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The Abstract Bibcode Query Form

The Abstract Bibcode Query Form provides the ability to search the ADS abstracts database by whole or partial bibliographic code, or by accession number. The format of bibliographic codes is described below.

Whole or partial bibcodes may be entered. For example:
1984ApJ...276..233P returns only that reference
1984ApJ returns all 1984 ApJ entries
*ApJ...400 returns all entries from ApJ volume 400
198?ApJ..????L returns all ApJ letter articles from the 1980's.

Bibliographic Codes: Bibliographic codes are in the form: YYYYJJJJJVVVVMPPPPA, where YYYY is the year, JJJJJ is the abbreviation for the journal (e.g. ApJ, AJ, MNRAS, Sci, PASP, etc.), M is the qualifier for publication (e.g. L for Letter, P for Pink Page), VVVV is the volume number, PPPP is the page number, and A is the first letter of the first author's surname.

A partial bibliographic code may be entered in which case the abstract server will return all bibliographic codes beginning with that string. This effectively allows the user to query by journal title. For instance, a query on "1992ApJ" will return all articles in the database which are from the Astrophysical Journal 1992 volumes. In addition, a wildcard is allowed before the journal title (e.g. "*ApJ" will return all Astrophysical Journal articles).

Note that for page numbers greater than 9999, the page number is continued in the "M" column.

The exception to the bibliographic format are about 17,000 records from the Library of Congress which contain the YYYY field, followed by the QB cataloguing number.

Note that the ADS treats all bibliographic codes as case-insensitive! Click here to see a full list of journals and their bibcode stems.

Accession Numbers:

The accession number is a unique identifier assigned by NASA's STI program which begins with the letter "N" or "A", where an N indicates that the abstract is listed in STAR (Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports) and an A indicates that the abstract is listed in IAA (International Aerospace Abstracts). The rest of the accession number is comprised of the year the abstract was entered into NASA's STI Database, followed by a unique five digit number. Thus, sample accession numbers are N75-22209 and A89-31039.

The abstract server does not currently indicate an error if you enter an invalid bibliographic code or accession number.

When the query has been set up to your satisfaction, press Send to send the query.

Help on the ADS Abstract Service is available here.

More information about the ADS project is available here, or you can send e-mail to