Volumes 1 & 2
Those volumes are the continuation of the earlier prize-winning series Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy (OSA), with more emphasis on people. Rather than being devoted to the publication of hard-science results, the refereed/validated contributions gathered in those books describe how astronomy research lives: how it is planned, funded, structured and organized, how it operates, how it interacts with other disciplines and the rest of the world, how it communicates, etc.
Thus in the OSA/OPSA volumes, scientists and non-scientists (sometimes from outside astronomy) describe their experience and elaborate, often for the first time at such a level, on non-purely scientific matters, many of them of fundamental importance for the efficient conduct of their activities. The volumes cover a large range of fields and themes: in practice, one could say that all aspects of astronomy-related life and environment are considered in the spirit of sharing expertise and lessons learned.
More specifically, the chapters are dealing with socio-dynamical aspects of the astronomy (and related space sciences) community: working habits, genesis and implementation of projects, characteristics of organizations, demography of astronomy, workforce development, education and training to research, knowledge production, science literacy, organization of meetings, research communication, publication studies, public outreach, professional ethics, evaluation and selection procedures, career policies, strategies for minorities, accessibility to astronomy for disabled persons, astronomy for the developing world, contemporary history, and so on.
The experts contributing to those volumes have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy while providing specific detailed information and sometimes enlightening `lessons learned' sections.
Those books will be most usefully read by researchers, teachers, editors, publishers, librarians, sociologists of science, research planners and strategists, project managers, public-relations officers, plus those in charge of astronomy-related organizations, as well as by students aiming at a career in astronomy or in related space sciences.