Andreas Zeller

Andreas Zeller (high resolution photo)

Andreas Zeller is faculty at the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security and professor for Software Engineering at Saarland University. His research on automated debugging, mining software archives, specification mining, and security testing has proven highly influential. Zeller is one of the few researchers to have received two ERC Advanced Grants, most recently for his S3 project. Zeller is an ACM Fellow and holds an ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award.

Phone:  +49 681 87083-1001
Twitter:  @AndreasZeller
GitHub:  andreas-zeller

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13 January 2017

Twelve LaTeX packages to get your paper accepted

by Andreas Zeller (with Abhik Roychoydhury and Aditya Kanade)

Why do some people get all their papers accepted, and others do not?  You may already know that in many disciplines, using the LaTeX typesetting system correlates with having your paper accepted (in contrast to, say, Word).  What you may not know is that there is a number of LaTeX packages whose usage may be crucial for success.  Here we go:
  1. The pagefit package.  This immensely useful package makes your paper exactly fit within a given page limit, applying a genetic search algorithm to reduce baseline distances, white space, font sizes, or bibliographic references until it exactly fits.  Just write \usepackage[pages=12,includingbibliography]{pagefit} and enjoy.  
  2. The autocite package. Cites all relevant work that needs to be cited.  The "citepc" option additionally cites the entire program committee, whether their work is relevant or not.
  3. The translate package.  Auto-translates your paper into a given target language (default is English).  Just type \begin{translate}Endlich kann ich in meiner Muttersprache schreiben!\end{translate} to obtain "Finally, I can write in my mother language!" (Hint: You can also translate English into English to fix typos and other mistakes.)
  4. The significance package.  Alters your experiment settings until results become statistically significant, repurposing LaTeX's built-in formatting algorithm for advanced p-hacking.  Use as \usepackage[p=0.05]{significance}.
  5. The boast package.  This extends the nlp package to automatically alter your writing style according to a set of parameters.  For instance,
    • \set\relevance=\Large % Set relevance (values range from \tiny to \Huge)
    • \set\novelty=0.5 % Sets novelty claimed, from 0.0 to 1.0. 
    • \set\formality=0.75 % Increase or decrease formal content (formulas, theorems, greek letters, etc.). For the humanities, use lower values.
    Hint: If you get a LaTeX "overclaim" warning, reduce these values; you can also use the [maximize] option to have LaTeX find a maximum without overclaim.  Also, be sure to reduce \relevance for sections that discuss related work.
  6. The accept package.  This package does what it says: All our published papers have a line that says \usepackage{accept}.  If you do not have the accept package, at least try to comment out the \usepackage{reject} line found in so many journal submission templates.
  7. The coauthors package.  Automatically searches for co-authors who have done well-respected work related to the paper and includes them as co-authors to boost chances of acceptance. The option [silent=true] (default) does so without their knowledge.  Use [related=false] to include any tall figure (say, Paul Erdős) as co-author.
  8. The prostrate package.  Puts an acknowledgement section at the end profusely thanking the reviewers, even if the reviews were not even close to being relevant, helpful, insightful, or constructive. After all, you should always thank the reviewers for accepting your paper that you yourself would not have accepted!  Automatically expands to fit the page limit; see the pagefit package, above.
  9. The autosubmit package.  Run your paper through LaTeX and have it automatically submitted to the most suitable venue.  Use [field=physics] to narrow down the field or [conference=ICSE] to explicitly specify the venue.  Be careful: These options also accept wildcards[field=humanities,journal=*] will auto-submit your paper to all humanity journals at once.  (See also the autoreject package.)
  10. The award package.  Makes your paper win an award, as in \usepackage[bestpaper]{award}. Options include "impact", "beststudentpaper", and more; be aware that "bestpaper" and "impact" are mutually exclusive.  Donald Knuth and Leslie Lamport have extended this package with a "turing" award option, but never publicly released their extension;  Philip Roth is said to have asked for a "nobel" option.
  11. The trump package.  Makes your paper great again, but shortens it to 140 characters, dismissing all scientific evidence.  So overrated!
  12. The tenure package.  Keep on writing to obtain this package.  If you can also get a relocation package, a healthcare package, and a retirement package, you'll be all set!
Note that these packages are normally customized towards your institution (using institution-specific relevance and boast settings, for instance).  Therefore, you will not find these packages as part of your standard LaTeX distribution; use your institutional download site instead. Keep on LaTeXing!

Coming up next: "More and more schools prohibit the infamous 'autowrite' package", and "How to use the 'politically' package in the correct way."

tags: popular