Computer Science

Style Guide

Preparation of CSCI Master's following IEEE Transactions on Computers*

I. Helpful Hints

A. Figures and Tables

Place figure captions below the figures; place table titles above the tables. If your figure has two parts include the labels "(a)" and "(b)" as part of the artwork, however only provide one title for the entire figure. The title should be an inclusive statement that explains the whole figure without referring to parts a and b. Verify that figures and tables that you mention in the text actually exist. Figures and tables must be called out in the order they are to appear in the paper. For example, after referring to Fig. 1, insert figure 1 as close to the reference as possible. If you refer to figures 1,2, and 3, in close sequence, insert all three figures after the introductions again as close to the first reference as possible.

Do not put borders around the outside of your figures. Use the abbreviation "Fig." even at the beginning of a sentence. Do not abbreviate "Table." Both figures and tables are numbered with Arabic numerals.

Figure axis labels are often a source of confusion. Use words rather than symbols. As an example, write the quantity "Magnetization," or "Magnetization, M," not just "M." Put units in parentheses. Do not label axes only with units. As in Fig. 1, for example, write "Magnetization (A/m)" not just "A/m." Do not label axes with a ratio of quantities and units. For example, write "Temperature (K)," not "Temperature/K."   Table 1 shows some examples of units of measure (and an example of the proper format of Tables).

Magnetization as a function of applied field. Note that "Fig." is abbreviated. There is a period after the figure number, followed by two spaces. It is good practice to explain the significance of the figure in the caption.Fig. 1. Magnetization as a function of applied field. Note that "Fig." is abbreviated. There is a period after the figure number, followed by two spaces. It is good practice to explain the significance of the figure in the caption.

demonstrating the appropriate way to style a table if you need more assistance contact the department of Computer Science

B. Citations

Number citations consecutively in square brackets [1]. The sentence punctuation follows the brackets [2]. IEEE Computer Society style is to note citations in individual brackets, followed by a comma, e.g. "[1], [5]" (as opposed to the more common "[1, 5]" form.) Citation ranges should be formatted as follows: [1], [2], [3], [4] (as opposed to [1]-[4], which is not IEEE Computer Society style). When citing a section in a book, please give the relevant page numbers [2, pp. 123-135]. When used in sentences, refer simply to the reference number, as in [3]. Do not use "Ref. [3]" or "reference [3]". At the beginning of a sentence use the author names instead of  "Reference [3]," e.g., "Smith and Smith [3] show ... ."

Type the reference list at the end of the paper using the "References" style guide(opens in new window) or more specifically style guide examples(opens in new window). The references should be identical to the style guide in punctuation, sequence, capitalization, and presentation.

Number content notes separately in superscripts (Insert | Footnote). Place the actual content note at the bottom of the page in which it is cited; do not put content notes in the reference list. It is recommended that content notes be avoided as it is preferable to integrate such information into the text.

Students must acquire permission for any figure or table they use unless they make significant changes (such as adding at least 33.3% of new material to it), which then changes it to "adapted from." All material, whether adapted or copied exactly must be followed by a complete reference citation (not just the number in brackets). The reference must state either "adapted from" or "reprinted with permission."

Simply redrawing a figure or a table does not constitute "adapting" and thus written permission from the copyright holder must be acquired. The Office of Graduate Programs asks that the letter of permission provide information on the original source and it must have the signature of the copyright holder. Contact information (i.e. address and phone number) must also be provided in the event that clarification is needed on the permissions. Faxes are acceptable as letters of permission however e-mails will no longer be accepted as they are difficult to verify and lack the required signature.

C. References

Type the reference list at the end of the paper using the References style. See the IEEE Computer Society's style for reference formatting(opens in new window). The order in which the references are submitted in the manuscript is the order they should appear in the reference list text.

A copy of an article in IEEE Transactions on Computers is provided here for easy reference to see the style of reference/citation listing as well as the use of tables and figures. This particular CSCI preparation guide is also written in the preferred referencing style.

Within the text, use et al. when referencing a source with more than three authors. In the reference section, give all authors' names; do not use et al. Do not place a space between an authors' initials. Papers that have not been published should be cited as unpublished [4]. Papers that have been submitted or accepted for publication should be cited as submitted for publication [5].

Capitalize all the words in a paper title. For papers published in translation journals, please give the English citation first, followed by the original foreign-language citation.

D. Abbreviations and Acronyms

Define abbreviations and acronyms the first time they are used in the text, even after they have already been defined in the abstract. Abbreviations that incorporate periods should not have spaces: write "C.N.R.S.," not "C. N. R. S." Do not use abbreviations in the title unless they are unavoidable.

