Instructions for authors

Guidelines for authors submitting papers to IFAC events


In order to be eligible for publication, papers submitted to IFAC meetings have to comply with a set of requirements on the style and format of the manuscript and the associated computer file. The main reason behind such requirements is to ensure that all the papers published in IFAC Proceedings are accessible to readers in every region of the World, using a variety of computer platforms, and they have a consistent layout that enables them to be easily recognized as IFAC papers.

Manuscript files are usually written with the help of some text processing tool. Template files and advice on using some common text processors are available from this site.

All papers have to submitted in electronic form as PDF files. Since PDF is an evolving standard, with some characteristics which may make PDF files non portable, there is a set of  requirements that all IFAC paper files must meet in order to be eligible for publication.

Please notice that, although the format and file requirements are only strictly mandatory for final manuscript submission, authors are strongly advised to follow the IFAC guidelines for draft papers submitted for revision as well.

Manuscript style

All papers must be in English. Use of the first person ("I", "we", etc.)  should be avoided throughout. Authors whose native tongue is not English are advised to obtain the help of a suitable colleague to ensure that the typescript is clear and grammatically correct.

Papers should be prepared in the following order:

  • Introduction, to explain the background work, the practical applications and the nature and purpose of the paper
  • Body, to contain the primary message, with clear lines of thought and validation of the techniques described
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgements (when appropriate)
  • References
  • Appendices (when appropriate).

Format and layout instructions

Papers should be prepared in double column format suitable for direct printing onto A4 paper (210mm x 297mm / 8.3in x 11.7in) paper, justified if possible, using Times Roman 10pt typeface. Ensure that the typing area (centred) matches exactly that shown in the specimen pages. Do not number pages on the front, as page numbers will be added separately for the preprints and the Proceedings.

  • Detailed format specifications

Templates and style files

There are templates and style files available for:

If If you are not able to use any of these text processors, please follow strictly the detailed format specifications and check that your paper has the same format as the specimen paper.

PDF file requirements

In order to ensure that PDF files can be viewed and printed on different computer platforms and geographical areas, PDF files must comply with some portability requirements. The most important ones are:

  • All fonts must be embedded in the file.
  • Bitmap (type 3) fonts are not allowed.
  • Fonts that require non-English language support are not allowed.
  • The paper size must be A4.
  • The document margins must be set as follows:
    • 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 may be included.
  • The number of pages and the file size must satisfy the IFAC requirements:
    • 6 pages, 1,5 MB for regular papers;
    • 12 pages, 3.0 MB for plenary papers;
    • 18 pages, 4.5 MB for keynote papers.
  • The document must not have any password protection.
  • The document must not have any links or bookmarks.

You can check if your paper file complies with these requirements by opening the “Document properties” window in Adobe Reader®.

  • Detailed PDF requirements.