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183 votes

Is publishing runnable code instead of pseudo code shunned?

There are cases where real code is preferable, and cases where pseudocode is preferable. You shouldn't rely on a simple iron rule, but rather on judgement of what is appropriate to the situation. ...
ObscureOwl's user avatar
  • 5,626
180 votes

Could I use colors to distinguish variables in a paper?

Do not do this. Those of us who prefer to read on paper and have black and white printers will be extremely confused.
Alexander Woo's user avatar
135 votes
Accepted

Editor asks for π to be written in roman

They are referring to the upright version of pi. In the picture below, you can find on the left an italics version and on the right an upright one. If you're using LaTeX, you can obtain the upright ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
100 votes

Two students having separate topics chose to use the same paper format

No. If using the same format were plagiarism, then almost every article published in a journal is plagiarizing, since they all have the same format. Plagiarism happens when some kind of intellectual ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 132k
92 votes

Is it okay to typeset someone’s to-be-graded assignment for them?

I think that the best favour you can do to your friend is to teach him how to use LaTeX, so that he can improve the look of his work by himself. In this way, you won't go against any rule and you'll ...
Massimo Ortolano's user avatar
89 votes

Is LaTeX an implicit prerequisite in Undergraduate Mathematics?

This likely depends on individual school, but for what it is worth: I teach at a large research university with a sizable undergraduate program. None of the faculty in my department will expect ...
Willie Wong's user avatar
  • 11.2k
80 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to typeset someone’s to-be-graded assignment for them?

I think this is probably not appropriate. You could ask the professor, but if it were me I would say no. An important part of learning math at the undergraduate level is being able to write math ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
73 votes
Accepted

Elsevier production team messed up my paper. What should I do?

You could try contacting the editor in chief of the journal to see if they could get the problem fixed. This worked for me when I had similar problems with a paper last year.
Brian Borchers's user avatar
71 votes

Why are there no computer-friendly versions of papers?

Why don’t journals make alternative computer-friendly versions of the articles? They already do. It’s usually called HTML version. I couldn’t find any statistics on how widely available this is, but ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 61.9k
68 votes

Why do some journal proofs insert dozens of typesetting mistakes?

Because they are incompetent. That's about it, really. But don't lump all publishers/journals as one - the typesetters for one journal might not be the same as that for another journal, even one ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 132k
68 votes

Could I use colors to distinguish variables in a paper?

(Personal opinions, so a fully anecdotal answer, but too long for a comment.) My immediate thought when seeing that screenshot was "wait, aren't those red and green ones the same variable?" (...
ilkkachu's user avatar
  • 720
66 votes

When citing your advisor's past work, how can I proceed when their papers are poorly written?

You are making too much of this. Writers are not responsible for the typesetting or grammar in the papers that they cite. Citing a paper does not mean endorsing all aspects of it. Presumably your ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70k
60 votes

Editor asks for π to be written in roman

They mean that it shouldn't be written in italics. Basically, they weren't referring to the Roman and Greek civilizations, but to typefaces. Quoting from the Encyclopedia Brittanica: Roman, in ...
nick012000's user avatar
  • 9,764
55 votes
Accepted

Central dot as decimal point in top journal

This notation was more common historically, particularly in the British empire. My guess would be that the Lancet, being an old journal founded in England in 1823, is sticking with it because of ...
Anyon's user avatar
  • 26.8k
53 votes

Is publishing runnable code instead of pseudo code shunned?

In my research, I often write algorithms, which may contains statements like: Find a dominant subspace of a given hermitian matrix A with relative accuracy Ɛ. Find a nonnegative solution of this ...
Dmitry Savostyanov's user avatar
48 votes

Two students having separate topics chose to use the same paper format

This is absolutely not plagiarism, unless the topic of the class was design related. The template used to format a paper is irrelevant to the evaluation of the paper's actual content. Students share ...
Buzz's user avatar
  • 20.6k
48 votes

Where are historical research papers stored?

The answer is libraries and librarians
Oliver882's user avatar
  • 3,435
47 votes
Accepted

Is Excel-generated chart acceptable for publication?

Excel can produce high quality charts, but it takes a lot of work. The biggest difference between Excel and other systems is the quality of the defaults. I suspect some people are using excel charts, ...
Ian Sudbery's user avatar
  • 40.3k
44 votes
Accepted

What is the de facto standard while writing equation in a short email to professors?

I've frequently send and received emails with LaTeX code in them. I don't think I've ever received an extremely short pdf (ie a single line or so). Formulas as image is something I've seen only ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 44.5k
41 votes

Editor asks for π to be written in roman

Specifically at MNRAS, they actually provide an upright (i.e., not italic) version of π in their LaTeX class. To cite the manual: There are several options which can be added to the document class ...
Erugg's user avatar
  • 361
39 votes

Is publishing runnable code instead of pseudo code shunned?

Pseudo-code is forever; real languages change all the time. If you'd published a paper with an algorithm in Python in the Python 2 days there is a significant possibility that the "executable" code ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
37 votes
Accepted

Why do strict designs of theses exist?

Why do many universities require strict format on theses, Actually, sometimes the requirement is not as strict as you would think, and they do accept some variety. Also, if they provide a template ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 39.3k
36 votes

Could I use colors to distinguish variables in a paper?

The obvious problem, as noted in another answer, is monochrome (black) printers. Yes, you can get a color printer for very little money (not much more than the cost of the ink cartridges), monochrome ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

How can I use parentheses when there are math parentheses inside?

@Buzz gives a good answer, highlighting that it is a style question for which people have different preferences. I personally don't like to use anything other than round parentheses, so my preferred ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

What is the advantage of the two-column journal format?

There's a widespread belief that shorter lines (fewer characters per line) are easier to read, because the eye doesn't have to move as far horizontally from the end of one line back to the start of ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
34 votes

Is LaTeX an implicit prerequisite in Undergraduate Mathematics?

Willie Wong wrote a very informed answer. I am not a math professor, and won't dispute any of his points. I'll just add that learning enough LaTeX to be able to use it in homework assignments and ...
Peter Flom's user avatar
  • 4,195
31 votes

Central dot as decimal point in top journal

To expand on @Anyon's answer more generally, mathematical notation is not universal between countries. Where the decimal symbol appears—and what the decimal symbol even is—varies significantly. For ...
aeismail's user avatar
  • 174k
30 votes

Elsevier production team messed up my paper. What should I do?

Based on your comments, the typesetting problems are not just about ugly formatting, but they actually change the meaning of the article (and significantly increase the chance that people will misread ...
Szabolcs's user avatar
  • 2,160
30 votes
Accepted

Why do journals reformat your submissions?

I can think of a few different reasons: Not all authors are able or willing to conform to the formatting style. After all, academics are supposed to be experts in their field of research, which ...
Anyon's user avatar
  • 26.8k
30 votes

Is Excel-generated chart acceptable for publication?

Azor Ahai's comment about reproducibility is the most important one. I used Excel for many years in a professional but non-academic setting but gave it up when I needed auditable, reproducible results....
JeremyC's user avatar
  • 3,559

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