Publishing an interactive paper to an academic journal

Hi, I’m considering submitting a paper to an academic journal and had some questions.

As an outsider to the whole process, I just want to write the best possible paper (as an interactive notebook), but I’m afraid that these types of papers are excluded by default— because journals only seem to accept a PDF paper + VIDEO talk format, right?

Does anyone know the state of publishing interactive papers? Feels like a shame that using the best possible tools to present a new idea seems to preclude me from participating in academia. Is this an overreaction? I’m interested in what people are thinking here.


Hi @shaunlebron ! This is a massive topic onto itself, and many points where one can geek out! <3

Depending on your discipline and publisher, the expectations for academic submissions vary. Certain disciplines focus more on citations of original concepts, and tools like and are meant to help you. Some disciplines, like economics, may ask those submitting to academic journals to include their processing tools and environments. Disclosing this information helps with reproducibility and testing of assumptions and formula. Observable helps with all of this as part of its very core. Everything in a notebook may be interrogated, and any (working) notebooks clearly show connected components and computational logic. Thank you for thinking of using Observable for publishing and let’s keep working together to make this easy and smooth!

I would write a regular paper and give the Observable notebook as Supplementary Material, linked from the paper. One thing to think about, which journals do, is that your research/idea should be accessible also in the long run (100 years from now, or more). We all hope that Observable will stay around forever, but journals don’t want to bet on that.