LaTeX Guidelines

Scientific writing is an integral aspect of research. When writing reports, manuscripts, proposals, or even working notes, the following guidelines must be followed.


Always use official group templates for any group-related project.

Writing Style

Scientific writing is professional, formal, and succinct. The following are some guidelines and checks to ensure that your writing meets these standards.

  • Use a spell checker and always proof read for grammar and sentence structure. Try reading your text out loud to ensure that it flows coherently.

  • Avoid all colloquialisms, figures of speech, and idioms. For instance, a phrase such as "A's work is pretty much the same as B's" should be replaced with "The works of A and B are similar."

  • Never include a direct quote from a reference; you should always paraphrase instead.

  • Define acronyms the first time they are used, and then use them consistently throughout the work.

  • Equations should be treated as words and should be used with proper punctuation. For instance: "We see that integrating a quadratic from 0 to 1 gives

where the result is a rational number."

  • References to figures should not be treated as nouns. For instance, the sentence "The results are shown in Figure 3 and have excellent agreement" should be "The results were shown to have excellent agreement (Figure 3)"

LaTeX Formatting

All professional writing is done in LaTeX, either on Overleaf or on your own computer. Please adhere to the following standards when writing LaTeX:

  • Use one sentence per line in the LaTeX source. Paragraphs are seperated by a blank line. This makes it easier to track changes.

  • Always use labels and references to refer to tables, figures, sections, equations, etc. For instance, each figure should contain a caption and a figure,

\caption{This is my example figure}

  • and can be referenced using the ref command:

The results are shown to match closely. (Figure~\ref{fig:myexamplefigure})

  • Use fig:name_of_figure, tab:name_of_table, eq:name_of_equation, and sec:name_of_section for all labels.


BibTeX is used to manage all citations. Use the Google Scholar convention for all BibTeX entries: every BibTeX entry should be copied from the Google Scholar citation link. This will ensure that there is no duplication of references

Scientific Posters

For guidance on designing scientific posters, check out this guide from Caltech.