Please follow these guidelines if you wish to propose a new case study to be published on the portal.

1) Who can propose a case study for the Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy?

Only registered authors are able to propose new case studies (registered authors can also view and discuss other ongoing proposals). Registered authors are expected to be representing a governmental or academic institution and will need to provide full details of their position, affiliation etc. To become a registered author, please

  1. Create a user account here on the website, including full details about the organisation that you represent and your position within, or connection to, that organisation.
  2. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide her with more details about your proposed case study.
  3. The content manager (together with the project team) will verify your details and then grant you the necessary access rights, whereupon you can begin to prepare your proposal.

All other people should seek support for their proposed case study within their national or local governmental or academic institutions.

Places connected to the Sky

In order to allow the general public to join our efforts in protecting the Heritage of Astronomy, we have implemented a less formal level of submissions, the so-called "Places connected to the Sky". Registered users can submit places to our database, without the need to be representing a governmental or academic institution. These submissions will then verified by the portal team and the authors, and will eventually be published on this web portal. If you intend to submit such a place, please login and navigate to "Places connected to the Sky" to learn more about this feature.

2) What are the minimum requirements for a case study proposal?

Content requirements

Currently, three types of case study may be published on the portal: short case studies, which follow the style of those in ICOMOS Thematic Studies, and full case studies, whose structure is based upon the section headings identified in UNESCO’s Operational Guidelines, Annex 5. The third type is for moveable objects.

In addition, we have just introduced a fourth type of case study, for intangible heritage. These case studies are different in nature from the other three in several respects, and follow the guidelines of a different UNESCO convention: the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. We are currently commissioning our first intangible heritage case studies, but are happy to consider other proposals in the meantime.

Accordingly, the main text of a proposal needs to be structured based upon one of the following four downloadable templates:

Short case study template

Full case study template

Movable object case study template

Intangible heritage case study template

Please do not change the document's structure (e.g. by renaming or reordering the existing headings). All you need to do is enter your own content into the appropriate section of the document. Since the aim is to draw out the astronomical heritage issues, some sections within the structure may be only partially relevant, or even completely irrelevant, for any given case study. However, the following sections should normally contain substantive content:

For “Short” descriptions:

  • Geographical position
  • Location
  • General description
  • Brief inventory
  • History
  • Presentation and analysis [remaining subsections as appropriate]
  • Management and use [all or selected subsections as appropriate]

For “Full” descriptions:

  • Identification of the property [all subsections]
  • Description
  • History and development
  • Justification for inscription [all subsections]
  • Present state of conservation
  • Protection and management [all or selected subsections as appropriate]
  • Documentation [all or selected subsections as appropriate]

For Movable object descriptions:

  • Geographical position and location for at least one of: place of manufacture, place of discovery, and place of storage and display
  • Physical description
  • History
  • Presentation and analysis [remaining subsections as appropriate]
  • Management and use [all or selected subsections as appropriate]

For Intangible heritage descriptions:

  • Geographical location, distribution and range
  • Summary description
  • Aspects relating to the sky/astronomy
  • Bearers and practitioners
  • Relationship of today's heritage to knowledge and skills in the past
  • Social functions and cultural meanings of the heritage for the community concerned
  • Ensuring visibility [both subsections]
  • Safeguarding measures

Technical requirements

A proposal should consist of a set of up to three files:

  1. The actual text document (an edited version of one of the structured templates, as explained above). This text document must remain a rich text format (*.rtf) file. Please note:
    • This text document is not of presentation quality, and all but basic formatting [headings to 3 levels, bold and italic styles] will be removed during the process.
    • Tables and figures should be provided separately (see below) and their preferred positions within the text should be clearly indicated.
    • Lists (and sub-lists), if used, should be indicated as clearly as possible using bullet points or numbers at the beginning of paragraphs.
  2. Tables, if included, should be provided in the form of worksheets (each table being in a separate worksheet) within a single Excel workbook (*.xlsx) or equivalent document (*.ods).
  3. Images should be provided in the form of *.jpg or *.png files, compressed together into a single (*.zip) archive. Images do not need to be of publication quality but do need to be of sufficient resolution to be displayed adequately on our web pages. Text descriptions within case studies on the portal are approximately 900 pixels in width, so images should be sized accordingly.

Submission fee

We receive no grants or fees to maintain the portal, so for each new case study accepted for publication, we normally require a fee of EUR 500 to help cover the costs involved. Arrangements for payment will be made once the submission is accepted. If you have queries about this, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

3) How to submit a proposal

Before preparing a proposal for a new case study, please use the Heritage Finder to check that the case study concerned does not already exist on the portal, and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss initial issues concerning the submission.

Although you are responsible for preparing the text content (by editing the appropriate template) together with tables and images, our content manager will be happy to give advice regarding any issues that might arise. Please provide as much information as possible for the initial proposal. The first assessment by the content manager and the project team will be mainly based on this information.

Having created the final *.rtf document, *.xlsx spreadsheet and zip archive containing all referenced images, the content manager will advise you how to submit them.

4) What happens after a proposal is submitted?

After a new proposal has been submitted, the project team will prepare it for discussion among the professional community of the portal’s registered authors (including the submitter). We might request additional information at this stage. If, exceptionally, the project team rejects the proposal without opening it for discussion, then they will give clear reasons for doing this.

The aim of this is to develop a consensus as to whether or not to include the case study on the portal. The submitter is encouraged to update the proposal as new issues are raised in the discussion. The discussion will be confined to a fixed period (typically, around 6 months).

Following the discussion, the project’s advisory team (in consultation with the project team) will assess whether a consensus has been reached and recommend whether or not the case study should be published on the portal. If they decide against, then the proposal itself—together with all the discussions and the reason for the advisors’ decision—will be documented.

Once the advisory team has approved a case study for publication on the portal, the project team will transfer the case study from the latest template document provided by the submitter to the portal's database. In this step of the process, specific (and possibly additional) information may be required from the submitter.

5) After publication

The publication of a case study is not the end of the process. It is always open to members of the professional community (the portal’s registered authors), including the original submitter, to make changes and updates (not publicly visible at this stage), and initiate peer discussion. Once a consensus is reached, the updated version can be published.