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An efficiency comparison of document preparation systems used in academic research and development

Knauff, Markus ; Nejasmic, Jelica

Originalveröffentlichung: (2014) PLoS ONE 9(12):e115069 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115069
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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-115434

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Sammlung: Open Access - Publikationsfonds
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Institut: Fachgebiet Psychologie, Allgemeine Psychologie und Kognitionsforschung
Fachgebiet: Psychologie
DDC-Sachgruppe: Psychologie
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2014
Publikationsdatum: 01.07.2015
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: The choice of an efficient document preparation system is an important decision for any academic researcher. To assist the research community, we report a software usability study in which 40 researchers across different disciplines prepared scholarly texts with either Microsoft Word or LaTeX. The probe texts included simple continuous text, text with tables and subheadings, and complex text with several mathematical equations. We show that LaTeX users were slower than Word users, wrote less text in the same amount of time, and produced more typesetting, orthographical, grammatical, and formatting errors. On most measures, expert LaTeX users performed even worse than novice Word users. LaTeX users, however, more often report enjoying using their respective software. We conclude that even experienced LaTeX users may suffer a loss in productivity when LaTeX is used, relative to other document preparation systems. Individuals, institutions, and journals should carefully consider the ramifications of this finding when choosing document preparation strategies, or requiring them of authors.
Lizenz: Lizenz-Logo  Creative Commons - Namensnennung