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LSC Scientific Publications

Many scientific results produced by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration are published in peer-reviewed journals. Even before being submitted to the journal, an LSC paper undergoes an internal review process to help ensure that the analysis has been done correctly and the results are presented appropriately. As part of this process, a small team of reviewers—different from those who performed the analysis—is assigned to scrutinize the analysis in detail, and all collaboration members are asked to read the paper draft and suggest improvements.

The author list for a scientific paper is intended to indicate all of the people who made an intellectual contribution to the paper. LSC papers have very long author lists (hundreds of co-authors!) because so many scientists and technical staff members have been involved in designing, constructing, commissioning and operating the detectors, as well as analyzing the data. The majority of LSC papers are produced jointly with the Virgo Collaboration, even if only LIGO data or only Virgo data is used in a particular paper. Some papers also have co-authors who are not members of either the LSC or Virgo. Because it is impractical to adequately describe all individual contributions within a given paper, LSC and LSC-Virgo author lists are simply alphabetical.

Complete publication details about LSC and LSC-Virgo papers are collected in a Table of LSC Publications. In addition, short summaries of each paper—written for the general public—may be found on the Science Summaries page

Occasionally, one member of the LSC (or Virgo) speaks at a conference and writes a paper for the conference proceedings on behalf of the full collaboration(s). In this case the authorship of the paper may be listed as that person's name followed by "for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration". Such papers do not present new observational results, but represent the ongoing work of the collaboration(s) as it has been shared in conferences.

Many LSC and Virgo members also write or contribute to technical papers about the details of instrumentation, data analysis methods, and scientific prospects from detecting gravitational waves. These papers may have a small number of co-authors, and the author list might be ordered either alphabetically or by significance of contributions, depending on the preference of the authors. Drafts are circulated within the LSC to gather feedback from colleagues, but these papers still highlight the work of their authors rather than the LSC as a whole.


A photo of members of LIGO and Virgo collaborations at the March 2014 LVC meeting.

Members of the LIGO and Virgo collaborations meet for dinner after a joint meeting hosted by Virgo in March 2014. (Image credit: P. Shawhan/LSC)

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