Standard for Documentation of
Astronomical Catalogues

This document details the standards adopted for the documentation of astronomical catalogues in its version Version 2.0 (pdf), dated February 2000. A short overview of the conventions, with some tips on how to fill the ReadMe file, is also available.

The complete documentation is available as PDF or gzipped PostScript file.

Contents of the Document

  1. Introduction: The Question of Standards
  2. Catalogue Files & Directories
  3. ReadMe file Contents
    1. Structure of the ReadMe file
    2. The Units
    3. The Labels
    4. Optional Ranges and Data Checking specifications:
    5. Lengthy Notes and Texts
    6. Transformation to FITS
  4. The cdsclient package
  5. Selected Manual Pages
    • acut, a utility which helps to rearrange columns in a file
    • trcol, a shorter utility to just remove or transform columns in a file
    • anafile, the program which checks that the data conform to their description.
    • tofits, a program which converts standardized files into FITS tables.
    • cdspyreadme Python package dedicated for authors to build ReadMe and standardizes ASCII tables.
    The corresponding programs (for Unix-like platforms) can be downloaded as the two files acut.tar.gz for the programs acut and trcol anafile package for the programs anafile and tofits.

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