📃 Papers in HTML

There seems to be a trend toward publishing academic papers as web documents — that is, in HTML and CSS (and maybe some Javascript) — as opposed to PDFs. Obviously, PDFs aren’t going anywhere, but the change is notable.

I just ran across this one via… uh… I cannot recall why I ran across this one. But it looks nice.


I think the language documentation world is really missing out here. Some of this goes on but web papers are still far from a default — we’re usually still getting papers where PDFs and media, for instance, are not really integrated. No shade whatsoever at the authors of this (fantastic! fascinating!) paper — I just randomly plucked it off of LD&C — but it is an example of how publishing conventions make audio sort of second class citizen to the PDF:


Hearing the audio together with its transcription is quite challenging. I finally managed to get it to open in Adobe Acrobat Reader, after clicking through a warning that the document wanted to use the the Flash player, and that the Flash player is going to be discontinued. What is to become of this important fieldwork, then?

And even worse, the second time I open the PDF, the audio didn’t seem to work. It shouldn’t be this hard. We shouldn’t be depending on a deprecated, proprietary file form which makes our documentation of endangered language, endangered itself!

1 Like

Wow! I’m not sure I was aware of this trend, but for sure good to know about it.

Online publishing and how to effectively integrate sound/audio files in a way that’s smooth and presentable is something that’s kind of lurked at the back of my mind – and unfortunately stayed there. ^^;;

I agree though, how to make research accessible, and keep it accessible, is such an important thing. (A discussion that I don’t even know where to start from ^^;:wink:

Sort of related, I’ve been thinking about this recently for more personal reasons – how to make sure my notes can stay accessible to me. For instance, I pay for Word and OneDrive (but I usually save to the cloud), but if I can’t pay anymore, then I lose access, for example, So that’s unsustainable. Or if other formats become unsupported in the future (the way of Flash for instance).

Sigh What do T^T

1 Like

Yes I like the interactive tables - maybe one day we’ll have shiny apps in all of our papers?

In the digital humanities there are also a lot of experiments with interactive HTML publications, and a lot of discussion of new genres like interactive fiction (see e.g. Depression Quest).