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Effective Computation in Physics by Anthony Scopatz, Kathryn D. Huff

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Chapter 20. Publication

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.

Paul Dirac

One day, I’ll find the right words, and they will be simple.

Jack Kerouac

Publishing is an integral part of science. Indeed, the quality, frequency, and impact of publication records make or break a career in the physical sciences. Publication can take up an enormous fraction of time in a scientific career. However, with the right tools and workflow, a scientist can reduce the effort spent on mundane details (e.g., formatting, reference management, merging changes from coauthors) in order to spend more time on the important parts (e.g., literature review, data analysis, writing quality). This chapter will emphasize tools that allow the scientist to more efficiently accomplish and automate the former in order to focus on the latter. It will cover:

  • An overview of document processing paradigms

  • Employing text editors in document editing

  • Markup languages for text-based document processing

  • Managing references and automating bibliography creation

The first of these topics will be an overview of two competing paradigms in document processing.

Document Processing

Once upon a time, Homo sapiens etched our thoughts into stone tablets, on papyrus, and in graphical document processing software. All of these early tools share a commonality. They present the author with a “What You ...

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