Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to have access to the datafile of the electrical output of the RTG (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) of the Pioneer's and Cassini missions, as can be seen in the figures 1 of the papers of Anderson,2002 and Peter S. Cooper, publ 2009.
I know that I can grab the aprox values directly from the published graphs with the help of software, but accessing the original data is better. I g-searched but I did not found them. Can someone give advice, pls?

The question is specific but the answers can say more about the difficulties and solutions of accessing scientific data.

share|cite|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The standard thing to do is contact the author(s) and ask.

  • Be polite--this person will have to take some time out of their "real" work to help you.
  • Introduce yourself (include any institutional affiliation than may lend you legitimacy).
  • Explain why you are interested and what you hope to do with the data.

Most publications and the arXiv indicate the "corresponding author", and this is probably the person to try first.

Be aware that some data may be covered by agreements to not make it public until after publication (or some arbitrary publication window typically on order of one year).

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.