What makes one scientist a good communicator and another a poor one? How to communicate scientific results through adequate and efficient scientific writing? How does the editorial process of a journal function, and why do scientific papers need to be refereed?
All these questions, and many more, led the Board of Directors of the leading professional journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) and its publisher EDP Sciences to organize, under the direction of Christiaan Sterken, the Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers courses for beginning PhD Students.
This book contains a set of seven lectures that were delivered during two schools that took place in 2008 and 2009 in Blankenberge, Belgium. The contributions discuss all aspects of scientific publication, from the history and operations of A&A, its Editors' views of the peer-review and publishing processes, and the publication process as seen from the Publisher’s side. Two chapters written by the A&A language editors deal with the principles of effective scientific writing. The last two contributions focus on the use of library services and large database facilities in the context of astronomical research and publication.