Writing sciency things in Markdown – Pandoc is Awesome!

Pandoc is an awesome tool!
This is especially true once properly configured for scientific writing.
Personally, I write all my papers in Markdown — or RMarkdown for the fancy stuff that requires generating figures — and leave pandoc to automatically produces pdfs and LaTeX output.
In fact, all my builds are simultaneously generated for 3 separate versions — corresponding to the major style guides in computer science — each in ACM, IEEE and LNCS formatting.
I get really distracted writing LaTeX directly — it’s really easy to lose track on what you want to say when writing when you could spend half the day type-setting and resizing figures.
This is where writing in markdown really shines; it allow’s you the flexibility of LaTeX — since TeX can be embedded at any part of the document — without you going down the long road of type-setting and losing your train of thought.
Best of all, if you’re about to submit the paper and need to finally focus on typesetting it’s easy to generate a LaTeX output of your work and edit as you normally would using the classic TeX workflow.
The full code is available on github and was built with the following packages:

  • pandoc — 1.19.2
  • pandoc-citeproc — 0.10.4
  • pandoc-crossref — 0.3.0.0

The corresponding pdfs can be viewed here as ACM, IEEE and LNCS.

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