A template for Copernicus academic journals

By Peng Zhao | September 6, 2018

This is a submission to the 1st bookdown contest.

  • Write academic papers of Copernicus journals with R markdown syntax.
  • Support ~ 40 Copernicus journals.
  • Support both the two-columned pdf version and the discussion version.
  • Create multiple file formats, including .pdf, single .html, gitbook, .md, .epub, docx.


Copernicus Publications is a publisher of scientific literature which publishes around 40 peer-reviewed open access scientific journals and other publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). Many years ago, one of my manuscripts was submitted to the academic Biogeosciences (BG). I wrote it with LaTeX. BG is one of the top journals in my research area. I believe I will submit to BG again in the future and I would not use LaTeX again. Therefore I created the bookdown template for Copernicus.

The bookdown-copernicus template was firstly included in the bookdownplus package in 2017. It used to be named as 'article' and 'discussion'. For the 1st bookdown contest I merged them into one and improved the structure of the files for easier use.

An Example with Its Repo

Repo: https://github.com/pzhaonet/bookdown-copernicus

Copernicus journal papers are open-access. A submitted manuscript, if accepted, is firstly published online as a discussion version, the layout of which is easy for computer monitors. Here is my example:

After successful discussions, the manuscript is published in a two-column printed version:

Users can easily specify the layout in the yaml of the bookdown-copernicus template.

Users can view mdpi.docx, mdpi.epub, mdpi.html, mdpi.pdf, and mdpi.tex as well.

Technical details

Copernicus provides a LaTeX template which is free for using. I modified it as 'tex/template_article.tex', i.e. something was moved from the original LaTeX template to the yaml of 'index.Rmd'. Users could simply compare them and then get an idea how to convert a LaTeX template into a bookdown template.

Any suggestions are welcome. Just PR the repo!

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