Writing science is not a easy task. Furthermore of the complication of expressing highly complex ideas in a concise and clear fashion, it requires a proper framework that manages task like:
- References to previous work in the literature.
- In-document references to equations, figures, tables, algorithms, sections, etc.
- Proper formatting of the document and references, accordingly to the editorial.
- Version Control to allow several authors to contribute and keep it organized, maintaining the full history between revisions and corrections.
Markdown is a simple document structure with a easy learning curve, used in mostly for developers and present on almost all open source projects in nowadays. Its main benefit is that, differently from Latex or Html (also plain text documents), Markdown is easy to read directly from the source as it is, without any need of software interpretation.
Pandoc is a open source and powerful tool that cross-translate documents from several types of files. Given this tool, it is possible to write in plain text with any text editor the content of a scientific research work in Markdown, and to be transformed to Latex, PDF, or Docx documents, with the requirements specified for most published with ease. Pandoc make use of filters, which are executable files, that extends the capabilities of Markdown, and give this framework robustness to accomplish the scientific writing needs.