>> Ad hoc customization for individual parts done by different authors,
>> such as

%   \mathcode`\"=8000
%   \begingroup
%   \catcode`\"=\active
%   \gdef"{^{\prime\prime}}
%   \endgroup

>> will make trouble even if each article is enclosed in its own group and
>> there are many ways for this kind of trouble to come up.

Isn't this the sort of construct that LaTeX implicitly proscribes?
If there were a clean LaTeX method (there probably is!) for achieving
the effect without the need for \global hacks, then all would be well.

** Phil.