This information is a summary of the advice given in detail in later sections of the manual….

1. General instructions

Manuscripts must be typed or printed double spaced throughout, on white paper 215 X 280 mm (8.5 X 11 in.) in size. Use one side of the page only, leaving wide margins at both sides and at top and bottom. Indent paragraphs. Number all pages consecutively, beginning with the title and abstract page….

Include the following material, in the order shown. (Details and exceptions will be discussed in individual sections below):

a. title, with the first word capitalized,

b. author’s name.

c.  abstract, preferably on the first page with the title, …

d. text,

e. acknowledgments  (optional),

f. references (depending on your chosen format – see below),

g. annotated bibliography (may be merged with references if desired – see below),

h. appendixes (if necessary), . . .

2. Abstract

An abstract must accompany every article. It should be a concise summary of the significant items in the paper, including the results and conclusions. In combination with the title it must be an adequate indicator of the content of the article, because it will appear separated from the text and illustrations in electronic bibliographic databases and printed abstracting journals. For this reason the abstract should not contain literature citations that refer to the main list of references attached to the complete article, nor allusions to the illustrations. Define all nonstandard symbols and abbreviations. Do not include tabular material or illustrations of any kind.  Type or print the abstract double spaced, preferably as a single paragraph. While the AIP Style Manual says, “It should be about 5% of the length of the article, but not more than about 500 words,” the Carleton Department of Physics and Astronomy notes that the Comps abstract is typically 100-200 words in length, which is less than the above-stated “5% rule.”

3. Mathematics

Type or print as much of the mathematical material as possible. Handwritten material must be neatly lettered in black ink…The typesetting package called “LaTex” is somewhat of a standard for scientific writing, as it does a particularly good job with equations, tables,  and other items that are not well done in other word processors or typesetting software.  However it has a rather steep learning curve, so you may wish to avoid learning it at the same time as you write your comps!

Notation should be clear, as simple as possible, and consistent with standard usage. Display all numbered equations on separate lines set off from the text above and below. Consecutive numbering of equations throughout the text is generally preferred, in which case use arabic numbers in parentheses flush right with the right margin…

4. Footnotes and references

Type or print all footnotes (including references) in order of citation, either as a separate list at the end of the paper, or individually at the bottom of the page on which a given citation is made. Use superscript arabic numerals appearing in consecutive numerical order through the text. The names of authors in the reference list should be given in the form in which they appear on the title page of the cited work, with the family name (“surname”) last. For journal references use the standard abbreviations for journal names given in Appendix G; give the volume number, the first page number, and the year of publication. For model footnotes and references see Table II.

5. Tables

Tabular material more than four or five lines long should be removed from running text and presented as a separate table. Type each table double spaced…

Be sure to cite every table in the text. Each table must have a caption that is complete and intelligible by itself without references to the text. Column headings should be clear and concise, with appropriate units. Type or print a double horizontal line below the caption, a single line below the column headings, and another double line at the end of the table. For footnotes to a table use the sequence of letters a, b, c, etc., with a new sequence for each table. Place the footnotes themselves below the double line at the end of the table. For a model table, see Table III.

6. Figures and flgure captions

Number figures with arabic numerals in order of appearance in the text; be sure to cite every figure in the text. Give every figure a caption, complete and intelligible in itself without reference to the text…Reference the source.  If you have modified it, say “Adapted from . . . “

7. Positioning tables and figures

There are two options for positioning tables and figures in the text. The second, though slightly less elegant, is usually considerably simpler to manage, although LaTEx can do either rather well.

(1) Place the table or figure, with its caption, in the paper immediately after the paragraph where it is first mentioned.

(2) Place all tables and figures, with their captions, on pages separated from the text. Insert each sheet containing a single figure or table immediately behind the page containing the first reference to it. Give it the page number of the preceding page with an appended “a” (then b, c,… if there are several inserted behind a single text page). For instance, a sheet following text page 5 would be marked 5a. If you have small figures or tables so that more than one can be included (in order) on a single page, then position the page behind the first reference. The alert reader will notice the other figures and will be able to turn back to them easily at the appropriate places in the text.