5 Reasons why Professors are Moving Away from Manual Formatting
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5 Reasons why Professors are Moving Away from Manual Formatting

Monali Ghosh
Monali Ghosh

Managing courses, working with graduate students, do ground-breaking research, contributing to committees. And by the way, teach for more than 20 hours a week!.

No wonder why a professor wouldn’t want to put any time and emotional energy into a slavish activity. We spoke to a lot of professors and people who work in the academic environment about writing research. Specifically, their experiences with formatting research papers manually.

It is a waste of time. Fiddling with margins, fonts, boldface is not the author’s job. The author should worry about the meaning of what s/he is writing, not the format. By playing with your word processor, you are indulging in something that doesn’t give that much satisfaction and certainly does not increase your productivity.

So, why someone with years of research experience would want to move to a new way of writing?

Publishing a lot of research papers

Academic professors work on many research projects and publish several quality research papers in a year. Formatting these articles takes a lot of their time and energy.

Using SciSpace (Formarly Typeset) frees you from having a frustrating experience every time you write a research paper.

I love the idea of a program that can format your article automatically. I am an assistant professor at a university. Manual formatting takes up a lot of time and has been a major problem.

- Professor, Medical University — Plovdiv

Every journal has its formatting guidelines. Auto-formatting your research papers with a SciSpace template adheres to the required guidelines. Also, it gives you a structured paper that creates an impact. You will never get a rejection for incorrect formatting.

Multiple contributors

The best science is performed by collaboration of researchers with different expertise.

I remember my first journal paper. Preparing the final draft that my professor, a colleague and I could agree on, took five weeks! Professors and students both face the same issue.

Being on the same page on every statement, citation, table and footnote requires constant communication. There is a need to be able to review the work quickly. Collaborating over many emails and sharing files is both time taking and frustrating. It delays publishing your paper for no reason.

I’m a professor and work with colleagues and students on papers. Some collaborators are local; others are international. Many of the docs are on Google docs or Overleaf for the techies. Others (which give me fits) are mailed round-robin.

- Professor, Simon Fraser University

A collaborative platform brings co-authors, colleagues, students and sponsors on the same document. Everyone can visualize changes as soon as they happen. Better collaboration results in a faster output that everybody is agrees on.

You don’t need to code

A paper written with LaTex looks and feels much better than one written in a word processor. And if you come from a mathematical or computing background, then it is a must!

But, learning to write in LaTeX takes a lot of time and effort on your part. Tools like Overleaf and ShareLaTeX have made it a little easier. But you still need to learn the language to be able to use them. If you are not working in a field that requires that you learn LaTeX, it’s not worth it. One of the authors at SciSpace has put it very well:

The learning curve for LaTeX is so steep that becoming an experienced user who can leverage those capabilities often takes more time than many users can afford. Also, even for an experienced user, there are a number of tasks while using LaTeX that can be automated. SciSpace promises to solve both challenges and hence provides benefits for both newbies and expert LaTeX users towards fulfilling writing experience.

- Researcher, Aalto University

Instant Reformatting

You submitted your journal, and they have asked for some changes? Instead of adjusting everything, you can edit your current paper and submit again.

It also makes working with rejections a lot easier. Rewriting the entire journal paper in a different format is not required. Just change the journal format (from a choice of 40,000 journals) and in within seconds, the paper is ready for submission in another journal.

I spent hours with MS word for reformatting. It was frustrating — plain and simple. With SciSpace, I can draft my manuscripts and once it is finished I can just submit. In case, I have to submit to another Journal it is really just a button click instead of an afternoon of reformatting.

- Researcher, ETH Zurich

Clarity in composition

This is perhaps the most important reason behind this shift.

Performing and communicating new research is an art. Typesetting is a different art altogether.
With the latter taken care of, an author can look at a manuscript for what it communicates without worrying about how it would look.

Writing in a WYSIWYM editor instead of a WYSIWYG processor makes you think only about the expression of ideas. Building the logical structure in words is much easier when you have one goal in mind.

At SciSpace  we help researchers reduce the chances of research paper rejection. One of the ways we do this is by auto-formatting your content to 100% of the journal guidelines, in a click.

SciSpace  is a software developed to streamline publication workflows. Using SciSpace, publishers are able to automatically convert author submissions to any publication format, including JATS XML. SciSpace publisher offers solutions to generate XML-first articles that comply with major scientific databases like PubMed, Crossref, and Scopus.

SciSpace publisher works with over 400+ journals worldwide and offers solutions for generating XML-first articles. See how you can simplify your workflow and save over 80% of the time and cost of producing journal articles.

You can learn more about what we do and how we help you in your research writing here.