E. Other Recommendations

  • Use one space after periods and colons.
  • Hyphenate complex modifiers: "zero-field-cooled magnetization", "object-oriented languages.
  • Use a zero before decimal points: "0.25," not ".25." Use "cm3," not "cc."
  • Indicate sample dimensions as "0.1 cm x 0.2 cm," not "0.1 x 0.2 cm2."
  • A parenthetical statement at the end of a sentence is punctuated outside of the closing parenthesis (like this). (A parenthetical sentence is punctuated within the parentheses.)
  • In American English, periods and commas are within quotation marks, like "this period." Other punctuation is "outside"!
  • Avoid contractions; for example, write "do not" instead of "don't."
  • The serial comma is preferred: "A, B, and C" instead of "A, B and C."

Remember to check spelling. If your native language is not English, please get a native English-speaking colleague to proofread your paper.

II. Some Common Mistakes

An excellent style manual and source of information for science writers is [8].

  • The word "data" is plural, not singular.
  • Be aware of the different meanings of the homophones "affect" (usually a verb) and "effect" (usually a noun), "which" and "that" (specific), "complement" and "compliment," "discreet" and "discrete," "principal" (e.g., "principal investigator") and "principle" (e.g., "principle of measurement").
  • Do not confuse "imply" and "infer."
  • Prefixes such as "non," "sub," "micro," and "ultra" are not independent words; they should be joined to the words they modify, usually without a hyphen.
  • There is no period after the "et" in the Latin abbreviation "et al."
  • The abbreviation "i.e." means "that is," and the abbreviation "e.g." means "for example."


Appendices, if needed, appear after the references.


(Book style with paper title and editor)
[1] J.S. Bridle, "Probabilistic Interpretation of Feedforward Classification Network Outputs, with Relationships to Statistical Pattern Recognition,"NeurocomputingAlgorithms, Architectures and Applications, F. Fogelman-Soulie and J. Herault, eds., NATO ASI Series F68, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, pp. 227-236, 1989.

(Book style)
[2] W.-K. Chen, Linear Networks and Systems. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1993.

(URL link *include year)
[3] H. Poor, "A Hypertext History of Multiuser Dimensions," MUD History, 1986. Retrieved January 25, 2003 from the World Wide Web:

(Unpublished manuscript)
[4] K. Elissa, "An Overview of Decision Theory," unpublished manuscript.

(Pending publication)
[5] R. Nicole, "The Last Word on Decision Theory," J. Computer Vision, submitted for publication.

(IEEE Transactions )
[6] Y. Yorozu, M. Hirano, K. Oka, and Y. Tagawa, "Electron Spectroscopy Studies on Magneto-Optical Media and Plastic Substrate Interface," IEEE Trans. Magnetics, vol. 2, pp. 740-741, Aug. 1987.

(Conference proceedings)
[7] S.P. Bingulac, "On the Compatibility of Adaptive Controllers," Proc. Fourth Ann. Allerton Conf. Circuits and Systems Theory, pp. 8-16. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 1994.

(Book style)
[8] M. Young, The Technical Writer's Handbook. Mill Valley, CA: University Science, 1989.

(Conference proceedings)
[9] J. MacQueen, "Some Methods for Classification Analysis of Multivariate Observations," Proc. Fifth Berkeley Symp. Math. Statistics and Probability, pp. 281-297. Berkeley: UC Berkeley Press. 1967.

(Thesis or dissertation)
[10] J. Williams, "Narrow-Band Analyzer," PhD dissertation, Dept. of Electrical Eng., Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1993.

(Technical report with report number)
[11] E.E. Reber, R.L. Michell, and C.J. Carter, "Oxygen Absorption in the Earth's Atmosphere," Technical Report TR-0200 (420-46)-3, Aerospace Corp., Los Angeles, Calif., Nov. 1988.

(Journal or magazine citation)
[12] L. Hubert and P. Arabie, "Comparing Partitions,"J. Classification, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 193-218, Apr. 1985.

(URL for Transaction, journal, or magazine)
[13] R.J. Vidmar, "On the Use of Atmospheric Plasmas as Electromagnetic Reflectors," IEEE Trans. Plasma Science, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 876-880, Aug. 1992. Retrieved January 25, 2003 from the World Wide Web:

* Material for this document was explicitly taken from, downloaded from the Microsoft Word Style Files for MS Word 97 or 2000, and then edited to facilitate you in using the document Note that the author does not claim this work to be their own, and if such a claim were made, it would be plagiarism. Make sure to reference your documents appropriately as seen on the Graduate School Policies webpage under plagiarism.