[vsnet-alert 11727] CSS CV naming convention

Mike Simonsen mikesimonsen at aavso.org
Sun Dec 13 23:33:48 JST 2009

It has been brought to my attention on more than one occasion that the
use of the prefix OT J to describe and rename CSS CVs is a violation
of the Catalina Sky Survey's intellectual property rights. We have
been guilty of reproducing this non-IAUC sanctioned moniker in reports
of activity at times, and its improper use has bled into our mailing
lists from cross posting with VSNET.

Let me say for the record, that the CV Section, respectful of the
rights of the Catalina Real-Time Sky Survey, will use the full proper
names of these objects in its mailing lists, circulars and web pages.
If we mess up and reproduce an OT J name, please email us and let us
know. Contrary to what John Greaves writes in the email reproduced
below, neither the activity at a glance nor the CRTS update is done
automatically by a script. We human beings scan all the lists,
announcements, websites and archives daily to bring our readers this

My apologies to the Catalina Sky Survey team and a tip of the hat to
John Greaves for rightly bringing this to our attention...again.

Mike Simonsen
Vice President
American Association of Variable Star Observers
49 Bay State Rd.
Cambridge, MA 02138

-------- Original Message --------
From: contradixion at Safe-mail.net
To: vsnet-alert at ooruri.kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp, bunburyobservatory at hotmail.com
Subject: re [vsnet-alert 11723] Re: OT J033031.4+201402 outburst
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 07:56:33 -0500

Jeremy Shears reported :-

"OT J033031.4+201402   Dec 12.753   16.4C

Jeremy Shears

Cheshire, UK

> To: variable_star_forum at yahoogroups.com; vsnet-alert at ooruri.kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp; vsnet-alert at yahoogroups.com; vsnet-campaign-dn at ooruri.kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp; vsnet-newvar at ooruri.kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp; vsnet-newvar at yahoogroups.com; vsnet-outburst at ooruri.kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp; vsnet-outburst at yahoogroups.com
> From: tkato at kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp
> Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 13:37:47 +0900
> Subject: [vsnet-alert 11722] OT J033031.4+201402 outburst
> According to Catalina, the Catalina CV OT J033031.4+201402
> (=CSS090213:033031+201402) is undergoing an outburst.
> 912111210184109528 2009-12-11T06:52:18 2009-12-11T06:37:15 03 30 31.42 +20 14 01.5 15.76 15.77 15.75 15.81 http://nesssi.cacr.caltech.edu/catalina/20091211/912111210184109528.html"

There is in fact no such thing as OT J033031.4+201402, only
CSS090213:033031+201402, and this continual violation of the
intellectual property rights of the Catalina Real Time Survey has
progressed well beyond it's humour value.

The OT affectation is merely a construct of Dr Kato's and has no
formal meaning nor IAU validity.  He is even known to do it when the
CRTS team have already published their objects in ATELs or Journal

Most of the objects are already taken from here anyway


or here


where they have already been notified and identified by the CRTS team,
who exhibit remarkable forebearance in my view by still disseminating
promply, and publicly without a proprietary period, any object they
discover, despite this habitual and continual identity gazumping.

By examing the links at the latter url, or using the subscriptions at
the former url to subscribe to CRTS alerts or RSS feeds or whatever,
you can bypass most of the need for vsnet alert, and just look at
vsnet-obs and outbursts, as most of the alerts on vsnet-alert are
echoes of crts alerts.

Obviously follow is then done via vsnet coordination of projects, but
there is outburst and observations for that.  However, as the CSS
identifier is transformed into the OT identifier in the first alert
message, we all see that we tend to find that subsequent postings to
vsnet campaigns, observations, outbursts, newvar etc tend to lose the
CSS identifier, the provenance and discovery credit and
identification, and only retain the VSNET sponsored identifier and
follow up.

To such an extent that recent the AAVSO CVNET board recently (and
again today) had the moronic situation wherein the Activity at a
Glance section carrying the OT identifier of CSS objects (including
today this very one, which is due to that being a fully automated list
reading script system that searches alerts from several mail servers)
whilst also carrying a "New CVs from Catalina Sky Survey Section"
where this object is not noted, although past instances of it
appearing as both have occured.

I would suggest to astronomers both amateur and professional to no
longer condone and encourage this behaviour by needlessly using these
unncessary re-indentifications.

However, as the CV community lives in a little world of it's own self
import, I expect not change.

I am convinced, however, that this will make a big difference down the
line when more major time surveys go online as to what is made
available or not, but it seems people are happy to be naive and spite
themselves.  Some surveys may already maybe holding on to stuff, there
are several extant now that few hear of.  What happens to their CV
discoveries I know not.

CRTS is expanding soon to include all telescopes' data in CSS, both
North and South.  Fortunately their equanimity means the data will
still readily be available despite the treatment of their discoveries.
 Personally I think it is more than sections of the CV community
deserve.  Far more.  Just reflect on how many "OT" objects you've all
been following over the past two years, then further reflect on how
many of them are CSS ones.  If you can figure out which they are, as
the linkage may well have gone.  That point might make you understand
this very basic principle even if nothing else does.


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