Guidelines

Preparation

  • Consider the content of your paper.
    • Think about the messages that you want to give to the reader.
    • Consider the expected background of the reader.
      • Domain expert, scientists in possibly other field, student of this or of other field, layperson.
    • The less relevant background the reader has, the more basic your explanations have to become.
  • Consider the length of your paper.
    • Publication: page limits are strictly enforced.
  • Plan the structure of the paper accordingly.
    • Sections, section titles, section lengths.

Head Material

  • Title: a first approximation of the paper.
    • One to two lines of text.
    • Important keywords: domain, problem, solution.
    • 90% of the potential readers will just read the title.
  • Author(s): who wrote the paper and/or actively contributed to the result.
    • No "honorary" authors.
    • Full name, affiliation (department, institution, city, country, email address)
    • Multiple authors may share affiliation.
  • Sponsor note: who gave money to produce the result.
    • Sponsoring organization, project number, project title.
    • Footnote to title (LaTeX: \thanks), alternatively: "Acknowledgment" section at the end of the paper.
  • Date: usually only for technical reports, not for publications.
    • Journals may automatically insert dates.

Abstract

  • The second approximation of the paper.
    • Of those who go beyond the title, 90% will just read the abstract.
  • Must be self-contained.
    • Stored in bibliographic databases and the like.
    • No citations, no references to specific parts of the paper ("in Theorem 5").
    • The problem domain, the problem addressed, the solutions/results derived.
    • Make clear what is original in the paper.

Introduction

  • The third approximation of the paper.
    • The first section of the paper (usually written after the rest of the paper has been written).
    • About 1-3 pages (not more than 15% of the whole paper).
    • Of those who go beyond the abstract, 90% will just read the introduction (and the conclusions).
  • Make sure that the reader understands the problem that is addressed.
    • An introductory paragraph about the problem domain (citations).
    • Some paragraphs about the actual problem addressed (citations).
    • At least one paragraph about the solutions/results derived in this paper.
    • Make explicit what is original in this paper.
  • State of the art
    • A description of the relevant prior work with citations.
    • Shorter papers: part of the introduction (also mixed with description of problem domain and problem addressed).
    • Longer papers: potentially a separate section (after the introduction or before the conclusions)
    • Publications: make sure your state of the art description is reasonably comprehensive.
      • Referees get annoyed if their own relevant work has not been cited zwinkernd
  • Structure of the remainder of the paper.
    • One paragraph that describes each of the remaining sections in one sentence.

Conclusions

  • The last approximation of the paper.
    • Most actual readers of the paper will just read introduction and conclusions.
  • A concise summary of the results of the paper.
    • About 0.5-2 pages (not more than 5% of the paper)
    • Assumes that the reader has read the introduction.
    • Highlights the main results.
  • Outline of future work
    • Sometimes title: "Conclusions and Future Work"
    • How can the results be applied?
    • How can the results be generalized?
    • How do the results pave the way to new research?

Acknowledgements

  • Acknowledge work of non-authors that contributed to the paper.
  • Possibly: acknowledge sponsors (if not in head material).

References

  • List of papers and other resources cited in the paper.
  • Order and format typically automatically generated
    • BibTex, BibLaTeX.
  • Must be comprehensive enough to find the resource.
    • List of authors (full names preferred, avoid "et al.", if possible)
    • Full title.
    • Year.
    • Journal: title of journal, volume, number, page numbers.
    • Conference proceedings: title of conference, acronym,  city, country, date, publisher (name, city, country), publication series, volume, page numbers.
    • Book: publisher (name, city, country).
    • Report: type of report ("technical report"), number, department, institution, city, country.
  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
    • Use DOI rather than URL, if possible (URL may change, DOI is stable).
    • BibTex: note={\url{https://doi.org/...}} (package "hyperref")
    • BibLaTex: doi={...}

Core Content

  • General: the material must be understandable in the presented order but also communicate the goal of its presentation.
    • Put yourself into the position of a reader who sees the material for the first time.
      • On the one side, has the reader really seen already all material on which the explanation depends?
      • On the other side, does the reader see what all of the presentation amounts to?
    • Recommendation: mix "top-down" and "bottom-up" presentation.
      • Top-down: first explain first what the point of the subsequent presentation is.
      • Bottom-up: then present the material in the logical order (define before use).
      • Applies to whole paper and to each part (section).
  • Main structure: sections (LaTeX: \section{...})
    • Thesis/book: chapters (LaTeX: \chapter{...}}
    • Sections are numbered
      • Long papers: also numbered subsections (LaTex: \subsection{...}}.
    • Within longer sections: also named paragraphs possible (LaTex: \paragraph{...})
    • 10 page paper: typically 2-3 sections (in addition to introduction and conclusions)
  • Language: English
    • Spelling: typically American English ("center", not "centre")
    • Use a spelling checker!
  • Grammar: simple.
    • Use complete, short, and clearly structured  sentences.
    • Use active voice rather than passive voice.
  • Vocabulary: simple.
    • Prefer words that everyone understands to less well-known ones ("intention" vs "premeditation")
  • Terminology: define before use.
    • Not universally known terms (notations, abbreviations, constants, functions, predicates) have to be introduced (formally defined or at least informally described) before they may be used.
  • Consistency: same application everywhere
    • All applications of the same term must have the same form ("f(x,y) vs f(x,y) vs f(x) vs f[x,y]")
  • Formal Units: definitions, theorems, proofs.
    • LaTeX package "ntheorem" for defining all kinds of mathematical environments.
      • Numbered (with \label) for later reference (with \ref)
      • Optionally also named.
  • Formal Well-Formedness:
    • In a definition, every variable that occurs on the right-hand side of the definition must also occur as a parameter at the left-hand side (wrong: f(x):=x+y; wrong: "Let x be a natural number. Then f(x) is x+y.")
    • In a theorem, every variable must be appropriately quantified and it must be clear which quantifier is applied (wrong: "we have ∀x. f(x,y)", wrong: "we have f(x,y) for every x", wrong: "we have f(x,y) for x,y")
Zuletzt geändert: Wednesday, 30. January 2019, 10:12