I use LyX for scientific papers but have had problems with both collaborators and editors. Many collaborators are unfamiliar with LyX / LaTeX and it lacks strong collaboration tools (change tracking etc.). I've tried sharing drafts with PDF but that requires colleagues to purchase full versions of Acrobat, and still the tools are tracking changes are not as good.

I've also had problems with journal and book editors, one of which insisted I convert a book chapter written in LyX into Word format despite the fact that the publisher (Elsevier) has a LaTeX document class available. I've also encountered other journals where document classes are not available (e.g. I've not found one for Journal of Biogeography....)

For these reasons I'm tempted to try Scientific Word, but so far I've been put off by the price. I love LyX and use it for single authored manuscripts whenever I can. I also think that the ability to embed R code and data into LyX documents with Sweave opens a whole new world for scientific transparency and reproducibility that I would like to see developed further.

If the list has suggestions for some of the concerns above I'd love to hear them.

Many thanks,

Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Austin
Department of Anthropology
1 University Station C3200
Austin TX 78712

phone: (512) 471-7529
fax: (512) 471-6535
web: http://webspace.utexas.edu/dnr266/www

On Jul 30, 2008, at 3:56 PM, Paul A. Rubin wrote:

FWIW, my rule of thumb is that if it's not a job for a text editor (NoteTab Light or Notepad++ on Windows, GEdit on Ubuntu), and it's not a letter, then it's a job for LyX. The only reason I don't use LyX for letters is that our office stationary has boilerplate in both the top margin and the left margin, and I've yet to see a LaTeX class that would accommodate both. So I keep a rusty copy of WordPerfect around for that (and for opening old WP files, of course).

I haven't tried typing math in Open Office, but the math editors in both Word and WP would drive me nuts at this point. Most of the time in LyX I'm doing an article, a presentation or something like a syllabus, but I've moved my CV to LyX as well.

IMHO, LyX + Beamer is a tough act to beat for presentations, particularly if you're putting in math.

My $0.02 (0.000000001 euros at current conversion rates).


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