Instructions for Authors


All accepted manuscripts must be accompanied by a signed copyright transfer form as they are transmitted to the University of Chicago Press (UCP) for publication.

Before a manuscript is transmitted to UCP, all negotiations between the journal office, peer reviewers, and authors with regard to its content, organization, etc. must have been resolved. This includes any necessary permissions for use of content within the manuscript that is not the author's own.

All components of the manuscript, without exception, must be present on transmission to UCP.

All components of the manuscript (including online-only appendixes, tables, figures, etc.) must have been refereed during peer review.

All files transmitted to UCP must have been opened to check for usability.

Manuscript and PDF files submitted to UCP must match in every detail; that is, they must represent the same version of the article, with exactly the same content, exactly the same wording, and so on.

To avoid uncertainty about the text and possible translation errors, all change tracking in Word files must be resolved before the files are submitted to UCP.

The components of the manuscript (sections, subsections, appendices, title, subtitles, and all others) must be organized to match the appropriate article type (major article, brief report, letter to the editor, etc.) for the journal. See the journal's "Information for Contributors" and recent issues for guidelines.

It may be difficult to render a specially created or very esoteric character in print and/or online, and this may result in delays in publication. Therefore, where possible, authors should select standard characters that can be reproduced easily. Especially in all equations, authors should use standard mathematical notation.

Authors must ensure that all footnotes conform to the journal's specific style rules for markers, marker order, location, and so on. What is standard in one journal may not be correct in others. Particular care should be taken in the preparation of footnotes for journals that use footnotes as the primary method of citation of sources. For guidelines, see the journal's "Information for Contributors," as well as the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

Figure files should be submitted as separate files. The quality of graphics in the PDF used for peer review is not acceptable for print publication.

If any revisions were made to the figures during the peer review process (e.g., changing from color to B+W), in addition to incorporating those revisions, you must make any other appropriate changes to the figures, figure keys, or legends.

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File Naming Conventions

UCP accepts electronic files for articles in the following formats: LaTeX (*.tex; UCP prefers AASTeX), Microsoft Word (*.doc), Corel WordPerfect (*.wpd), or RTF (*.rtf). All parts of the article (title page, abstract, body of article, reference list, figure legends, tables, etc.) should be in a single file. There should be one graphic file (*.eps or *.tiff) for each figure in the article. Please observe the following file naming conventions (EXT="the" appropriate file extension as indicated above):

ms.EXT the text file for the article (should include all parts of the article)
refs.EXT if submitting the reference list as a separate file
figures.EXT if submitting the figure legends as a separate file
tables.EXT if submitting a separate file for the tables (optional)
tb1.EXT, tb2.EXT, etc. if submitting separate files for each table (optional)
fg1.EXT, fg2.EXT, etc. graphic file names
video1.EXT, video2.EXT accepted video formats: animated GIF (*.gif), MPEG (*.mpg), QuickTime (*.mov, *qt), MP4 (*.mp4), AVI (*.avi) Please consult with the Press if other format is used.
audio1.EXT, audio2.EXT accepted audio formats: MP3 (*.mp3), QuickTime (*.qt), WAV (*.wav) Please consult with the Press if other format is used.
datafile1.txt, datafile2.txt ascii machine-readable data files for Astronomy journals
LaTeX Users: If you are using BiBTeX, you MUST submit your *.bbl file along with your article.


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Abstracts should meet the journals standards for length, internal structure, use of abbreviations, and so on. Because abstracts are often published separately, they should not contain specific reference citations.

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Online-Only Content

Where possible, the online and print content of articles should match. Designation of content as "online only" should be reserved for content that (1) cannot be rendered in print or (2) would substantially lengthen the print version of the article.

Content that is "supplemental" (i.e., not integral to the body of the article) should be placed in an appendix, which will be published both in print and online unless it satisfies the criteria for online-only content specified above. Note that "supplemental" and "online only" are not synonymous and may or may not coincide.

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Please see our Guidelines for Artwork for detailed editorial and technical information.

Figures must be numbered consecutively in order of their citation in the text.


Figures should be submitted in the approximate size at which they will be published but should be able to withstand reduction.


