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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Phillip Helbig <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 31 Oct 1997 17:17:43 GMT
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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> >Well, my next paper I intend to submit to the Monthly Notices of the
> >Royal Astronomical Society, who in their style guide say `please use
> >British spelling'.  Part of this might be recycled for, say, a
> >conference proceeding (or the other way around) published by, say, an
> >American publisher who is equally adamant about using American spelling.
>   This sounds like an ethics violating from the part of the involved
> scientific journals. The question should be brought up before the ethics
> committee of an international scientific association.

Well, as Woody Allen said, I hate reality, but it's the only place where
I can get a decent steak.  Reality means work must be published, and a
journal has a right to present all articles with a uniform look and
feel.  I wouldn't want all journals to have the same style, since I'm
sure I wouldn't like it; if there are different styles, there is more
possibility for improvement (ideally converging on the ideal style for
all journals).  Properly managed---and that's the reason I started this
thread in the first place---the presentation can be done by the .cls of
the journal in question and the author just writes the content.  I would
rather conform exactly to the journal's specifications---preferably by
just reading in a different .cls and nothing more---since if they have
reason to change things of style, there is a danger that unwittingly
mistakes will be made which change the content.  It can certainly be
practical to make the manuscript as `acceptable' as possible:)

>   In general, I think authors would be expected to write scientific papers
> in an acceptable scientific style of their choice; if the journal then
> wants to alter that style, they should engage its own personnel.

Either one would have a hodge-podge of different styles or the journals
would be too expensive.

I think that the disadvantages of NOT conforming to journal
specifications FAR outweigh the advantages TO THE AUTHOR.  Consider a
highly technical paper with perhaps lots of equations.  Unless the
typesetter UNDERSTANDS the material, changing the style might make it
more difficult to understand.  I don't want a typesetter mucking my
stuff about; neither do I want to typeset it myself---that's why I use

> If a paper
> is rejected on basis of style, it is an ethics violation of that journal,
> and that should be pointed out. Journals that do not follow this cannot be
> labelled scientific journals, just as those that do not demonstrate proper
> refereeing procedures. Clearly, the purpose of a scientific journal is not
> to present material in a particular style, but to present scientific
> results; the style is subordinate to that, only serving the purpose of
> aiding the communication of those scientific results.

I agree about the subordination, but I don't think the solution is to
submit something in a completely different format and let the journal
worry about it.  The journals can have their style AND not bother the
authors if they implement are common journal macros when they've been

> changed). In fact, I think the AMS packages had to implement special
> commands in order to accomodate this common mathematical style, because
> LaTeX does not permit it.

Use displaymath instead of equation to get a non-numbered one.

>   Returning to LaTeX3, I think Frank Mittelbach said that the idea is to
> serve the user community. So this seems to imply that one should such
> special commands in order to serve the user commounity. But on the other
> hand, it can be hard to accommodate various whims by journals. For example
> US and UK English do not differ only in choice of spelling for different
> words, but also in choice of words and in some cases, the grammar, too.

One can handle the spelling, but not the choice of words or grammar.
The only real solution is to accept ANY standard dialect or to force
everyone to use `real' English.  Either is OK by me:)

Phillip Helbig                          Email ... [log in to unmask]
Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories   Tel. ..... +44 1477 571 321 (ext. 297)
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