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2018 Paper Formatting Guidelines

All regular papers, short papers, and workshop papers must be submitted as PDF files. There are two natural ways to produce these files.

Microsoft Word and other word processors

There are a number of word processors that could be used to create papers, with Microsoft Word being the most obvious. A high-quality free alternative is Apache OpenOffice. If you plan to use a word processor, please start by downloading the .docx or .odt template file below, and looking at the PDF that we generated from them. If your word processor generates comparable PDF output, then it should be a fine tool for writing your Bridges paper.


LaTeX is a standard document preparation system that is available for free on all platforms. It has a steeper learning curve, but it is considered the standard for scholarly writing in STEM fields. It is particularly good at typesetting mathematical notation and working with vector graphics (e.g., mathematical diagrams). If you want to use LaTeX, please start with the template files below, and compare the output against the provided PDF.

If you plan to use some other system, the PDFs linked above can still be used as a guide—they describe correct formatting for Bridges. If you have any suggestions for the templates offered here, feel free to contact us.

Guidelines for author lists

This year, we have streamlined the formatting of author lists. However, the single example above might not provide enough information depending on the number of authors in your submission, or the number of affiliations associated with them. We have prepared a supplementary PDF with additional examples; please compare your paper with this document to verify the formatting of your author list.

Formatting checklist

Here is a summary of our formatting requirements in checklist form. Please use this list to double-check the formatting of your paper before you submit it. Incorrect formatting may result in your paper being rejected without detailed review.

Size and Format

  • Submission is in PDF format
  • File size does not exceed 10 MB.
  • Paper size is US Letter: 8.5 inches × 11 inches
  • The number of pages is even, with no blank space on the last page


  • The font is Times New Roman.
  • Title is bold, 16 pt font, centered, one 16 pt line down from the top margin (3 cm from top of page).
  • Author information is 12 pt font, centered. Email addresses are not underlined.
  • Abstract is 9 pt font.
  • Section titles are bold 12 pt font, centered.
  • Subsection titles are bold, italicized, 11 pt font, justified left.
  • The main text and figure captions are 11 pt font.
  • References are 11 pt font. They may be 10 pt font to save space, but no smaller.

Margins and Indentation

  • Margins are 1 inch on the top, bottom, and sides.
  • Abstract margins are inset .4 inches from the main margins.
  • The first paragraph of every Section and after Figures and Tables is not indented. Subsequent paragraphs are indented .3 inches.
  • Paragraphs in the main text should be justified to the left and right margins. Abstracts are also left and right justified to their indented margins.
  • References are left justified and ragged right.

Images and Copyright

  • Images should be high quality and clearly readable in both color and gray-scale PDFs.
  • Permission must be obtained for any copyrighted images or material, and attribution must be included. Anything published before 1923 is generally OK to copy in the US. If you take a graphic from the web, get the owner’s permission, and make sure the resolution is of good quality.


  • Every figure has a caption. It’s a bold Figure<space>Number<nospace>: followed by an italicized Caption<period>.  It looks like this:
    Figure 5: Description of figure here.
  • All figure captions are centered below the figure.
  • Multiline captions are centered, or have full justification with the first line of the caption.
  • All Figures are referred to in the text, and Figures appear on the same page or before the first mention in the text. When referring to a figure in the paper, the word "Figure" should be capitalized and not abbreviated.


  • Abstracts shall not refer to the references (nor to any figures, or footnotes for that matter).
  • All reference entries are cited in the text.
  • Check that any URLs are correct and active. URLs should not be underlined.
  • For multi-line reference entries, subsequent lines should have a hanging indent.
  • Please follow the formatting of References in the templates, particularly the new formatting of Bridges Proceedings articles.
  • Authors are listed with initials first followed by full last name.
  • References are in alphabetical order by last name.
  • Article titles should be in quotes, book and journal names are italics, publishers are plain text.
  • Authors, title, and journal/publisher information is separated by periods.
  • When article titles are in quotes the period is inside the end quote.

Capitalization and Punctuation

  • In the Title and Section Headings, nouns, verbs, adjectives and other important words are capitalized while conjunctions (e.g., “and” / “or”) and prepositions (e.g., “of” / “with”) begin with a lower-case letter.
  • Check for rogue double spaces and misbehaving double quotes. “This is right”, ”This is wrong“ and "these are not correct quotes at all!"
  • Use en-dashes for pages or other numerical ranges, such as 1–8, and em-dashes to set off text—like this—for emphasis.