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The bibcode is an identifier used by a number of astronomical data systems to specify literature references. The bibcode was developed to be used in SIMBAD and the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), but is now used more widely, for example, in the NASA Astrophysics Data System.[1][2] The code has a fixed length of 19 characters and has the form


where YYYY is the four-digit year of the reference and JJJJJ is a code indicating where the reference was published. In the case of a journal reference, VVVV is the volume number, M indicates the section of the journal where the reference was published (e.g., L for a letters section), PPPP gives the starting page number, and A is the first letter of the last name of the first author. Periods (.) are used to fill unused fields and to pad fields out to their fixed length if too short; padding is done on the right for the publication code and on the left for the volume number and page number.[1][2] Some examples of the code are as follows:

Bibcode        Reference
1974AJ.....79..819H   Heintz, W. D., Astrometric study of four visual binaries, The Astronomical Journal 79 (1974), pp. 819–825.
1924MNRAS..84..308E   Eddington, A. S., On the relation between the masses and luminosities of the stars, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 84 (1924), pp. 308–332.
1970ApJ...161L..77K   Kemp, James C., Swedlund, John B., Landstreet, J. D., and Angel, J. R. P., Discovery of Circularly Polarized Light from a White Dwarf, Astrophysical Journal 161 (1970), pp. L77–L79.

See also


  1. ^ a b NED and SIMBAD Conventions for Bibliographic Reference Coding, M. Schmitz, G. Helou, P. Dubois, C. LaGue, B. Madore, H. G. Corwin Jr., and S. Lesteven, published in Information & On-Line Data in Astronomy, eds. Daniel Egret and Miguel A. Albrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995. ISBN 0-7923-3659-3.
  2. ^ a b The ADS Data, help page, NASA ADS. Accessed on line November 5, 2007.


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