Spectra FAQ

What is Spectra?

Spectra is a new online publishing platform for STEM authors. It has 3 basic aims: to make scientific communication more accessible to the public at large, more rewarding and simple for authors, and completely open access.
Spectra accepts research-review papers and tutorials in the fields of Math, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Statistics, Economics, Computer Science and Biology. We will accept original research, but for now we do not support peer review, due to the high complexity and duration of the peer-review process required for publication in STEM fields.
Researchers and authors will be compensated for their work through our recurring competitions (see more below). In the future, we will support more ways for authors to be compensated, as helping STEM authors create a “side income” is a core value of our platform.

How do I submit to Spectra?

You can submit directly from Snip Notes via the articles tab. We require all submission in Mathpix Markdown or Markdown format. Read our step-by-step submission guide for more information.

What type of content should be submitted?

We will accept a broad range of content:
  • New and previously published research-review articles
  • Preprint papers ready for informal feedback but awaiting peer-review and eventual publication
  • Tutorials illuminating methods, workflows, and other processes
  • Previously published original research to which you have the rights
Content must adhere to the Mathpix Terms of Use. Please check with any previous publisher or current and past employers on copyright issues before submitting.

How do the competitions work?

For each competition, we will choose a minimum of 3 winning articles. Only new research-review content and tutorials will be considered for competitions. New research requiring peer-review will not be eligible. For now, all eligible content submitted will be judged together, regardless of field.

What are the prizes?

All winning articles will be featured in our 'Pix Picks section and will be awarded $2,000 within 2 weeks of submission. All winning authors will be awarded a certificate and some swag in addition to their monetary prize. Winning authors will also have the opportunity to participate in the Spectra Forum podcast.

How are winners chosen?

Winners, or ‘Pix picks’ and will be determined by a combination of factors, including:
  • Page views
  • Upvotes
  • Social sharing
  • Guest judging by experts

What if my submission has multiple authors?

If your submission has multiple authors, you can include their username in the authors section of your article’s YAML frontmatter. For more information about formatting your article’s YAML, read this guide.
If a winning article has multiple authors, it is at the discretion of the team as to how they want to split the award.

When are winners chosen and announced?

Once a competition has closed (dates will always be available on this site) there will be a short judging period. Once winners are chosen, they will be announced to all readers via the Spectra newsletter. If your article wins, we will reach out to you directly by email about your prize.

What is a review paper?

A review paper digests research in a given research field. A review paper may be opinionated. It generally should not contain original research.

What is an issue?

In our first Spectra competition, we used Github for submissions, and we found the issue function to be really useful in helping authors fix any mistakes in their articles, and also to hold authors accountable for the content they are sharing.
An issue is similar to a comment, and it can be used to:
  • notify and author is a mistake is found;
  • notify the author and/or editors of plagiarism, misattribution, or copyright infringement;
  • start a conversation about the content that includes the author.

What are ‘Pix Picks?

‘Pix Picks are the top articles submitted to Spectra including but not limited to competition winners.

How can I vote for articles I like?

The best way to show support for the articles you found enjoyable or useful is by sharing them on social media or upvoting them.

What is Mathpix?

Mathpix is a technology company that builds productivity and composition tools for STEM powered by AI. We believe that the STEM community needs better tools for creating, sharing, and publishing their work online and we are actively trying to build this future.
We built Spectra as a way to invest back into our broader community, and create new opportunities for everyone interested in contributing to knowledge-building in STEM.

Can I subscribe to a Spectra newsletter with the latest articles and ‘Pix Picks?

When you create a Mathpix account to use Spectra, you are automatically added to our email list, where we will share a Spectra newsletter containing interesting new articles and our latest Picks.