Saturday, 24 January 2015

why publishing is so expensive

So there’s this journal, which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, that recently sent me a paper proof to check and correct.

I had submitted my paper as LaTeX and BibTeX source, using their style files.  Said style files format numbered references, such as [42].  The proofs had the references set in Harvard style (author name, year).


I reformatted my submission using Harvard style, to make it easier to check the proofs.  That took me about 20 seconds (open file, change bibstyle, make new pdf).

On checking the proofs, I noticed a few issues: (a) a name in the text was not the same as the corresponding entry in the reference list; (b) there was still one numbered reference in the text; (c) an author’s name in the reference list was mis-spelled.

Wait: that means the Harvard style references in the proof weren’t generated from my source files, but manually keyed in.  Which presumably took significantly longer than 20 seconds.  It certainly took me much longer than 20 seconds to check, and correct, the proofs.


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