The AAS Journal's machine readable table creator

(Version 1.0)

The AAS Journal machine-readable (MR) tables are formated ASCII tables which are preceeded by a meta-data header that provides details on how to read and interpret the data. The following forms will step you through the process of creating a MR table from your data. Links in the text will provide additional instructions and information on the AAS standards for MR tables. The standards are based on those developed at the CDS and the ADC for their libraries of formated ASCII tables.

To see examples of various table formats, units, labels, and explanations, use the example buttons below.

Table titleInput data Complexity of the Meta-data
typeUnits LabelsExplanations
HST photometry of NGC 6652. Tab delimitedsimple simplesimple
Nova light curve photometry. Formatedsimple complexcomplex
Properties of Dwarf Irregular Galaxies. & delimitedcomplexsimple complex

The example data and meta-data header information will be loaded into each step. Go directly to the ``Create a MR table'' button at step 6 to view the MR output of a given example table. A new window will also be created that shows what the example table looks like in print and gives further explanations for the meta-data values used. The ``Reset'' button will clear all of the fields and close the example window.


Input the table data

The first step is to input the data that you wish to put into a MR format. The data should be ASCII and properly formated (Note: a true MR table has all data flags and non-numeric values such as footnotes, uncertainty ":" flags, > or < signs, etc., placed in their own column). Make sure that your entry contains only data and no extra carriage returns or newlines at the end or else the program will interpret these as extra lines. You will get a Value NULL error for these line when you submit the job if you forget.


  1. Either cut and paste your data into the large text window below

    or

    upload your data file (with its full pathway) into the text line in the text line below. Use the "Browse" button to search your computer's file system. Remove the data above if you are going to use this feature.

    The current size limit is 10MB. Please contact the AAS Staff Scientist, Dr. Greg Schwarz, at Greg.Schwarz(at)aas.org if you have uploads bigger than this.

  2. Indicate if the data file from step 1 is formated or delimited. Use delimited when converted tables created from spreadsheets (i.e. Tab or comma delimited) or from TeX or LaTeX tables (i.e. & delimited). Since the program must format these tables, the resulting MR table may have extra trailing decimal zeros added in non-integer columns due to the way Perl writes formated output. The formated option avoids this problem since the data file is not operated upon.
    Formated. Enter the format code in the text line below. Use these format codes and separate each column code by either a blank or comma.

    Tab delimited.
    Comma delimited.
    `&' delimited.




Input the meta-data information

In the next 3 text fields, you need to input information useful to read and interpret the data in your table. This information will be used to construct the meta-data header of the final MR table


  1. Enter the units for each column in the text window below with each column's units on its own row (followed by a hard return). Use this link to obtain the rules and allowed standard unit names. The symbol for unitless columns is ---.

    To perform a check on the units entered in the text box to the left against rules and standards for units before submission, use the button below.


  2. Enter a label for each column in the text window below with each column's label on its own row (followed by a hard return). Use this link to obtain more information on the standard label names and rules.

    To perform a check on the units entered in the text box to the left against rules and standards for labels before submission, use the button below.


  3. Enter a short explanation for each column in the text window. Put each column's short explanation on its own row (followed by a hard return). Click here for more information about the explanation standards. Note that numeric columns that contain one or more blank rows must have explanations that begin with the "?" flag (see Examples 2 and 3).




Finished?

The information entered in fields 2-5 will be combined used to check the format of the data from field 1 and do some basic data checking of any columns with standard labels. If there are no errors the output will be a MR table.