astronomy journals with sensible typesetting

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Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

Mar 30, 2021, 3:20:56 AM3/30/21
[[Mod. note -- I apologise for the delay in posting this article,
which arrived in my moderation inbox on 2021-Mar-26. I need to set
up a better mail-filtering system so I don't overlook things. :)
-- jt]]

Having been severely disappointed by the extremely low quality of
production by two astronomy journals (at least one of which didn't have
such problems several years ago), I'm interested in whether others have
had similar problems and whether there is some journal which gets it

My main complaints are new errors introduced by the typesetters and not
following their own rules. It requires several proofs until the final
version essentially converges on my accepted manuscript. They change
the style to conflict with their own macros (LaTeX class and BibTeX

There is no reason for this; the only explanation is incompetence,
probably caused by outsourcing to people obviously unfamiliar with the
types of articles they are supposed to produce.

Any journal which meets the following criteria would be fine:

o There are no charges to authors.

o At a minimum, the author's accepted manuscript can be made
available on a personal webserver no later than official
publication. (Ideally, something equivalent to the final version
could be put on a public webserver after acceptance. I don't care
about preprint (i.e. before acceptance) policies.)

o Personal LaTeX macros can be used.

o Copyright should stay with the author or a non-profit

o The proof must show what changes are made.

Ideally, the journals LaTeX macros would produce something which is
essentially identical to the final output. At the proof stage, someone
would check for typos and so on; those should be corrected, but no other
changes made.

Eric Flesch

Mar 30, 2021, 12:54:09 PM3/30/21
On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 00:20:55 PDT,
(Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)) wrote:
>... I'm interested in whether others have had similar problems...
>My main complaints are new errors introduced by the typesetters...

I can't resist recounting an old episode from 2012 when my paper
2013,PASA,30,4 "Optical Corrections to the Veron-Cetty and Veron
Quasar Catalogue" was in press. The typographers changed my sentence

"For nine such approximately-sited cases there is only optical
matching available ..."


"For only nine such approximately sited cases is optical matching
available ..."

I asked in vain to change it back, those typographers published it the
way they wanted it, apparently blissfully unaware that they'd
profoundly changed the meaning of the sentence.

(Also they chopped up the data tables so badly that I reckoned that
anyone who wanted to read the paper would choose to read the arXiv
version anyway, and so not encounter the typographer wording.)
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