AAAI Press Author Guidelines
About These Guidelines
This guide contains practical advice for expectant AAAI Press authors as they struggle, perhaps for the first time, to bring their manuscripts into published form. The purpose of this guide is to explain as simply as possible the various stages in the editorial process as they concern you, the author, in your dealings with the AAAI Press. If you follow the suggestions carefully, you will save time and money and will ensure publication of a fine book.
This document is organized into the following sections:
- Checking Your Manuscript
- Submitting Your Manuscript
- Preparation of Camera-Ready Copy
- Illustrations & Photographs
- Identification, Names, & Addresses
- Organizing Your Book
- The AAAI Press Reference Style
- The Index
- The AAAI Press House Style
- The Publication Process
- Volume Editor's Responsibilities
- AAAI Press Contacts
The advice given here is not complete. Whole books are given over to this subject. The ones we use most often are the Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago Press, and Words into Type, published by Prentice Hall.
Before submitting your book, please carefully proofread for spelling errors, especially in scientific terminology, proper names, and foreign words. Please make certain that every footnote, table, figure, and reference is cited in the text and that for every citation in the text, there is an appropriate and accurate entry in a footnote, table, figure, or reference. Name of author and year of reference, if used in the text, must exactly match the listing in the reference section. Headings must consistently be capitalized, references must be formatted consistently from chapter to chapter, and treatment of like elements must be consistent throughout your book
Your manuscript must be submitted in a consistent, camera-ready electronic form. Please submit electronic files through the Internet or on a CD, flash drive, or hard disk. (Do not send unsolicited electronic versions of manuscripts.) Hard copy must accompany online versions. Messages containing the contribution and any correspondence regarding it can be sent to AAAI Press or your AAAI Press editor.
AAAI Press can accept books for submission either in Word (using our template) or LaTeX (using aaai.sty and aaai.bst — a press LaTeX style is under development). All chapters must be submitted in the same format. Please consult with an AAAI Press editor, and submit samples for approval prior to completing your book.
All illustrations, photographs, and so on, must be submitted in editable electronic form. We'd prefer files, in their native format. If you have embedded your graphics in the word-processing program, please also submit them as separate files. (Consult the graphics format instructions and the frequently-asked questions file for further details on file formats.)
Illustrations reprinted from other publications must be credited. It is the author's responsibility to obtain permission to reprint such illustrations.
Photographs should be electronic files, no smaller than 5 x 7 inches, with a minimum 300 pixels per inch density.
Include your (and your coauthor's) full names (for publication), dates of birth (for Library of Congress cataloging in publication data), titles, academic or professional affiliations, and the complete address of the author to whom proofs and correspondence are to be sent. Provide both business and home addresses and telephone numbers (and internet addresses as well if applicable). Please also provide complete names, addresses, telephone numbers, and internet addresses (when available) for all cocontributors. We use this information if we have any questions pertaining to the person's paper and when we send out complimentary copies of the completed book.
Because author affiliations often change over the life of a given book, AAAI Press does not include affiliations for authors in its books, unless the work was largely a company or institutional effort.
In addition, please complete The AAAI Press author's questionnaire. This information is used to market the book and write the jacket or back-cover copy.
Include a concise one-paragraph abstract of no more than 500 words describing the general thesis and conclusion of the book. A reader should be able to learn the purpose of the book and the reason for its importance from the abstract. This abstract is published electronically; it might also be used as the basis for descriptive copy about the book. It will not, however, be included as an abstract in the book.
The book half title (sometimes called bastard title) is a truncated, or shortened, version of the title of the book.
The title page should include the suggested title of the book and the names of the authors or editors. (In the case of collected works, only the names of the editors usually appear.)
Indicate on the copyright page whether any material has been published elsewhere. If so, include the wording required by the copyright owner giving you permission to publish the material. Also include a list of all trademarked (tm) or registered (r) terms, along with the owners of the mark. For example, McDonalds(r) is a registered service mark of McDonalds Corporation.
If the book is to include a dedication, it should appear after the copyright page. You might want to include a quotation at the beginning of the book. It should appear here. If the epigraph is lengthy or if the possibility of copyright violation exists, you must obtain permission to use the quotation.
Include a list of all the chapters (in the case of collected works, individual papers become chapters) and the authors (where applicable) of the chapters. The contents should be ordered according to the sequence of the papers within the manuscript.
