27 December 2014

On my 2015 wishlist...

...is an e-print server where I can submit my pdf preprint and have it archived as-is, without making me jump through hoops just because someone somewhere thought it would be a good idea to force the authors to provide their publication in some particular format.

Case in point: I've tried storing the preprint of a recent paper (published online in September 2014).

• My first choice was the HAL archive, where I submit all publications for which I am corresponding author. The interface used to be somewhat clunky, but the new version is greatly improved. There is also a verification step, which used to take about a day or two. What is also nice is the option for automatic submission to arXiv. This particular paper (submitted on Oct. 21st) is still awaiting verification. I opened a support ticket on Dec. 1st and got no response (but the ticket is still open, so there's always hope...)
• I then attempted a submission directly to arXiv. The pdf was produced using LaTeX, so it cannot be accepted as such and I was asked to provide all source files, for automatic compiling on the submission sever. I did as instructed (it's called "submission" for a reason, after all...) and spent about one hour trying to manually get the automatic compiling process to automatically compile my source files into the pdf file that I can obtain on my machine in a matter of seconds (I tried uploading both the source files and the resulting pdf, but that would have been to easy...)
• I finally gave up and uploaded the file to ResearchGate. It was quick, painless and the paper is now available to everyone with an RG account who may be interested in characterizing the morphology of gold nanoparticles.
Should I give up on established repositories such as HAL and arXiv (which are also open to anyone, without registration) and store everything on ResearchGate or another new platform? Hopefully, the former will adjust before being made irrelevant by the latter.