7. Before You Submit

Files and Formats

Manuscript Files

The types of manuscript and related file formats accepted by a journal can be found in the author instructions.  Some journals, particularly those that have a high initial rejection rate, will accept a single PDF file containing the manuscript and all figures and tables for initial submission.  If your manuscript is provisionally accepted, higher-quality, production ready files will be required. This will help to expedite the production process should your manuscript be accepted for publication. 

Most journals, however, require separate manuscript, figure, and table files. Many journals have downloadable manuscript templates to ease the submission process for their authors.  These will have formatting such as fonts and margins already embedded.  If the journal accepts supplemental material you will need to submit that as a separate file(s).

The following are the most commonly considered scientific journal manuscript files:

  • Microsoft Word
  • PDF
  • RTF
  • LaTeX

Optica Publishing Group provides article templates and style guides for authors.