In rare instances, illustrations or tables can be a significant part of the book as a whole. If so, all figures, tables, and photographs should be listed separately here.
List of Authors
Include an alphabetical list of all the authors and coauthors, with complete mailing addresses and telephone and fax numbers. This list is used to send out complimentary author's copies. It will not be published.
A foreword, usually written by a person other than the author, is a short (usually no more than four book pages in length) statement about the book or the field.
The preface, written by the author or editor, contains the research methods, the reasons for undertaking the work, and permissions granted for the use of copyrighted materials. Also included should be thanks to colleagues, associates, and others who assisted in creating the book as well as persons and institutions who provided financial support.
A substantive introduction that includes information about the field and, in the case of collective works, about the papers included can also be included. An introduction should portray the broad significance of the book.
The whole text should be intelligible to readers in various disciplines. As a consequence, do not use technical terms, acronyms, or words with specialized meaning without first identifying and defining them. If the book includes numerous acronyms and abbreviations, it is helpful to include a list of such terms with their definitions.
Each chapter title should be concise and informative. Chapter titles are often used to market the book, and many prospective readers skim these titles to determine if a book is worth reading.
Headings, where necessary, should be succinct. They should be used as sparingly as possible. In general, third-level subheadings and lower are unnecessary; eliminating them often improves the organization of the book or chapter.
In the case of collective works, the word "Introduction" should not be used as a heading. In addition, two headings or subheadings must not follow immediately after one another without a paragraph of text separating them. Do not follow a heading with a period.
The numbering of headings in collective works is generally unnecessary and potentially confusing because of the various numbering schemes used. However, if there is a significant amount of cross-referencing within the text, a numbering scheme can be adopted. In this case, use the double numeration system, in which the number of a section consists of the number of the chapter, a decimal point, and the number of the section within the chapter. For example, 5.1 signifies the first heading within chapter five, 5.1.3 signifies the third subsubsection within the first subsection of chapter five, and so on.
Treatment of Photographs and Illustrations
Number the photographs and illustrations according to the sequence of their appearance in the text; in text, the illustrations should be referred to as "figure 1," "figure 2," and so on. Each illustration should be referenced in the text and should have a short caption. Captions should be typed on the same page with the figure. Keep captions short, and incorporate lengthy legends into the body of the article. All captions should begin with the figure number (for example, "Figure 1. Engineering Workstation").
Tables should supplement, not duplicate, the text. They should be numbered consecutively with respect to their citation in the text. Each table should be typed on a separate page and numbered with roman numerals according to its sequence in the text. Column headings should be short and self-explanatory. A brief title should be given below each table.
In all possible instances, bulleted or other lists should be converted into nonbulleted paragraphs containing complete sentences. Confine lists to illustrations, and do not include them in the text.
Quotations and Extracts
Long quotations and extracts should be identified as such and indented slightly at both margins on hard-copy submissions. If AAAI Press will be setting your book, please do not indent or otherwise format online copies. Include instructions within angle brackets.
Please use widely accepted symbols and forms of abbreviation. If you have any doubt about a particular symbol or abbreviation, give the full expression followed by the abbreviation the first time it appears in the text. Abbreviations should generally be avoided.
Books with complicated mathematical expressions must be provided in LaTeX. Please consult with your AAAI Press editor before submission. Please instruct authors to avoid display mathematics as much as possible, as it adds significantly to the length of the book. AAAI Press requires that authors follow the guidelines set forth in Mathematics into Type when typesetting all mathematics.
AAAI Press follows standard American punctuation usage. Quotation marks appear after the period or comma, and all punctuation takes on the characteristic of the symbol immediately adjacent to it, except in specific mathematical instances.
Cross-references are discouraged. However, if necessary, title the section of the chapter, and cite cross-references by section title; for example, "see The Programmer's Apprentice." If there is significant cross-referencing in the book, see Headings about numbering systems.
Footnotes and Endnotes
Avoid footnotes as much as possible; they interrupt the reading of the text. When essential, they should be consecutively numbered throughout with superscript Arabic numbers. Formulas and complex mathematical material should not be included in footnotes. In tables, footnotes are usually preferred to long explanations in the headings or body of the table; place them under the table, and begin them with superscript lowercase letters.
