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HLSP Contribution How-To

The Contribution Process

Hosting HLSP collections is a collaborative effort between the contributing science team and MAST staff. For carefully prepared data collections, contributing the ensemble to MAST is straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  1. Fill out the on-line HLSP Contribution Request Form for your project.
    1. Consult with MAST staff early about the contribution process, ideally before the details of your collection have been finalized.
    2. Contributors who are delivering a new version of their collection, or who are adding to an existing collection, should not fill out the form again. Instead, contact MAST through the Archive Help Desk.
  2. Ensure that your HLSP collection contains all of the required files.
  3. Ensure that the science data files:
    1. are properly named
    2. are provided in an accepted format, and are well formed
    3. contain the required metadata
  4. Place your data products and supporting documents on an appropriate platform for electronic transfer to STScI, or upload your collection to the MAST ftp area.
    1. (optional) Compress the files with a non-proprietary tool (e.g., gzip, bzip2, fpack) to minimize the transfer time to MAST
    2. If electronic transfer is not possible for your collection, please consult Archive Help Desk for alternatives.
  5. Work with your MAST contact to resolve problems with the collection, if any.
  6. Review for accuracy the new MAST web page that describes your project.

See the detailed instructions on:

Contact MAST staff as early as possible, preferably before your science products have been finalized, to allow time to comply with the submission requirements and to provide MAST staff sufficient time to make your collection ready for release by the time your descriptive paper is accepted for publication.

What's in an HLSP Collection?

The contents of an HLSP Collection are largely driven by the science outputs of the contributing team, but must include the following:

  • Science data files
  • Ancillary files including a collection README, a project summary, optionally graphics or preview images and tutorials.

In some cases the graphic/preview files can be generated by MAST with an automated tool. Some types of products cannot be accepted with the HLSP collection. See the HLSP File Type, Formats, & Organization page for details.

References (including URLs) to publications, project software, or Jupyter notebooks that reside in a public on-line repository such as GitHub, are welcome. MAST will maintain a directory of links to open-source software products that are directly related to HLSP collections; we encourage such products to also be registered with the Astronomical Source Code Library (ASCL) as well.

Links to a repository must point to a version of the resource (software, notebook, or documentation) that corresponds to the delivered version of the HLSP data products.

Making Updates to an HLSP Collection

Depending upon the project, data may be delivered in stages, or re-delivered if, for instance:

  • new products become available, e.g., from
    • another observing program
    • the continuation of a large survey program
  • the software used to process and create the HLSPs is revised and results in improved products

If you find that your HLSP data products or documentation need to be revised or supplemented, please contact MAST staff through the Archive Help Desk. You do not need to fill out a new submission form.

Although MAST can discover literature references to papers related to HLSP products, it is helpful for the HLSP originators to provide updates to the list of refereed papers as they become available. Please send these in an e-mail to the Archive Help Desk.


A small set of tools is being developed to help contributors prepare and verify their collection contents. The source code is available in the MAST GitHub repository. The tools currently available are:

  • check_file_name: a script to verify that file names within a collection follow the file HLSP naming scheme

There are also FITS tools in the astropy package, as well as the fitsverify tool from HEASARC, to validate FITS files against the Standard.