Tips for Writing Papers

At some point along the way, documenting your work online or discussing your results at meetings is no longer enough. This is the time to write a paper. The following regards ATLAS notes, but feel free to add comments about other submission processes, etc, as well.

ATLAS Notes: ATLAS notes come in several forms: COM, INT, PROC, and PUB. PROC regards presentations and posters presented at conferences. The other three refer to papers that have undergone various intensities of review. A COM article may be submitted by anyone for viewing (within the ATLAS collaboration) and has undergone no official review. An INT paper is still restricted to ATLAS members, but has undergone review within the group and also with a reviewer. A PUB note is not only reviewed, but has been presented at a conference, been opened up for comments within the entire ATLAS community, and is finally available to the public eye.

Paper Style: ATLAS has a specific style that it would like to have authors follow when writing notes. This involves how to refer to figures in text, as well as the style of figures and tables. It is probably best to implement this somewhat early in the paper writing process so you don't have to reprocess figures and redo a lot of syntax at the end. Templates includes commands that would go into a .rootrc file, for instance. As of the writing of this article, the newest templates were available in a tar file for download off of this page. If you get confused, a few people in the group have done notes already and would probably be willing to share some latex or ROOT code. Also, don't forget to add lines numbers to the paper. It will be much easier for others to comment on the paper if the lines are numbered. You can do this with the lineno package.

Submitting the paper: To submit a note as a COM article, you will go to Here, you click on the category that the note falls under (typically physics for single-top analyses), and then click the button that says "submit a document". Then, just follow the instructions. You will need to list the authors of your paper, a brief summary, and give an approximate number of pages. The document should be submitted as a pdf file.
  • NOTE: Be sure to consult people, such as your group leader, about the author list. Sometimes the group, or even all of ATLAS is included, and sometimes not. You may need to add some Acknowledgments or some comments on funding (especially if all of ATLAS is an author).
Once your note has been submitted, an email will be sent to you indicating what the document will be referred to and where to find it when it has been added to the list (usually a few hours show up in the list)
  • When formatting the author section, do not use quotes around the authors. Also, do not use periods, these will be rejected.

After submission, you should send an email out to the group mentioning the note's location and asking for comments, particularly if you are planning to ask for INT approval. It may take awhile to get comments back from your group and process them. Once these have all been addressed and the group leader has ok'ed the note, you can submit it for INT approval. You do this on the same page where the note was submitted, using different buttons. Be sure your latest revised version is uploaded before you do this! Asking for this approval means asking for a referee to be assigned to your note. It may take some time to hear back about this. Of course, you could ask for INT approval right away, but so far the usual thing has been to consult the group first, to eliminate some of the objections the reviewer might have ahead of time.

Some comments on wording: Some of us talk in "physics slang" more than others. This is a list of words which should probably be replaced by other words in a paper. Feel free to add suggestions.
  • Error-> Uncertainty
  • Plot-> Distribution or Figure
  • Calculated, Estimated-> be careful with usage
  • Top-> top quark
  • Cut-> Selection
  • Statistics, etc-> Be careful to specify what is data and what is MC
  • Recall that data is plural, so say "data are" not "data is"

Additional Comments: People seem to prefer present tense. However, there doesn't seem to be a firm rule. People also seem to disagree about 3rd versus 1st person. In the end, make sure you pick the style that you like the best and can stick with through the whole paper.

Converting .dvi files to ps and pdf: When you use latex XXX.tex and bibtex XXX commands, you generate a .dvi file which can be viewed with xdvi (at MSU). To convert this file into other formats:
  • dvi to ps:
    • dvips XXX.dvi -o
  • dvi to pdf via ps:
    • convert images to pdf friendly format: dvips -Ppdf XXX.dvi
    • convert to pdf: ps2pdf
To look at your new file, at MSU you can use ggv for the ps file and acroread for the pdf file.

-- JennyHolzbauer - 14 Jul 2009 -- JennyHolzbauer - 24 Aug 2009
Topic revision: r5 - 21 Jun 2010, JennyHolzbauer
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