On selection effects in pulsar searches
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Selection effects are a major source of error in statistical studies of pulsar data since the observed sample is a biased subset of the full galactic pulsar population. It is important to identify all selection effects and make a reasonable model before attempting to determine pulsar properties. Here we discuss a hitherto neglected selection effect which is a function of the periodP of the pulsar. We find that short-P pulsars are more difficult to detect, particularly if their dispersion measures are high. We also discuss a declination-dependent selection effect in the II Molonglo Survey (II MS), and find some evidence for the existence of both selection effects in the pulsar data from this survey. We discuss the implications of these additional selection effects for the recently proposed ‘injection’ of pulsars whereby pulsars seem to switch on only at longerP. Using the II MS data we calculate that the observability of pulsars withP between 0.0 s and 0.5 s is about 18 per cent less with the new selection effects than hitherto believed; the mean correction is 6 per cent forP between 0.5 s and 1.0 s. We conclude that injection is not qualitatively affected by these corrections.
Key wordspulsar searches selection effects
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- Huguenin, G. R. 1976 inMethods of Experimental Physics. Ed. M. L. Meek, Vol. 2, Part C, Academic Prees, New York, p. 78.Google Scholar