Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions we’re getting. Please check here if your question/comment/suggestion is covered, otherwise contact us!
How did arXiver come to be?
As stated in the About page, this was put together in our spare (or not so spare) time for fun and with the goal of trying to make it easier to keep up with the large amounts of new literature swamping arXiv. It is currently hosted on WordPress.com, rather than on a dedicated server (we don’t have one!). With an average of 30 MB of material uploaded per day, we anticipate it will be 100 days before we need to worry about storage space. We want to make arXiver as awesome as possible so we’re working on it as much as we can, as well as meeting our normal commitments. We ask that you are patient if we don’t reply to your feedback right away or if implementing new features takes longer than ideal. We really appreciate everyone’s positive feedback and constructive comments on arXiver so far, so please keep it coming!
Update: As a result of the arXiver User Survey, the majority of users were in favour of including author names along with the posts. We polled for opinion on both the number of authors to be included as well as how prominently the author names should displayed in posts, and as a result arXiver now features the first three authors’ names at the bottom of each post. Thanks to all who contributed their opinions to the survey!
Why are author names not included in the post?
This was a conscious (and not deliberately controversial) decision made at the very beginning, when we were putting arXiver together. The key motivation was to avoid bias towards/against certain authors based on recognition – we wanted it to be about the scientific content, and the interest it held to you as the reader, rather than about whether you knew of the person who wrote it and for whatever reason want to/don’t want to read their work. It is in no way attempting to take credit away from the authors; rather it’s trying to increase awareness of unknown authors whose content might be interesting to people who might otherwise not read their paper. The link to the paper on arXiv was made as obvious as we could (future posts will have two separate links in the same post), and so the entire author list is currently just one click away.
We realise there are convincing arguments in favour of and against including author lists (or a truncated list of authors) and we are in the process of determining what we as the managers of arXiver feel is the best solution that takes these different arguments into account, as well as what obligations we are required to meet. There will likely be a survey at some point in the near future, so please watch this page, the arXiver Twitter feed and the Facebook Astronomers group for more details if this is a topic you feel strongly either way about.
If you do not wish your papers (or any papers with you as a collaborator) to appear on arXiver in its current form, please contact us and we will make sure these papers do not appear on our feed. If the absence of authors seriously diminishes your experience of arXiver, there are certainly alternative ways of keeping up with astro-ph that currently include all authors. Thanks for your understanding while we work on this!
What kind of filtering can I apply to listings?
Similar to the answer below, it is currently doable using the web address bar and some keywords. Once we move to our own server this should change, but until then this is the best way to do it.
If you want all postings on a given day with the main category being [CEA], you can use the following:
Instead, if you want to get all that are tagged as [CEA] even if it’s not the main category, you can use this syntax:
Please note that while we changed our tags to match the updated arXiv categories, we did not change our WordPress categories to match. Keep this in mind when applying filters!
How can I just see a particular day’s posts?
The current (not very elegant) solution to this is to use the web address bar. If you want to see the papers for Wednesday 9th Oct 2013, then the web address looks like:
This will limit posts to only those posted on that day. We will try to implement something better in future!
What do the acronyms in square brackets in the titles of papers stand for?
We’re trialling a way of sending the paper’s category out with the Tweets each day. We don’t have a whole lot of control over the format of the Tweet, but we can insert this so you know the title and the category just from Twitter. The abbreviations are based on astro-ph, and stand for:
[CEA] Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics
[EPA] Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
[GA] Galaxy Astrophysics
[HEAP] High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
[IMA] Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
[SSA] Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
We’d be interested to know if you find this useful, or if you think it detracts from the title of the paper. Contact us if you have feedback!
I use Papers – is there an easy way to import directly to my Papers library?
Is there any way to ‘favourite’ posts and come back later to read them?
The perils of not switching to our own server yet! Apparently this kind of functionality should be straightforward to implement once we do switch to a server. For now, I’m using Pocket, an awesome visual content management tool that is easy to use and cross-platform. Try it out if you’re keen on saving posts for later.
Why are the papers not in the same order as they are on arXiv?
You may or may not be aware that there is a submission deadline each day for papers appearing on arXiv. Submission opens at 4pm EST, and the first paper submitted to arXiv after that time will appear 1st on the list of papers for that day, and so on. You may think that no one would be silly enough to sit on their computer waiting for 4pm to tick over (or to write code to submit their paper for them!!), but there have even been studies on the submission phenomenon that arXiv has created. We here at arXiver don’t see any reason why this ranking system should exist at all, because submitting a paper at 16:00:01 doesn’t make that paper any better than one submitted at 16:00:02. So we randomise the order of the papers each day to remove the effects of the 4pm bias. Please feel free to send us your feedback on this if you feel strongly either way!
How can I specify which figures I want to appear on arXiver?
We have recently implemented the ability for authors to choose which (up to) three figures appear on arXiver. This is done in the form of a comment in the author’s LaTeX file, in the following form:
There are some important points to note about the current implementation of this feature, which may be updated at a later point.
1) Do *not* include the path to each figure, just the name of the figure. The code will find figures nested in folders automatically, and strip them of their path. Just list the name of the figure for the code to find your figures, otherwise it will likely not work!
2) We only search for @arxiver comments in *.tex files currently. Please send us an email if you would like us to implement searches in other kinds of files.
3) Don’t be grammatically correct – use @arxiver without capitals in your comment. Follow the template comment above!
4) If you specify figures and they do not appear with your paper on arXiver, please drop us an email through the contact form so we can help troubleshoot what went wrong!