As most everyone who works with me knows, I’m a huge advocate of LaTeX. If not for LaTeX, at least a huge opponent of Word. Word is sometimes okay if you’re doing a simple document without a lot of formatting, but once I start dealing with formatting a large document according to some specification, things always seem to go downhill. I’ll press enter in the wrong place and all of a sudden my entire paragraph is formatted as a section header. Or a number list will decide to continue from previously, or not continue, depending on Word’s temperament that day.
That is why I love LaTeX. It has a pretty steep startup cost (in terms of time), but the benefits in longer documents or with fancier formatting are huge. I love the way a LaTeX document looks, and most importantly I love that if something is screwed up in my document, I can fix it. If something isn’t behaving how I want, I go back to the document and figure out what’s going on. I’m no longer at the mercy of Word’s formatter.
I’m currently preparing a few documents for submission to the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). The good folks at ICIS have allowed PDF submissions, which is unfortunately not true for some others. Unfortunately, they only provide the document specifications in a Word template. So I took this as an opportunity to expand my skills and achieve LaTeX ninja-hood. Rather than deal with Word’s template and its formatting issues, I decided to create a special document class for ICIS this year.
Currently it’s a work in progress, but it’s nearly complete. The only remaining
task is to get bibtex to properly format citations. ICIS has elected to use the
MISQ citation style rather than a standard style like Chicago or APA, so I’ll
get to dig into the depths of bibtex to get those formatted correctly.
In the meantime, it’s a fully functioning template. Download it from Github at the link below, take it for a spin, and let me know if you run into any problems. Any bugs would just be further opportunity to learn about the details of LaTeX.
UPDATE: The MISQ citation format has been added. It has handled books, articles, proceedings, and collections that I’ve thrown at it. Please let me know if you find anything that breaks.