Forget about submitting your scientific papers written in Word 2007

Wow, I feel fresh air, although I am not sure whether the following news is a beginning of any deeper changes or not: From Science Authors Guideline: “Because of changes Microsoft has made in its recent Word release that are incompatible with our internal workflow, which was built around previous versions of the software, Science cannot at present accept any files in the new .docx format produced through Microsoft Word 2007, either for initial submission or for revision. Users of this release of Word should convert these files to a format compatible with Word 2003 or Word for Macintosh 2004 (or, for initial submission, to a PDF file) before submitting to Science.”

O’Reilly Radar: Science and Nature rejecting Word 2007 Manuscripts

One commenter in Undernews said: “This isn’t just Science and Nature. All Wiley journals now include the instructions: “[Journal] does not accept Microsoft Word 2007 documents at this time. Please use Word’s “Save As” option to save your document as an older (.doc) file type.” So don’t think it’s a singular problem — I’m sure if you visited all the science journal publications, you’d find similar instructions as well.”

What can I say: Prepare for the age of Google Office manuscripts and figures! All you need is a gmail account.

P.S. I made an attempt to coedit my ongoing first author article (desperately waiting for submission) by publishing the draft on Google Docs and adding the coauthors as collaborators, but only one coauthor (a med student) was kind enough to make one little correction this way. The rest is….well the majority of science people are living within the narrow world of Microsoft Office.

9 thoughts on “Forget about submitting your scientific papers written in Word 2007

  1. Yes, speaking off the record as it were, I too wish that google docs “group edit” function was catching on more. At least, according to a social media meeting I went to last year, wikis are being used more and more now as company intranets. But there is a way to go.
    I’ve just commented on Nick Saunders’ blog about the Nature decision not to use MS2007 — it is a technical decision based on incompatibilities with our macros that make our xml, and lack of back-compatibility with previous word versions (for equations, tables etc) that is the problem. MS “xml” is nowhere near a publisher’s DTD standard, so we need the system that we have spent a while setting up here. MS were also completely unresponsive pre-2007 release when we tried to involve them in discussions about compatibility of technical documents — but they seem unable to cope with these sophisticated mss.

  2. Thank you for your frankness, Maxine. Forgetting about MS products concerning scientific manuscripts at this point I am supportive of the real no-brainer (it is a compliment) Google “Office” products than the more technical wikis out of the preferable alternatives.

  3. I too have been trying to get my group members to use the collaborative tools that Google has made available but there is some sort of stigma regarding the use of such online office apps.

    I hope it becomes more and more widespread and that people can start assuming that the online OS is becoming a reality. At least the office is already gone totally web based.

    Btw, Google Spreadsheets are getting better and better!

  4. I know how Ricardo feels. I suggested putting our lab’s protocols on a wiki instead of keeping them as a MS Word file in a shared directory on one of the workgroup computers, but there was a lot of resistance to that.

    “People could just go changing protocols!”

    Not to worry, though. In a couple years they’ll catch up.

  5. And are you sure that Google will not incorporate your manuscripts and speadsheet data into their growing informational Empire?

  6. Just to clarify, Science and Nature’s authoring guidelines only have a problem with Word 2007’s new equation feature, not the Equation Editor that is included with earlier versions of Word as well as with Word 2007. Equation Editor is my company’s (Design Science) product that we have licensed to Microsoft since 1991 and is a simplified version of our MathType product. Documents containing equations created with either Equation Editor or MathType, even ones in Word 2007’s docx format should be acceptable to publishers as they can use Word 2007’s ability to save to the old .doc format to get such documents into their workflow. Of course, an author should consult with the publisher to be sure. We have issued a press release that gives more details here:

    Paul Topping
    President & CEO
    Design Science

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