TeX Hour

A weekly video meeting

Less is more — micropublishing


The term “micropublishing” has several meanings. An old use is microfilm (and for spies the microdot). Today we use it to mean rapidly published short research communications. Typically, it places new findings directly into information discovery spaces.

We’re pleased to have Kaveh Bazargan as a special guest. Kaveh runs River Valley Technologies, who provide technical services and innovation to STEM publishers.


A future TeX Hour will discuss the related topic of open access publishing. Also related is the difference between monolithic and modular publishing platforms.


Here are three author and reader facing micropublication sites in STEM:

For more information about the TeX Hour, including Zoom URL, see the About page.

PS: Stones

Still here? Here’s something off-topic for your amusement.

The ancient Greek for stone is “lithos”. In printing, “lithography” is a printing process that relies on the mutual repulsion of oil and water. It was invented by Alois Senefelder in 1796. It relied on a smooth piece of limestone, which in off-set litho printing today is replaced by a image burnt onto a flexible aluminum sheet, the “litho plate”.

In geology “lithographic limestone” is a rock that is suitable for use as a litho stone. In the 19th century this was an item of considerable commercial importance (just a fine marble is today).

The original source was Solnhofen in Bavaria. Besides being good for print, its limestone contains detailed, famous and beautiful fossils, such as all 12 known specimens of Archaeopteryx.

So why this diversion now into lithographic printing? Because earlier in this post we mentioned “monolithic publishing platforms”.

Some famous monoliths (which are of no use for printing, except as the subject of a lovely print) are:

Humanity has created some large monoliths, particular for ancient Heliopolis (about 16 BC to AD 60). The largest is the “Forgotten Stone”, discovered in 2014 and weighing about 1650 tonnes. Quite how something so massive was forgotten and unnoticed for so long is hard to comprehend.

Perhaps there’s a lesson here for the future of gargantuan monolithic software.

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