Notes may appear at the end of each chapter or at the end of the book. Where the use of footnotes is uneven (some chapters contain many footnotes, others few) or where the use of footnotes is substantial, place all notes at the end of the book. When footnotes are placed at the back of the book, they should be numbered sequentially throughout the whole book, rather than by chapter.
Use of Italics
If your chapters contain numerous italicized and defined terms, it is helpful to also group the terms, with their definitions, at the back of the book in a glossary.
References should be complete, accurate, and styled consistently. We recommend the following house style for references. If you use another style, it should follow that of an established, well-known journal in the field or a well-known published style guide. Do not format references in online copies.
According to the AAAI Press house style, reference citations in the text follow author-year format, for example, Engelmore (1975.) References of the same year by the same author(s) should be distinguished by small letters following the year, for example, Engelmore (1977c.) Generally, references should include the name of the author (last name first, initials only) and the date, followed by a period, then the title, with initials capitalized. Published works should be italicized. Unpublished works should be treated as normal roman text. The place of publication is followed by a colon, with the name of the publisher following. For journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters, also give inclusive page numbers. References should be listed alphabetically (by surname of the primary author or main entry) at the end of each chapter. Multiple references by the same author(s) should be listed with the most current reference first (for example, Matthews  precedes Matthews ). Incomplete references will be deleted. Please ensure that your references are exact and complete. Refer to the following examples when setting up your reference list:
Published Book (Monograph)
Crane, D. 1972. Invisible Colleges: Diffusion of Knowledge in Scientific Communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Brown, J. S. 1992. Learning Strategies. New York: Academic Press. Forthcoming.
Chapter in Book
Brown, J. S. 1977. Artificial Intelligence and Learning Strategies. In Learning Strategies, ed. J. O'Neil, 123-128. New York: Academic Press.
Carbonell, J. R. 1970. Mixed-Initiative Man-Computer Instructional Dialogues, Technical Report 1971, USC/Information Sciences Institute, Marina del Rey, California.
Book with Multiple Authors
Engelmore, R., and Morgan, A., eds. 1988. Blackboard Systems. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
Journal or Magazine Article
Hasling, D. W.; Clancey, W. J.; and Rennels, G. R. 1983. Strategic Explanations in Consultation. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 20(4): 3-19.
Forthcoming Journal or Magazine Article
Clancey, W. J. 1995. Transfer of Rule-Based Expertise. AI Magazine 14(2). Forthcoming.
Paper Presented at a Meeting But Not Published in a Proceedings
Schoenfeld, A. H. 1981. Episodes and Executive Decisions in Mathematical Problem Solving. Paper presented at 1981 AERA Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, 24-30 September.
Clancey, W. J. 1983b. Communication, Simulation, and Intelligent Agents: Implications of Personal Intelligent Machines for Medical Education. In Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 556-560. Menlo Park, Calif.: International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence.
University Technical Report
Rice, J. 1986. Poligon: A System for Parallel Problem Solving, Technical Report, KSL-86-19, Dept. of Computer Science, Stanford Univ.
Dissertation or Thesis
Clancey, W. J. 1979b. Transfer of Rule-Based Expertise through a Tutorial Dialogue. Ph.D. diss., Dept. of Computer Science, Stanford Univ.
Barr, A.; and Feigenbaum, E. 1999. The Handbook of Artificial Intelligence, volume 12. Forthcoming.
Typically, references to individual chapters appear at the end of each chapter. However, they can be grouped, by chapter, at the end of the book if there are not too many.
You are required to index your book in sufficient detail to enable readers to access specific subjects. Please consult with an AAAI Press editor for the specific indexing style to follow.
In the desire to reach a broad readership and ensure high standards of accuracy, quality, and consistency, every book accepted for publication by the AAAI Press receives a minimum editorial review. Each manuscript is edited for format; organization; correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation; textual clarity; appropriate use of figures and tables; and correct use of abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols. The following subsections outline some of the specific elements that you should be aware of when you write your article and that the copyeditor looks for during a copyedit.
The AAAI Press follows a "down" style. All words appear lowercase except a title preceding a name (President Barack Obama or Barack Obama, the president); acronyms (ICP or GPS); a person's name; or the official title of a program, conference, article section, or department or group.
Italics, Boldface, and Capitals
Use italics only to introduce a term for the first time and to identify variables in mathematical expressions. Fences and numbers in mathematical expressions should remain roman. The use of italics for emphasis should rarely be necessary; your text should already read with the appropriate amount of emphasis.
