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Contributing High Level Science Products to MAST

What is an HLSP Collection?

The Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) solicits high-level science products (HLSPs) from the astronomical community with the aim of making them widely available to the public. HLSPs are contributed in the form of collections of data and ancillary products which:

  • Are related to a common science theme
  • Have high potential for use by other research groups for new science
  • Are not available in another permanent archive
  • Are derived from or are closely connected to missions hosted by MAST
  • An HLSP collection may originate from observing facilities other than those currently hosted by MAST, provided it is scientifically closely related to a hosted mission.

  • Have been used by the contributing team and are described in a refereed paper
    • A formal paper establishes data provenance and serves as a measure of quality control
    • A citable reference is essential for assessing the science impact of the HLSP collection

HLSP contributions are reviewed for scientific content, the potential for follow-on research by other researchers, and for compliance with the contribution criteria described on these pages before the collection is accepted for incorporation in MAST.

Benefits of Contributing an HLSP Collection

These pages document the requirements, policies and procedures for contributing HLSP collections to MAST. Note that contributions of HLSPs are now a requirement for the HST Treasury and Legacy programs. HLSP collections that are accepted by MAST provide the following benefits to the contributors and potential users:

  • The collection will be hosted by MAST in a permanent archive.
  • Hosting the data collection at MAST generally satisfies requirements on NASA-funded research for long-term preservation of, and access to, digital scientific data. (See Public Access to Results of NASA-Funded Research.)
  • The collection provenance will be preserved for future researchers.
  • The data products will appear in the results of queries of the MAST holdings that match the position, product type, or other search parameters.
  • The collection will be featured in a dedicated part of the MAST web presence.
  • MAST will create a DOI, or persistent digital identifier, if one does not already exist for your collection.
  • Cite HLSPs with DOIs
    A DOI created for your HLSP data collection should be inserted directly into your descriptive paper at the time you submit it to the journal. We also encourage other investigators who make use of your HLSP collection to also include that DOI in their paper.

Most HLSP collections have enjoyed a significantly higher level of visibility and use in the community than the standard data products from individual missions. The follow-on research that is enabled for the community with HLSPs increases the scientific impact of both the collection and the mission(s) from which they originate, and contributing scientists enjoy higher recognition and citation rates from HLSP-related papers than is typical for individual mission programs.

Contact MAST early!
MAST staff will gladly help you formulate and prepare your HLSP collection. It is best to contact MAST as soon as possible if you think you want to contribute a science product collection. This will provide time to work with MAST staff to understand and comply with the contribution requirements, as well as time to prepare your collection for publication when your descriptive paper is accepted for publication.