Our electronic publishing process requires the use of EPS or TIFF files. We cannot accept files from MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, or MS Word. However, you may submit a high-resolution PDF of graphics from those applications. Please see the Guidelines for Submission of Artwork for information about producing high-resolution PDFs.


Line Art: Optimum resolution for line art files is 800 dpi.

Grayscale: Optimum resolution for grayscale files is 600 dpi.

Photographs: Optimum resolution for photographs is 300 dpi.

Color: Optimum resolution for CMYK files is 300 dpi.

Line Weights

Avoid thin lines, particularly in figures requiring considerable reduction. Use solid black lines that are at least 1 point thick. Do not use the "hairline" width option that many computer programs offer.


Please use the same font type for all figures in your article; use standard fonts such as Times, Arial, Helvetica, or Symbol. Type should be crisp and clear and should be chosen to be legible at publication size. No type should be smaller than 6 points.

Figure Legends

Figure legends should be included on a separate page with the manuscript.

Gray Scale

When preparing gray scale figures, use gray levels between 20% and 80%, with at least 20% difference between the levels of gray. Whenever possible, use different patterns of hatching instead of grays to differentiate between areas of a figure. Gray scale files should not contain any color objects.


Black-and-white files should not contain any color objects.

For journals that publish color graphics in the print edition,

  • Color figures should be published only when the color represents meaningful content or assists the reader in interpreting the data; otherwise, they should appear in black-and-white both in print and online. Conversely, black-and-white versions of color figures are published in print only when the black and white versions are useful to readers and there is no loss of content or readability. If content or readability is compromised in black and white, the figure should be published in color both in print and online.

  • Figures that are intended to be printed in color should be prepared as CMYK (i.e., four-color) files, not RGB (three-color) files. RGB files cannot be used for printing and must be converted to CMYK, which can result in undesirable color shifts.

For journals that do not publish color graphics in the print edition,

  • If submitting artwork in color, please make sure that the colors you use will work well when converted to grayscale. Use contrasting colors with different tones (i.e., a dark blue and a dark red will convert into almost identical shades of gray).

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Please see our guidelines on table preparation for detailed editorial and technical information.

Tables should be reserved generally for the presentation of numerical data. "Verbal" content, especially simple lists, should be formatted and presented as appendixes.

Tables must be numbered consecutively in order of their citation in text.

Individual tables should not have multiple parts that are unlike in structure and content. These should be presented as separate tables.

Tables must be prepared with appropriate software, such as the table modules in Microsoft Word or LaTeX, rather than with a graphics program or by simple typographical arrangement within a word processor.

Authors should consult recent issues of the journal to see how data sets similar to their own have been formatted into tables. It is possible that rows and columns should be reversed or that some information should be moved from table cells to footnotes.

Authors should be aware of the dimensions of printed pages when preparing their tables; the table must fit on the page and it should be clear and readable when printed in the journal's font size for tables.

Combined graphics and tabular data are almost always best submitted as a single figure rather than as a single table or a separate figure and table. However, special characters or symbols that are small enough to fit in table cells and that coordinate well with the data can be published as part of a table.

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Authors must ensure that all references and citations conform to the journal's style rules. What is standard in one journal may not be acceptable in another.

Every in-text citation must correspond to an entry in the reference list. Conversely, every entry in the reference list must be cited in the text.

For journals that use numbered references, references must be numbered consecutively in order of citation in the text, including the text of the footnotes. References that are first cited in a figure or table should be numbered according to the position of the first callout of that figure or table in the main text (not where the figure or table actually appears on proofs).

Wherever possible, authors should gather reference information from the original publications, not secondhand from online databases or other authors' citations.

Authors must ensure that author names in the reference list are spelled consistently and correctly both in the reference list and in the in-text citations.

All URLs and e-mail addresses must be both complete and current-that is, neither outdated nor "under construction." We will not publish URLs or e-mail addresses that are not usable and up to date at the time of publication.

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Mathematical Notation

If possible, all equations and mathematical expressions should use standard mathematical notation.

It must be possible for all equations and mathematical expressions to appear within the limits of a printed column or page in the journal.

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