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Research Open Science Open Research Award

Winner 2021 - Astronomical databases and open practices to understand galaxies

Andres Felipe Ramos Padilla

Open Research objectives

This project describes and made use of the following open objectives/practices:

  • Research outputs are freely available
  • Use of online tools for transparency of research
  • Amount and quality of information on the public record
  • Disseminating findings as a preprint
  • Publishing the data


Astronomical databases contain a large amount of information about galaxies that have been collected over the years from published articles. Most of the effort to maintain these databases resides within documentalists and researchers who organize the data to be accessible to the public. Additionally, the amount of data available requires careful exploration as these databases continue to evolve.


The main reason for using open practices is that anyone can reproduce the research done in this project. By allowing people to reproduce all our work, we enable transparent research practices that can be used and disseminated by others.

In addition, not many research studies attempt to explore the data available in online astronomical databases, as most of the data is heterogeneous and may contain errors. Then, our research may be the first step to improve homogeneity and consolidate some galaxy classifications. This effort will be of great benefit to all astronomical communities, from professional researchers to amateur astronomers.

Lessons learned

The most important lesson we learned is how easy it is now to use online tools to share data and code used during the research process. Tools like Zenodo, Github, and Binder and the ability to add a persistent identifier, DOI, allow us to reduce the many fears that our research might be scooped. The race for recognition is not as important as the advancement of science.

We also learned that it is very important to disseminate the data that has been processed in HPC systems. The main reason is that the data must be open, but also because not everyone has the infrastructure/facilities to develop this type of research.

URLs, references and further information

Last modified:16 September 2022 08.31 a.m.