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Detailed format specifications

All papers submitted to IFAC technical meetings must comply with the IFAC paper layout. Templates for common word processors are available on the IFAC "Information for authors" web page.

 See a sample paper for better understanding.

Paper length and file size

  • Regular papers: 6 pages, 1.5 MB
  • Plenary papers: 12 pages, 3.0 MB
  • Keynote papers: 18 pages, 4.5 MB

Page size and margins

  • A4 paper (210 × 297 mm)
  • Margins:
    • First page: top 35 mm, bottom 25 mm, left/right 15 mm.
    • Other pages: top 25 mm, bottom 25 mm, left/right 15 mm.
  • Main text is two columns, with a 5 mm gap between columns. 
  • No headers, footers, or page numbers.

Title page

The title page must contain the following items, centred on the page with a left and right margin of 30 mm (i.e. a maximum width of 150 mm):

  • Title, with a maximum of 10 words, 14 pt Times boldface.
  • Author names, 10 pt Times boldface. 
  • Author affiliations, 10 pt Times italic.
  • An abstract with 50–100 words.
  • A list of 5–10 keywords, preferably taken from the official IFAC keyword list.

The abstract and keywords should be separated from the previous and following text by a pair of full width (150 mm) horizontal lines and an 8 pt vertical space.

The rest of the title page is body text, formatted in two columns as detailed below.

Text format

  • Times Roman 10 pt, or equivalent font, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
  • All paragraphs must be justified, if possible.
  • Single line spacing.
  • The first line of a paragraph should not be indented. 
  • 8 pt additional vertical space between paragraphs.
  • Avoid hyphenation at the end of a line.

Section headings

  • Section headings must be centred, in capital letters, and numbered consecutively, starting with 1.
  • Sub-section headings should be in capital and lower-case italic letters, numbered 1.1, 1.2, etc, and left justified, with second and subsequent lines indented. 


  • All tables should be numbered with Arabic numerals. 
  • Headings should be placed above tables, underlined and centred. 
  • Leave one line space between the heading and the table.


  • All photographs, schemas, graphs and diagrams are to be referred to as figures.
  • Lettering and symbols should be clearly defined either in the caption or in a legend provided as part of the figure. 
  • Figures should be placed at the top or bottom of a column wherever possible, as close as possible to the first reference to them in the paper. 
  • Figures should be restricted to single-column width unless this would make them illegible.
  • The figure number and caption should be typed below the illustration, left justified, with subsequent lines indented.


  • Equations should be numbered with Arabic numerals.
  • SI units should be used for physical magnitudes. All non-standard abbreviations or symbols must be defined when first mentioned, or a glossary provided.


  • In the text the surname of the author and the year of publication of the reference should be given. 
  • Two or more references by the same authors published in the same year should be differentiated by letters a,b,c etc. 
  • For references with more than two authors, text citations should be shortened to the first name followed by et al.
  • Only essential references, which are directly referred to in the text, should be included in the reference list.
  • References must be listed in alphabetical order at the end of the paper. References to the same author(s) should be in chronological order.
  • Journal references should include: 
    • author’s surname and initials; 
    • initials and surnames of remaining authors; 
    • year of publication (in brackets); 
    • article title (where provided); 
    • abbreviated journal title (in italics); 
    • volume number and page numbers.
  • References to books should include: 
    • author’s surname and initials; 
    • initials and surnames of remaining authors; 
    • year of publication (in brackets); 
    • book title (in italics); 
    • name of the publisher and place of publication. 
  • References to multi-author works should include after the year of publication: 
    • chapter title (where provided); 
    • "In:" followed by book title (in italics); 
    • initials and name(s) of editors(s) in brackets;
    • volume number and pages; 
    • name of the publisher and place of publication.
 Sample paper layout