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Call for papers – CAPjournal Special Issue on Solar Eclipses


The CAPjournal is an IAU publication published twice a year. It is a free peer-reviewed journal for astronomy communicators, available online and in print.

The editorial board is now issuing a call for submissions for a planned special edition on solar eclipses, issue 25, to be published in Feb 2019. Given the nature of solar eclipses, and similarities between activities, we would like to devote special attention to the paper submission, selection and editorial process. Please kindly follow the special guidelines below.


  • Short paper for shortlisted projects: Focus on best practices, lessons learned, and failures. Short articles should be around two pages long, including text and graphics.
  • Long paper on in-depth studies such as impact and evaluations. These should be around four pages maximum.

Possible topics

Please note that CAPjournal’s emphasis is on science communication (not education), and on practical tips (in other words, tips on how to explain how eclipses work, not explanations of how eclipses work). Keep in mind that CAPj readers are communicators first, and educators second (if at all).

This special issue will serve as a “bible” for astronomy communicators organizing events and activities around a forthcoming eclipse. Obviously, this issue will not include everything, but it should try to point readers to where they can find everything.

The idea is to explore how to use eclipses to engage the public with astronomy if/when you’re lucky enough to have an eclipse in your local area. Examples of possible topics (in no particular order):

  1. Travel tips/infrastructure/logistics (traffic, food/water, etc.)
  2. Organizing group travel/tours
  3. Involving professional and amateur astronomers, museums/planetariums, libraries, and other human resources
  4. Resources -- lists of available materials, e.g., books, films, mobile apps, software
  5. Science activities for the public; citizen science
  6. Efforts to coordinate nationwide activities
  7. Citizen science projects
  8. Eclipse glasses issues: eclipse safety, counterfeits, Amazon chaos, recycling
  9. Engaging misconceptions and astrology on eclipses
  10. Culture of eclipses; cultural sensitivity in eclipse outreach
  11. Evaluation of activities; measuring impact
  12. Long-term effort surrounding a short-lived event
  13. Why 99% isn’t “good enough”; outreach for partial vs. total
  14. Reaching underserved audiences; vision- or hearing-impaired people, etc.
  15. Special advice for first-timers experiencing (solar) totality
  16. Working with government bodies and media
  17. Eclipse-tourism
  18. 100th anniversary of the Eddington observations in Principe (São Tomé e Principe) and Sobral (Brazil)

It’s important to stress that we are not seeking reports of what you did. Instead, we’re seeking guidance on what works and what doesn’t, and how to succeed based on what you learned from your own effort(s).

Paper submission

Authors must submit an abstract first and authors of shortlisted articles will be contacted for the full paper. Please note, however, that we cannot guarantee that positive comments on an abstract will lead to acceptance of the submitted paper.

Abstracts Deadline: May 31, 2018.

If abstracts or papers received are similar, the editors will confer with authors and take appropriate actions.


Since CAPjournal is a free publication, any sponsorship and donations will be helpful and very much appreciated. Please contact the editor-in-chief for details.

Submissions and Enquiries

Sze-leung Cheung