Tools for multimedia-rich paper writing/submission

We have for many years talked about getting a new paper template for NIME. The current ACM-based template have a number of flaws, not least that it looks and behaves very differently in its LaTeX and Word versions. Yet, changing to something else has turned out to be difficult. This is particularly so because parts of the community prefer at LaTeX-style writing flow, while others a more WYSIWYG-style offered by MSWord and similar.

Last year we spent quite some time discussing about using Authorea as a tool, but ended up not using it after all. This year several people have talked about PubPub as an interesting solution. It seems to be particularly strong when it comes to handling peer feedback/review, a topic that is discussed over here.

Any thoughts on these and other tools, and how they could work for the NIME community? Here it is particularly important to consider the need for a mature and long-term solution.

Mural ( is an open-source, rich-media storytelling tool. It was developed for journalism but it’s also being used by documentarians and artists to tell stories.

1 Like

We used Overleaf to compile our paper for the event, using the Paper template; I am currently shifting gradually all my tasks of writing towards Org mode as raw model for authoring academic and admin/technical documents, I find it very convenient as all work is streamlined to any format including PDFs, md, html, and whatnot and plays well for online media. However, I understand that this might not be ideal for everyone as it’s heavily biased towards an opinionated ecosystem and the learning curve might be too steep.


Yes, we have previously asked about people’s wish for using different tools, and have found that about half of NIME submitters preferred a MS Word template over LaTeX. That is why we spent time on exploring Authorea last year, but decided to hold off for various reasons. Personally I think PubPub seems like the most user-friendly solution at the moment, but would be very interested in hearing from people that have tested this (or other similar tools) at scale.

1 Like

Looks great! But would it work for academic writing you think? And is it possible to secure some kind of longterm archiving of such multimedia stories?

Looks great! But would it work for academic writing you think?

Depends what you mean by academic writing. For things like instrument documentation, demos, installations I think this kind of multimedia storytelling would be really valuable. Maybe what this points to is that there is no one paper format to rule them all; maybe we need to consider different formats for different contributions. The danger there is that it’s really hard to tell how this will play out long term (I’m thinking specifically of all the art projects made in Flash that are now inaccessible!)

1 Like

I second Overleaf! I was a LaTeX novice until earlier this year and Overleaf has been a really easy way for me to get the best out of both the LaTeX-style writing flow and the WYSIWYG-style offered by most word processors.

1 Like

I do feel that overleaf has changed the game a bit in terms of making Latex authoring more accessible and shareable. It’s a lot more fun to get your feet wet with latex when you don’t have to download 1GB of stuff and learn the compile workflow etc etc.

It doesn’t help in terms of multimedia-richness, but having a ready-to-go NIME template available in overleaf as a default option (i.e., linked to from the conference call), might help steer people towards that way of doing things.


I use Overleaf daily myself, but I think we should remember that about 50% of NIME attendees prefer the MS Word-template we have had. And as @charlesmartin points out, a LaTeX>PDF-solution does not solve the multimedia issue. We experimented with Authorea last year, but their business model has been changing, making it challenging to plan long-term.

I think PubPub is very exciting and seems to be stable. I think PubPub would be very nice for publishing the articles and allow for public peer commentaries/reviews. But as far as I can see it would not be ideal for initial submissions, since they do not offer anonymous submissions.

I have also been exploring OSF lately. That is more of a “bucket-based” system. The great thing is that people can submit anything (including audio, video), and it is possible to get an anonymous link to the material. That could be ideal for submissions.

Here is a thought about a new workflow:

  1. We make a template based only on content: list what should be included (title, abstract, etc.) and some limitations on the number of words (2000 words for short paper and 4000 for long?). People can format this however they like.

  2. Submissions go through an OSF group, where also all support material is uploaded.

  3. After review and acceptance, the authors create a PubPub document of their submission.

  4. Public discussions about the papers happen in PubPub. This could happen before, under, and after the conference.

  5. (optional) The PubPub document is updated after the conference, taking into account comments.

  6. A PDF + zip of extra material is archived in Zenodo.

Could something like that work?


