Introduction to OLAF

The On-Line Archiving Facility (OLAF) was designed to enable the scientist to submit planetary science data for archiving in the Planetary Data System (PDS) without specialized knowledge about PDS archiving requirements.

Why Submit Data to PDS?

Archiving data sets in the PDS makes them more accessible to the scientific community, makes them available to NASA for mission planning and development, and insures that they will be preserved, along with all supporting information and documentation, for the use of scientists many decades into the future. Data sets in PDS also receive a citation as an electronic publication which will appear in reference services such as ADS and can be cited by any scientists who use the data in published work.

Before You Start

Submitting data to the PDS is a collaborative process between the PDS and the data provider. Before starting to enter your data into OLAF you should inform the appropriate PDS representative so they can help you with the process as needed and arrange for the data to be reviewed and archived.

PDS representative to contact before beginning: For asteroids, Carol Neese, neese <at> psi.edu. For comets, Ludmilla Kolokolova, ludmilla <at> astro.umd.edu.

What is a "Data Set"?

This is special PDS terminology for a "package" of data products that are closely related. If you have several groups of data that are not related, you will want to submit them as separate data sets to OLAF. If your data are all related or interdependent, put them in a single data set. (Some data sets contain only a single data file with its supporting information.)

Peer Review

All data sets submitted to the PDS are peer-reviewed, much as would be a science journal article. External reviewers are selected for each data set to ensure that the submission makes sense, is usable, and is fully documented. Peer review may result in a request for modifications and additional information in the submitted data set and constitute liens on the data set that need to be cleared before the data set can be accepted by the PDS.


For help with submitting your data set, see the OLAF Support Contact Information or contact the appropriate PDS representative (listed above).