> I hadn't been thinking of the abstract as part of the front matter
> (probably because it normally comes after \maketitle) but perhaps I
> should be.
The journals I have written class files for want the abstract over the two
columns, in which case the abstract is part of the frontmatter. This poses a
real headache for inputting. I have seen packages that insist that \maketitle
comes AFTER the abstract in order to achieve this, but then it would have to be
moved back to before the abstract for other journals.
What I do is to keep \maketitle before the abstract, but to have it only
enable the title production. The real title making macro (\@xmaketitle)
is part of \endabstract and \section. Of course, \@xmaketitle deletes itself
after it has been used once.
This solution makes \maketitle really redundant, but keeps it for compatibility
with other classes. The location is also standard, and should remain so. The
only trouble arises is there is no abstract and no \section, something I
thought could never arise (until it did, of course, in a "correction paper").