# What is the recommended practice for making multi-article publications with LaTeX?

I would like to migrate the process of preparing a scientific journal at our department from MS Word to LaTeX.

There is already a document class that could be used for individual articles. However it is not clear what is a proper way of combining multiple articles, which have their preambles, into a single document.

Hence the question, what is the recommended practice for making multi-article publications with LaTeX?

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I helped once to publish the proceedings of a smaller conference using LaTeX. This was done by creating PDFs from each article, without headers and footers, especially no page numbers. The PDFs where then included in a main document using the pdfpages package. You can add a header and footer over these pages to superimpose a running page number with the pagecommand option. We also added some code to have PDF bookmarks and a table of contents. You can also use indexing etc. There was a small database with the information about each article, like author, title and PDF filename. Basically we had an input file (DB) like this:

\journalarticle{Author}{Title}{Other info}{PDF filename}
\journalarticle{Other author}{Next title}{..}{PDF filename}
% ...


Where \journalarticle is a custom define macro which includes \includepdf and the bookmark, ToC and index macros. I don't have the exact code available any longer. If you have a real DB you should be able to produce such a TeX file using a script.

I can recommend such an approach over combining the sources of the article, which can cause a lot of issues if the sources come from different people, even if a common template and class was used. You should definitely provide a document class and a example document template to the authors. Also, state all technical requirements, like no page numbers, very clearly.

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I used this approach, but edited the papers to uniformize them, setting the correct page numbers. This method was very helpful once, when the editors had to switch publisher, ending with very different typographic requirements: I just modified the class and did only minor adjustments for bad breaks. :) –  egreg May 7 '12 at 8:00

One possibility to realize it might be the combine package that lets you combine multiple articles in one document (e.g. by using \import) without the need to change the individual articles.

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The "combine" package does look interesting, but it would appear that using "pdfpages" offers a bit more pragmatic approach. Thanx. –  01es May 7 '12 at 19:49