Use boldface to identify vectors in mathematical expressions.
Use all capital letters only with acronyms (ICP, for interactive control panel).
Set computer languages and programs in small capitals. Note, however, that some languages and programs are exceptions to this rule, such as Prolog, Lisp, and Fortran.
Split infinitives only if doing so makes the text easier to read.
Spell out numbers 1 through 100; use numerals for numbers 101 and over. In a series or sentence containing both, use numerals for all.
Spell out numbers when they begin a sentence. Use numerals with units of measure or as values.
Write four-digit numerals without commas; write numerals of five digits or more with commas. In tables or sentences containing both, use commas with all.
Use commas in all sentence groups of three elements or more (one, two, and three).
Use American English spelling. Follow Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, or The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language for spelling and division of words. The AAAI Press uses the preferred term, given first in dictionary entries, if more than one spelling is provided. For those words not cited in these dictionaries, the copyeditor maintains a word list. This list contains many of the terms commonly used in articles appearing in AAAI Press publications. A copy of this list is available on request.
State and province abbreviations are used only when citing complete addresses. Please avoid using most abbreviations.
Magazine articles are always referred to as articles, not "papers."
Latin-based terms should be avoided; when their use is required, they are reproduced in roman text type.
For those style questions not answered here, refer to The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed., University of Chicago Press) or Words into Type (3d ed., Prentice Hall, 1974), or contact the AAAI Press.
Books that have been accepted for publication by the AAAI Press are carefully read for vague or ambiguous statements, inner contradictions, faulty sentences, grammar, style, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other lapses that sometimes creep into the best of manuscripts. Depending on how carefully the manuscript has been prepared, the editor can spend from eight to sixteen weeks or even longer on one manuscript. It is here that the author's care in the preparation of the manuscript will contribute materially to speeding this work and keeping costs down.
Long experience has shown that the majority of corrections made on galley proofs are necessitated by certain inadequacies in the manuscript: incomplete documentation, faulty transcription of quotations, and failure to adhere to house style. Because extensive correction costs are passed on to the author (including, where necessary, research fees to document incomplete citations), it is important to read and check your manuscript thoroughly and see that it is correct in all particulars before submission. Accuracy, clarity, and consistency on the author's part are vital. Before submitting the manuscript, please make sure that there are no misspellings or faulty grammatical constructions, that sentences express exact meaning as clearly and simply as possible, and that the same kind of material is always typed in the same way. Also check all references (place and date of publication, volume and page for books; month and year, volume and page for periodicals), quotations, translations, and accent marks.
Once submitted, most manuscripts will be copyedited or proofread and sent to the author and the editor (where applicable) for review (this process might be altered when camera-ready copy is submitted by the author). Most manuscripts include a number of queries from the copyeditor regarding items that are unclear or incomplete or need further attention. These queries must be answered and the original copyedited manuscript returned before the book can be turned over to production. It is important that the author answer all queries and that unapproved changes be challenged now. By doing so, later alteration expenses (that might be charged to the author) can be avoided.
After all copyediting questions have been resolved, the manuscript is turned over to the production department preparation of PDF page proofs. It might be some time before such proofs are sent out.
Authors will be provided with a PDF of the book as it will appear in print. As changes to wording will have already been settled in the copyediting process, this is a final check for placement of figures, tables, and so forth. Books or chapters that are rewritten at this point will be subject to significant delay. Authors will bear the costs of corrections.
Read the page proofs carefully to see that the illustrations are placed as correctly as possible. (Because of the rigid limitations set by the size of the page, it is often impossible to place an illustration exactly where it ideally should be.) Proofread the captions, and check the figure numbers. Proofread the running heads, check the page numbers, and answer any queries.
If there are coauthors, follow the same cooperative procedure in correcting the page proofs as was done with the galley proofs.
When the page proofs are checked, return the PDF with any markup.
Indexes vary in length and content with the length and type of book. Thus, a book containing many references to research studies might well have a separate index of names, whereas in other books, the names are included with all the other entries.
All authors are responsible for the index in their book. Some authors make their own indexes. This work can begin at the galley proof stage but can be completed only after page proofs are available. Generally, the best indexes are created by authors because they know their material best. Nevertheless, authors are usually busy with other matters at the page proof stage, and indexing can be a time-consuming and vexing chore. Publishing deadlines are often missed because of late or faulty indexes. The AAAI Press can arrange to have the index created by a professional indexer at a moderate cost.
