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View Full Version : open document format in academia



sam81
May 24th, 2012, 02:00 AM
Do you know of any publishers that accept open document format (odf) submissions? I'm surprised that most journals don't even mentioned odf. Are there technical reasons for this (like their pre-press platforms cannot yet work with odf), or is it just a lack of interest in doing so? Is there anything we can do about it?

PeterP24
May 26th, 2012, 04:18 AM
I don't think there is any technical reason for the .odf format to be rejected by publishers. Most likely, the .odf format is plagued by a thing common to all open source stuff: there is no one to promote it in this direction.

This being said, I am very sad to say that in my field the standard way of writing papers is by using MSOffice. All conferences provide an MSWord template and some of them offer as an alternative a latex template. I know also that the small publisher that services our university, only accepts work in MSWord format.

ugm6hr
May 27th, 2012, 01:19 PM
It is simpler for publishers to support only 1 or 2 file formats per type of submission. e.g. .tiff or .eps for images, , .doc for text etc
Word .doc (and perhaps now .docx) are so commonly used, that no one has any interest in supporting other formats. I think WordPerfect format used to be the "norm" in years gone by, and a few publishers still support it. Until .doc / .docx are not universally available for everyone to use, the status quo likely won't change.
I personally use LibreOffice .odt for manuscripts, but then export to .doc (with LibreOffice) for uploading to journals. Not perfect, but it's what we have to do for now.
Perhaps if and when government agencies in Europe (and perhaps elsewhere) start using odf universally, academic institutions will start to follow suit...

urgnom
June 2nd, 2012, 12:18 PM
I don't think there is any technical reason for the .odf format to be rejected by publishers. Most likely, the .odf format is plagued by a thing common to all open source stuff: there is no one to promote it in this direction.

This being said, I am very sad to say that in my field the standard way of writing papers is by using MSOffice. All conferences provide an MSWord template and some of them offer as an alternative a latex template. I know also that the small publisher that services our university, only accepts work in MSWord format.

One of the reasons for publishers not accepting ODF is that they have developed automated routines around the .doc format (the old binary MS Word format). A lot of them do not accept DOCX with Microsoft's new equations.

Most, however, do accept LaTeX. That may be the way to go. Personally I'd like to see ODF support but we are not there yet.