Bookdown contest submission: a template for MDPI academic journals


  • Write academic papers in the layout of MDPI journals with R markdown syntax.
  • Support ~ 200 MDPI journals.
  • Create multiple file formats, including .pdf, single .html, gitbook, .md, .epub, docx.


Last year, one of my papers was published on the academic journal atmosphere, which belongs to the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). To be honest, this draft was written in Microsoft Word, although MDPI provides a nice LaTeX template. I could not hate LaTeX more at that moment. It had annoyed me enough.

Later, I met bookdown. I found that I could hardly resist the attraction of bookdown. A decision was made to create a bookdown template for MDPI journals on the basis of the LaTeX template: I would enjoy the production of LaTeX, while I would not have to struggle with the pain.

The bookdown-MDPI template was firstly included in the bookdownplus package in 2017. It had not been updated until the 1st Bookdown Contest. The new version of the bookdown-MDPI template is more tailored for markdown users rather than LaTeX users. It will be included in the R bookdownplus pakcage after the contest, if I win :wink:

An Example with Its Repo


Screenshots of the pdf output are as follows. Users can view mdpi.docx, mdpi.epub, mdpi.html, mdpi.pdf, and mdpi.tex.

Technical details

MDPI provides a LaTeX template which is free for using. I modified it as 'tex/template_article_mdpi.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.


  • Download the GitHub Repo.
  • Revise 'index.Rmd' and 'body.Rmd' as your own manuscript.
  • Build the book with R bookdown.

Any suggestions are welcome. Just PR the repo!


There is an MDPI format in the rticles package: Your version appears to be more sophisticated, so perhaps you can consider merging your effort into the rticles package. Thanks!

1 Like

OK, I will take a look at rticles. Thanks for the comment!