Seems like a good way forward. As I’ve noted elsewhere, Google Scholar does not currently scrape Zenodo.

1 Like

Hi @alexarje, thanks for putting this together. Whilst I like the tools and workflow you mentioned, I have a few concerns.

  1. Are we sure we want to leave authors free to format the initial submission however they like? This could potentially lead to horrible submissions that could bias the reviewers. Personally, I am a visual person, and if somebody makes me read something formatted horribly I usually struggle. Possible solution could be to provide the most minimal but extremely strict template. In this way, the documents would be all very vanilla but would all be consistent.

  2. Whilst I understand that PubPub is great but does not provide anonymity, I believe that as of now we have one too many steps in the process. OSF -> PubPub -> (optional) Edited PubPub -> Zenodo dump. I think we would find a bit of pushback when asking accepted authors to port their work on PubPub. Whilst I think PubPub is great, if I remember correctly this was one of the main problems last year when we tried to propose to use Authorea as next step once papers had been accepted in traditional format.

I am just throwing out initial thoughts here, I could be completely wrong.

1 Like

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Can PubPub be our new publication tool?

Note that arXiv welcomes submission of conference proceedings indices:

arXiv is indexed quickly and thoroughly by Google scholar some other indices, so this may be worth considering. This is not exclusive, but could supplement other solutions.

They accept submissions in PDF or LaTeX source format. So this is not for multimedia-rich documents, other than via links to externally hosted media.

1 Like

That is interesting, @mjl. How do you think this could fit into our current workflow? I have added it as an archive issue now. Does anyone want to try formatting the NIME content for submission?

It looks like they will accept submission of an entire proceedings, for example:

I think this would be the more efficient approach to take (as opposed to having authors index their own NIME pdfs).

Submission for a given year could be handled by the paper chair for that year, as a convention.

If you think arXiv is a worthwhile extension to the existing archives, I’m willing to contact them to ask what they think about archiving the past proceedings.

What is the current situation wrt to DOI identifiers for NIME articles?
arXiv allows one to include existing DOIs, so it would be better to have that in order before we go ahead.

Yes, it would be interesting to hear what it takes to archive the 1800+ papers we currently have in the archive. Fortunately, the complete archive is well-structured in BibTeX files.

All articles have DOIs from Zenodo and these have now also been added to the BibTeX files. So it should be possible to preserve those.

1 Like

The one issue we might encounter is the mixed-license status of NIME articles pre-2016. The license with the least requirements reads:

  • I grant a perpetual, non-exclusive license to distribute this article.
  • I certify that I have the right to grant this license.
  • I understand that submissions cannot be completely removed once accepted.
  • I understand that reserves the right to reclassify or reject any submission.

The other available licenses are versions of CC, including CC BY 4.0, which post-2016 NIME articles have. So we would probably use the above license pre-2016, and the CC BY 4.0 from 2016 onwards. Unless you have other ideas.

Also note that once the articles are published by arXiv, they cannot be removed, as with Zenodo.

It would be a good idea to hear a couple of more opinions about arXiv before I go ahead and contact them.

Anyone else have some time to take a look at arXiv and let me know your opinions?

1 Like

@alexarje Now I’ve taken a closer look at the hosting of some of the older articles on Zenodo and see that a CC BY 4.0 has been applied.

So perhaps we just ignore the problem and say that all the articles have a CC BY 4.0?

Is this ok, is there a possibility of encountering issues?

Any licensing experts reading?


Hi, just wanted to flag the new workflow proposed by ACM:

Basically the authors submit their manuscript in single column format, and the reviewers are expected to estimate the contribution from word count, number of tables, number of figures and number of pages. I’ve been reviewing for TEI using this system, which might be a little bit confusing at first. But the reasons for this change are clearly explained here:

In summary:

  • Separation of content vs presentation
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability / longevity

The rationale for this change is also to propose a ‘“review format” that is lightweight and requires minimal author effort to prepare’.


Looks like the pdf they generate would work well on a tablet.
I’m surprised they are not using a CC license and also that the sample pdf has a price tag at the bottom ($15).