Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for Policy & Internet

This document provides details on formatting guidelines pertaining to final manuscript preparation.

Final Manuscript Preparation

The bepress system has been designed to improve the scholarly publication process for authors. Among the many improvements we offer over traditional journals, the most significant is that we have dramatically shortened the period between the initial submission and the final publication of a peer-reviewed article. Much of this time savings is due to the innovative use of electronic publication. These innovations, however, require certain changes in the way authors need to prepare accepted manuscripts for electronic publication.

Although bepress has no rules about the formatting of articles upon initial submission, we ask that the author follow the formatting guidelines below for final submission. This will speed up the publication of your manuscript.

To benefit from the quick turnaround time of electronic publication, we ask authors to pay greater attention to the editing of their manuscripts than is typically required by print journals. When the content of your manuscript is finalized, please take care that your last uploaded file follows the formatting requirements below.

We appreciate your time and effort. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Preflight Editor at .



  • Copyedit your manuscript.
  • The following information should be entered using the “revise manuscript” link. Please view the “Current Version: PDF” to make sure this information is complete and correct. These items should not appear within your uploaded document. They are automatically formatted into title pages, headers, and footers by the bepress system.
    1. Full title and short title (the header)
    2. Page numbers, headers, footers
    3. Author and co-author names, institutions, email, and correct order of authors
    4. Acknowledgments and coverpage footnotes such as further author information and funding sources
  • We require that you include any funding information relevant to the manuscript. This is especially necessary for NIH funded projects so that we may submit your article to PubMed Central. Please enter this information in the Acknowledgment/Coverpage Footnote field using the “revise manuscript” link.
  • Use the following document structure in your manuscript (keep in mind that title pages will be added later):
    1. Introduction (titling this section is optional)
    2. Subsequent sections which include all tables, figures, and footnotes referenced in the text
    3. Appendices (if any)
    4. References - Include a proper bibliography following the guidelines in the References Section below.
  • Write your article in English (unless the journal expressly permits non-English submissions).
  • Make sure that any visible “supplemental content” you upload is intended to be viewed in addition to the final manuscript.
  • Authors interested in the technical details of producing quality electronic documents in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) should consult the manual:
    A Guide to PDF for Scholars Using the bepress System
  • Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file (Word, RTF).
  • Book reviews must start with the full citation of the book at the top of the first page.

For authors working with LaTeX files, please see the bepress related files and documentation at http://www.psocommons.org/policyandinternet/latex.html, including a template for author use and instructions for working with the files. For authors using word processing software such as Word or Word Perfect, please continue to follow the formatting requirements below.


  • Page size must be 8.5 x 11-inches (“letter” size). Do not use A4.
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) must be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including the margins of your tables and figures.
  • Single space your text.
  • Do not insert an extra space between paragraphs of text.
  • Use a single column layout where all text is fully justified, left and right (i.e., flush with the left and right margins). Footnotes and references must be both left- and right- justified as well.
  • Indent all paragraphs except those following a section heading.
  • An indent should be half an inch (1.3cm), approximately 5 em-spaces.
  • Equations, long quotations, theorems, propositions, special remarks, tables, figures, etc. should be set off from the surrounding text by an additional space above and below them.
  • Do not “widow” or “orphan” text; make sure that headings are on the same page as the text that follows them, and do not begin a page with the last line of a paragraph. This also applies to titles or notes attached to tables. (If your spacing appears incorrectly in the automatically generated PDF, bepress can manually re-distill the document for accurate conversion.)
  • There should be no pages where more than a quarter of the page is empty space, unless it is absolutely impossible to avoid (due to figures, etc.).



We cannot accept Type3 fonts. The following is a brief guide to fonts with respect to layout. Please also see the discussion in “A Guide to PDF for Scholars Using the bepress System” (http://www.bepress.com/manuals.html) for font-related issues in the production of good PDF files.

  • Font requirements:
    • Main Body—12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
    • Equations—12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
    • Footnotes—10 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
    • Tables, graphs & figures—Text accompanying graphs, figures and tables should be no smaller than 8 pt, and must be readable at 100% view.

Use Times or the closest comparable font available, except, possibly, where special symbols are needed. If you desire a second font, for instance for headings, use a sans serif font (e.g., Arial or Computer Modern Sans Serif).

  • Set the font color to black for the majority of the text. Bepress encourages authors to take advantage of the ability to use color in the production of figures, maps, images, and graphs. However, you need to appreciate that this will cause some of your readers problems when they print the document on a black and white printer. For this reason, you are advised to avoid the use of colors in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible.
  • Please ensure that there are no colored mark-ups, unintended highlighting or comments in the final version, unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (You may need to “accept all changes” in track changes or set your document to “normal” in final markup.)
  • To indicate text you wish to emphasize, use italics rather than underlining. The use of color to emphasize text is discouraged.
  • Foreign terms should be set in italics rather than underlined, whenever necessary.
  • Titles of books, movies, etc., should be set in italics rather than underlined.


