This WordPress was the result of a long weekend and a persistent idea. The original credit for the idea must go to @orbitingfrog, who was keen on making arXiv more appealing to read at .Astronomy 5 in Boston. There are on average 50+ astrophysics papers added each day to astro-ph and it’s extremely overwhelming (especially as a PhD student) to stay on top of them.
The key motivations here are:
1. It is absolutely critical to try your best to stay up to date on the increasing amounts of literature in your field and in the broader fields of astrophysics.
2. arXiv is awesome, but not very nice to look at (too much text!). This could change in the future.
3. It would be nice to be able to glance at a visually-appealing summary of different papers to then go forth and read properly.
At first I thought Tumblr was the obvious choice for this, since it has an array of great templates designed to make information attractive. I spent some time working out the Tumblr API and then worked on getting the necessary information from the source files of arXiv. It’s pretty well automated now. Then the wise and powerful Aidan pointed out that WordPress was actually a better choice (Tumblr has photo post limits), so here we are!
Here is an overview of the steps, in case you’re interested:
1. Read in the list of newly posted articles from arXiv.
2. Get the information on each article including title, abstract, subjects, and source.
3. Download the source, and hunt for the images associated with the paper (eps, ps, pdf, png or jpg) – convert to image files for uploading.
4. Post to WordPress as a gallery, including all relevant information. The API wrapper used is here.
This is still very much a work in progress, and there may be bugs. If you find any oddities, or think your paper should be appearing and isn’t, or want to rave about the awesomeness of arXiver ^_^, please send us some feedback.
Thanks for your interest, and hope arXiver is useful to you!
p.s. I really hate how everyone plays the 4:00pm submission game on arXiv to try and get high up on the list of papers for the day. Therefore: import random -> random.shuffle 🙂