The Recent Experience of Astrophysics in Scholarly Communication
Michael J. Kurtz
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Astronomers have been building an information system which interacts with the journals, but is independent of them, for a couple of decades. This system consists of more than a dozen different organizations, some providing curational and meta-data services, and some providing direct access to data. This network of information services is heavily interconnected and collaborative. Astrophysics thus provides an organizational example for how to develop and maintain a dense informational infrastructure.
I will describe this system from the point of view of one of the central players, the Smithsonian-NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS); I'll discuss what was (and is) hard or easy to achieve, and what the current plans are.