All headings use headline style capitalization.
Use three orders of headings in the manuscript, in both upper and lowercase letters:

  • Place primary headings flush left, in boldface, Times 14pt. There should be two line spaces before primary headings and one line space after them, in relation to the rest of the text. Do not use an indent for the first paragraph after primary headings:
    Primary Heading
  • Place secondary headings flush left, in boldface, Times 12pt. There should be one line space before secondary headings and one line space after them, in relation to the rest of the text. Do not use an indent for first paragraph after secondary headings:
    Secondary Heading
  • Tertiary headings should be underlined and flush left, Times 12pt, with headline style capitalization and a period at the end. There should be one line space before tertiary headings in relation to the rest of the text, with the following text begun on the same line immediately after the tertiary heading:
    Tertiary Heading. Text follows immediately.


  • Footnotes must appear at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced rather than at the end of the paper.
  • Footnotes must be in 10 pt. Times or closest comparable font available.
  • They must be single spaced, and there must be a footnote separator rule (a line).
  • Please make sure there is no excess blank space above or below the footnote line divider.
  • Footnote numbers or symbols in the text must follow, rather than precede, punctuation.
  • Excessively long footnotes are better handled in an appendix.
  • All footnotes must be fully justified, left and right (i.e., flush with the left and right margins).


  • If figures are included, use high-resolution figures, preferably encoded as encapsulated * PostScript (eps).
  • To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Small tables or figures must be put on pages with text or other figures, when at all possible, so that less than a quarter of the page is blank space.
  • All tables and figures must fit within 1.5" margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view (the same margins as the text).
  • Large tables or figures may be put on pages by themselves.
  • Make sure to use at least 8 pt. font size in tables, figures and graphs.
  • Everything must be easily readable when viewed on a computer screen at 100% and when physically printed.
  • In no case should tables or figures integral to the manuscript be in a separate document or file.
  • For related data deemed “supplemental content”—outside the scope of the paper— you may upload it using the “supplemental content” link. The Journal Editor must approve this content.
  • See the appropriate discussion in A Guide to PDF for Scholars Using the bepress System for details on how best to prepare figures electronically.
  • For detailed questions regarding style of figures and tables, please refer to the APSA style manual.
  • If you submit high-resolution figures and they appear unclear in the automatically generated PDF, bepress can help re-distill the images, which may improve the quality.


  • Roman letters used in mathematical expressions as variables must be italicized. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Subscripts and superscripts must be a smaller font size than the main text.
  • Use 12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
  • Type short mathematical expressions inline.
  • Longer expressions must appear as display math, as must expressions using many different levels (e.g., such as fractions).
  • Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math.
  • Number your equations sequentially.
  • Insert a blank line before and after each equation.
  • Whether equation numbers are placed on the right or left is the choice of the author(s). However, make sure to be consistent in this.
  • Avoid symbols and notation in unusual fonts. This will not only enhance the clarity of the manuscript, but it will also help ensure that it displays correctly on the reader's screen and prints correctly.
  • When proofing your document, pay particular attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation drawn from other-than-standard fonts.


  • Within the text of your manuscript, use the author-date method of citation. For instance, “As noted by Smith (1776).”
  • When there are two authors, use both last names. For instance, “Edlin and Reichelstein (1996) claim … ”
  • If there are three or more authors give the last name of the first author and append et al. For instance, a 1987 work by Abel, Baker, and Charley, would be cited as “Abel et al. (1987).”
  • If two or more cited works share the same authors and dates, use “a,” “b,” and so on to distinguish among them. For instance, “Jones (1994b) provides a more general analysis of the model introduced in Example 3 of Jones (1994a).”
  • After the first cite in the text using the author-date method, subsequent cites can use just the last names if that would be unambiguous. For example, Edlin and Reichelstein (1996) can be followed by just Edlin and Reichelstein provided no other Edlin and Reichelstein article is referenced; if one is, then the date must always be attached.
  • When citations appear within parentheses, use commas—rather than parentheses or brackets—to separate the date from the surrounding text. For instance, “… (see Smith, 1776, for an early discussion of this).”

It is the author's obligation to provide complete references including all necessary information.

Please use the APSA style manual to format your reference section. In addition to the APSA style manual, please note:

  • The reference section must always be the last section in the structure of the manuscript.
  • After the last sentence of your manuscript (text or appendix), please insert a line break—not a page break—and begin your references on the same page.
  • Do not split an individual reference between two pages.
  • References must be in alphabetical order and have margins that are both left- and right- justified. You may choose not to right-justify the margin of individual references if the spacing looks too awkward (e.g., around a URL).
  • Use hanging indents for citations (i.e., the first line of the citation should be flush with the left margin and all other lines should be indented from the left margin by 5 em-spaces). Citations should be single-spaced with extra space between citations.

Please view the following PDF document for examples of correctly formatted references:
Example References