Authors who decide to make their own indexes should consult with the Press for reference books detailing the style and content of a good index. Generally, however, put yourself in your reader's place and determine where he or she would be most likely to look for specific information. Index on the important word, not an unimportant word. Index nouns, not adjectives or verbs. Index copy should be delivered to the AAAI Press within a week after receipt of the last corrected page proofs. Therefore, authors should work on the index as they receive page proofs.
Proof of the index is generally read and approved at the Press to save time. However, if an author requires it, proof of the index can be sent. The index is usually made directly into pages; so, authors see it in proof only once if at all.
On receipt of the final page proofs, electronic files are sent out for output in final print or electronic form. This process generally takes about eight weeks, although if significant page proof corrections are made, the process can take more than three months.
Depending on the format and content, complimentary copies are often provided to editors. Please consult with your AAAI Press editor for details.
Unless otherwise specifically requested at the time of submission, all materials submitted for publication become the property of the AAAI Press and are not returned.
As the editor of a collected work, you are responsible for coordinating, assembling, and creating the book that bears your name. Among your responsibilities are the following:
- Obtaining complete electronic manuscripts (including illustrations) from all the contributors. Contributor's manuscripts must adhere to the style and form specified in this guide and should be in-hand well before the due date specified in your contract. As volume editor, these are among your primary duties.
- Obtaining a signed copyright form from each contributor and ensuring that all necessary permissions forms are in hand. (Your book will not enter the production process until these forms are in hand.)
- Editing each contributed article or paper for consistent style and treatment of elements, grammar, and sense and ensuring that all references are complete and correct.
- Ensuring that all chapters are in a consistent electronic form.
- Obtaining the contributor's approval for all editing changes before sending the manuscript to the publisher.
- Compiling a complete list of all contributors, including their addresses (for publication), telephone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses (not for publication).
- Creating a title page and compiling a table of contents and other necessary frontmatter.
- Indexing the book by author, title, and subject.
- Writing a preface or conclusion.
- Selecting a competent authority to write an introduction, and coordinating the writing and timely delivery of same.
- Ensuring that all production and editorial deadlines are met.
- Reading the copyedited proof from the publisher, and obtaining the contributor's approval for such changes when necessary.
- Reading and correcting page proofs.
- Compiling a glossary (if required).
- Sending copies of proofs to all contributors and ensuring their timely return by the deadline date.
- Keeping all deadlines set by the publisher.
You are required to submit a completed contributing author's agreement (a copy of the agreement is enclosed) for each contributor. In addition, you must submit all necessary written permissions. Permission is generally required from the copyright holder for use of any copyrighted work, such as a quotation of more than 300 words (cumulative from any one source) or a previously published figure or table. As a matter of etiquette, we suggest that you also request the author's permission to quote or reprint. A suggested letter might be as follows:
I would like your written permission to use the following material in (title of your book), to be published by the AAAI Press. Author of cited material, Title of book or journal Publisher, Date of publication Page numbers (inclusive), Other identifying information
I am requesting nonexclusive world rights to use this material as part of my book in all languages and for all editions.
If you are the copyright holder, may I have your permission? Unless you specify otherwise, I will acknowledge your work in the conventional way: author and title, publisher's name, and date. If you are not the sole copyright holder to this material, would you kindly indicate what additional sources I need to contact?
Thank you for your consideration of my request. A duplicate copy of this letter is enclosed for your convenience.
The above request is approved on the conditions specified below and on the understanding that full credit will be given to the source.
Approved by: ___________________
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence is the sole owner of copyright of all AAAI Press books.
AAAI distributes its publications throughout the world, allowing translation and abstraction of its material in various compendiums and similar publications. Acceptance of books and papers submitted for publication by AAAI implies that AAAI has the right to do all of the things it normally does with such an article. To facilitate these activities, AAAI's policy is to own the copyrights in its publications, and the contributions contained therein, in order to deal with future requests for reprints, translations, anthologies, and excerpts and to protect the interests of its authors and itself, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. Authors will therefore be required to transfer copyright of their papers, articles, and books to AAAI by signing a contract; contributors will be required to sign a copyright transfer form.
AAAI Press Contacts
Should you have further questions about these procedures or the Press style, please contact a press editor.