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LISA Science Blog and Newsletter[edit]

The following presents basically the outcome of a meeting at the AEI on August 8, 2008, between

  • Pau Amaro-Seoane (scientist at AEI),
  • Jan Scharein (web developer at AEI),
  • Vera Osswald and Robert Forkel (Digital Editions at MPDL).
  online since 2009-04-20:


The idea of the newsletter is to make scientists involved in LISA but from different fields (particularly arxiv-wise) aware of the work of others.

The format to do this will be a quarterly newsletter, consisting of an invited article and a selection of abstracts of relevant papers from arxiv.

Responsible editor for the content of the newsletter will be Pau Amaro-Seoane.

To support the compilation of the newsletter and to add the value of an online presence, a blog hosted at the AEI will be used to collect arxiv papers and stipulate suggestions by members of the community.

This website should be served as subdomain of and share layout and imprint with this site.


The online part of the newsletter will be implemented as a weblog in the wordpress installation at the AEI.

The blog will provide access to a webform for users to suggest arxiv papers for inclusion in the newsletter. This form will also allow to add keywords from a controlled list compiled by Pau.

Upon posting a suggestion by providing an arxiv identifier, a script will

  • fetch the paper's metadata at,
  • assemble a blog post in draft status,
  • send an email to the editor.

The editor can then edit/amend the post and publish or delete it.

Question: Do we want to record who suggested a paper?

By processing only valid arxiv identifiers, the potential for abuse (e.g. by spambots) should be small enough to not warrant any access restrictions.

The blog will also serve as web archive for the newsletter and as convenient site to post additional news like job postings, workshop announcements, etc. (i.e. messages which have to be disseminated in a timely manner).


The content of the newsletter consists of the following:

  • a Foreword, provided by Pau,
  • an invited article, provided by Pau,
  • a selection of abstracts collected via the blog.

The preparation of the newsletter will initially be done by Robert Forkel, but may possibly be covered later by the LRR backoffice(?). In any case the editorial infrastructure of LR will be used for copyediting of the newsletter.

The newsletter will be distributed quarterly as PDF attachment to an email using the mailing list infrastructure of the AEI.

As added value the newsletter should be indexed by ADS.

Interest of the MPDL in the project[edit]

For one, this is a typical online-publishing project which fits nicely in the portfolio of the digital editions group. Additionally, it lets us explore the possibilities of our wordpress installation as micro-publishing platform.

Publishing blogs will become almost a necessity for other projects within the MPDL as well, and a project which shows how to bridge the gap between new media and older ones will be of much interest.

This particular combination of blog and newsletter may even be a much appreciated way to disseminate information about MPDL news.

Blogs have become one of the established, thus better understood, forms of modern online publishing. In the context of MPDL projects they seem appropriate in various scenarios: Blogs

  • can provide a targeted feedback channel, e.g. for WALS,
  • provide a micro-publishing platform including support for editorial workflow, thus allow small projects to start small and quickly,
  • can be used as knowledge organisation tool on top of any other web resources, e.g. as journal overlay for pubman, maybe for the Sengbusch collection or the Zeitschrift fuer Naturforschung (just as the LISA newsletter is an overlay on top of arxiv).

Open questions[edit]

The following questions should be answered in a meeting between Pau and Bernard Schutz:

  • how to call the baby? "lisa science newletter" seems to have already been taken, but isn't anymore?
  • which domain name?
  • timeline? technically the blog could be started right away, i.e. within 1-2 weeks. when to publish the first newsletter?


And here's a good model:

MPDL contacts[edit]

Robert Forkel, Frank Schulz