quark Matter, in addition to the above steps there will be a rehearsal before the collaboration, which is scheduled by the Spokesperson, prior to presentation of the data.

    4. Final approval is obtained from the Spokesperson following the response period. In cases of repeat presentations using already approved STAR figures, the Spokesperson must be notified and approval granted. In particular circumstances the Spokesperson may waive certain requirements.

      Figures, which have been approved, will be kept in a secure web repository and may be used in subsequent presentations without re-approval. However, for each presentation the above process must be followed with the exception of step b.

      The Spokesperson will designate and chair a Talks Committee with rotating membership. The Talks Committee will strive to distribute speaking invitations received by the Collaboration on the basis of suitability of the speaker to the topic, and an equitable distribution of talks to individuals and institutions with appropriate consideration of regional distinctions. As an aid to this end, a record of talks and a list of future conferences relevant to STAR shall be maintained on the web. Members of the Collaboration who receive personal invitations to give talks must inform the Spokesperson.


  5. It is anticipated that the analysis and initial draft of STAR publications will originate in a PWG, with the possible exception of technical papers. Upon receipt of the draft of a paper, the Spokesperson shall appoint a Godparent Committee (GPC) to act as an internal STAR editorial board to guide the paper to journal submission. The GPC will review the paper and then, through interaction with the primary authors, the PWG or technical group from which it originated, and the spokesperson, will provide recommendations regarding changes necessary for its submission. Comments from the collaboration will be solicited and considered in the development of the paper. The GPC will strive to provide rapid response so that speedy publication can be accomplished. The Spokesperson will provide guidance in the process and will adjudicate any conflicts.


  6. For each paper the Spokesperson shall solicit an author list from each institution close to submission time. To be an author on a STAR paper, a STAR Collaboration member must have made a substantial contribution to STAR. Authors are expected to have worked on STAR for at least one half year prior to submission of a paper. The authors of papers will be those collaborators who have contributed to construction of the detector hardware or software, and/or the taking or analysis of the data reported in the paper. Authors are also expected to have contributed to some aspect of the construction, operation, and maintenance of STAR.

    In recognition of their contributions, collaborators who have made significant contributions to the construction of the detector but have left the Collaboration prior to the taking of data will be included on the initial papers of the Collaboration using that equipment. Normally collaborators remain authors for one year after leaving STAR, provided that they have been a general STAR author for at least one full year; however, individuals who have made special contributions to a given topic, either in hardware or analysis, should be retained on the author list of papers for which their contributions are relevant. Technical papers need only list as authors those individuals who contributed to that project, but the "STAR Collaboration" should be acknowledged. Decisions on the inclusion of authors will be done on the basis of these guidelines by the Council member from the author's institution with the concurrence of the Spokesperson.

    All qualified authors, as defined above, will be included on all STAR physics publications regardless of the origination or responsibilities for analysis of the data, unless requested by the author individually. The authors of papers will be listed in alphabetical order, preceded or followed by the phrase "STAR Collaboration". Papers, which result from student's theses, should be so indicated by appropriate footnotes. Papers for conference proceedings are normally submitted in the speaker's name, plus other major contributors if appropriate, plus "STAR Collaboration", and require only the Spokesperson's agreement on the wording of the text.


  7. The Spokesperson will maintain a list of students' thesis topics, which will be updated at collaboration meetings. The Council may aid in resolving any conflicts.


  8. Members of the Collaboration should not issue press releases or call press conferences without the approval of the Spokesperson, who will consult with the members of the Council.