I've been constructing some .bst files with custom-bib today. The
differences between different journals, not only regarding references,
and the fierceness with which they say they will reject anything which
does not conform (though this might not be true in practice) are
amazing, especially considering how unimportant such things should be.
I know that the confusion---what this thread is trying to do away
with---leads some authors NOT to follow the advice of the individual
journals, but rather just send in something which looks halfway OK. Of
course, this means that the manuscript is probably processed
conventionally, which is an additional burden for the journal, so it
seems to me that journals should a) take more interest in the
standardisation of journal macros stuff and b) support or require
BibTeX, natbib and other things which allow flexibility and
functionality while minimising author coding error and wasted time.
Of course, it is also in the interests of the authors, but I really
don't feel like preaching to my colleagues until there is more
standardisation among the journals, since the number of things one must
take into account is so large that I can understand authors submitting
just `reasonably formatted' manuscripts; maybe the journals get what
they deserve in this respect.
I know that some LaTeX people at some scientific journals are aware of
the LaTeX list and even this thread; it would be interesting to know if
any have actually been following this thread. (If you don't want to
announce yourself to the list, please email me privately and I'll keep
Phillip Helbig Email .......... [log in to unmask]
Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories Tel. ..... +44 1477 571 321 (ext. 297)
Jodrell Bank Fax ................. +44 1477 571 618
Macclesfield Telex ................. 36149 JODREL G
UK-Cheshire SK11 9DL Web .... http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/~pjh/
My opinions are not necessarily those of NRAL or the University of Manchester.