Volume 01 (2000)
Volume 02 (2001)
Volume 03 (2002)
Volume 04 (2003)
Volume 05 (2004) (with CD)
Volume 06 (2006)
Volume 07 (2006)
The range of subjects tackled in those seven volumes - published by Kluwer/Springer in their Astrophysics and Space Science Library - is quite broad.
Here are the main themes:
-- characteristics and strategies of astronomy-related organizations (globally and specifically, nationally and internationally), with a planetary sample including even Antarctica;
-- recruitment and promotional policies;
-- economy of activities;
-- evaluation processes (proposals, individuals, institutions, etc.);
-- policies for professional publications;
-- bibliometric studies;
-- evolving sociology of scheduling and coordinated observing;
-- communication under its diverse facets;
-- series of astronomy-related conferences;
-- interactions with other communities and the society at large;
together with a long list of matters covering the astronomy-related life and context, in the spirit of sharing specific expertise and lessons learned.
Rather than being devoted to the publication of hard-science results, the OSA volumes describe how astronomy research lives: how it is planned, funded and organized, how it interacts with other disciplines and the rest of the world, how it communicates, etc.
Thus this series has been a unique medium for scientists and non-scientists (sometimes from outside astronomy) to describe their experience and to elaborate on non-purely scientific matters -- often of fundamental importance for the efficient conduct of our activities.
As illustrated by the histogram included in OSA 6's Editorial, the global number of astronomy-related papers on organizational, strategical and socio-dynamical issues is growing more than steadily, reflecting increased interest. Years ago, the term ``sociology" was carrying a negative connotation in hard-science circles where only bibliometric counts were barely accepted. As exemplified by the above diversification, the overall approach has now evolved and matured. The OSA series substantially contributed to this.
Links to the volumes are provided at the top of this page. All contributions have been refereed.
© Copyright André HECK, current year.