Manuscript submission and revision guidelines

Increase your visibility and expand your network. Reach thousands by being published in the world's largest collection of optics and photonics research. Read the following information to facilitate the successful preparation and submission of your work. These guidelines include best practices for manuscript and multimedia submission for publication in the SPIE Digital Library.

Manuscript guidelines


How-to guide for a successful manuscript submission

Format your manuscript

  • LENGTH: Publish a 4-page minimum in Proceedings of SPIE in the SPIE Digital Library.
  • COLOR: All color will be retained in SPIE's digital publications at no charge
  • FILE TYPE: The required file format is .PDF
  • MARGINS US Standard Size: 0.875 in left/right, 1.0 in top, 1.25 in bottom
  • MARGINS A4 Size: 1.925 cm left/right, 2.54 cm top, 4.94 cm bottom
  • FONTS: Use Times New Roman or equivalent for all text
  • SPACING: Single-space all text in one column. Allow extra space between paragraphs.
  • Please, do NOT add headers, footers, or page numbers

Manuscript templates
MS Word Template - US Letter

MS Word Template - A4

View and download sample manuscripts in PDF format

The text of these samples detail SPIE's format preferences.

Using LaTeX
Style files are available to authors who are preparing manuscripts with LaTeX here:

You can also use the Overleaf authoring tool.
The SPIE Proceedings template is now available in the Overleaf authoring tool. Originally developed to simplify LaTeX authorship, this free online tool has numerous benefits, including:

  • real-time collaboration between authors
  • an intuitive user interface
  • easy document sharing and security options
  • real-time preview of formatting and equations
  • inline error warnings
  • a rich-text mode that will look familiar to collaborators who are more comfortable authoring in Microsoft Word
  • quick submission to SPIE proceedings by following the link "Submit to SPIE Proceedings" at the top of the Overleaf template

The SPIE Proceedings template can be found on Overleaf, along with helpful LaTeX tutorials and a free introductory course for authors who are new to Overleaf and LaTeX.


Submit your manuscript

  • Sign in to http://SPIE.org/myaccount to log in, or create an account
  • Next, click on Manage My Active Submissions and the name of the meeting. You will see your paper number (Ex: 10049-57), your paper title, and a link to submit.
  • Note: You must be designated as the contact author in order to access, submit, and make revisions to the manuscript
  • Follow the steps as they appear in the SPIE manuscript submission wizard

Add multimedia files

You may associate a video or audio file with your research paper to better communicate your paper's main points. A video or animation, published online with your manuscript, can show how data changes over time, conveying more to your audience than is possible through a static paper alone.

Create a representative screenshot for each video or audio file and place them in your paper as you would a regular figure.

  1. Choose from 1 to 10 short files you believe would enhance the reader's understanding of your paper's main points.
  2. Multimedia files must be one of the following types:
    • Video: mpeg, mov (Quicktime), or wmv (Windows Media Player) file formats
    • Audio: wav, mp3 file formats
    • Each file should be less than 5 MB in size
  3. Create a representative screenshot for each video or audio file and place them in your paper as you would a regular figure
    • Include a descriptive caption beginning with Video 1, Audio 3, etc.
    • At the end of the caption, include this line: http://dx.doi.org/doi.number.goes.here
    • SPIE staff will edit this text and link it to the archived multimedia file

Your multimedia files will be submitted through the SPIE manuscript submission wizard along with your manuscript.


Submit a manuscript revision

If a revision to your manuscript is requested, either by SPIE staff or by the Conference Chair, you will have five business days to submit your revision.

The manuscript due date one month before the conference and papers are published shortly after conference. Manuscript revisions are accepted until the Monday following the last day of the conference.

Please do not submit a draft of your paper with the intent of later submitting a revised final version. If you are under pressure to submit your paper, but need more time to finalize it, contact the SPIE staff Proceedings Coordinator for the conference/volume in which your paper/presentation belongs, and ask if due date extensions are available.

  1. Sign in to your account at http://SPIE.org/myaccount
  2. Click on the link to "Manage Active Submissions," then click on the name of the meeting.
  3. Click the "Submit Manuscript Revision" link for your paper.
  4. Follow the steps in the Submission Wizard to submit a revised file.
  5. A few minutes after you upload your paper, it will be available for you to view the upload as a new .pdf file.
    • If you are already signed into http://SPIE.org/myaccount a link to "approve manuscript" will appear.
    • You will also receive an email telling you the upload is ready for your approval.
  6. Follow the link and instructions for approving/disapproving the upload.
  7. If you disapprove the PDF, make the necessary revision to your manuscript, and submit another revision by following the "Submit Manuscript Revision" link on your Task List for that paper.
    • Note: After your revision is uploaded and approved by you, it will overwrite your previously submitted manuscript version in the SPIE Submission System.
  8. If this revision was requested from you by the Conference Chair, please send him/her an email notifying that the revision is now submitted through the SPIE Submission System. The Chairs can access the PDF through the SPIE Submission System, so you do not need to send a hardcopy or email attachment to them.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


Please do not submit a draft of your paper with the intent of later submitting a revised final version. If you are under pressure to submit your paper, but need more time, please contact your SPIE proceedings coordinator and ask if an extension is possible.

Manuscripts, presentations, and posters will be officially published within 2-4 weeks after the event in the SPIE Digital Library.

If a revision to your manuscript is requested, either by SPIE staff or by the conference chair, you will have three business days to submit your revision. To submit a revision, sign in to your account at http://SPIE.org/myaccount and click on the name of the meeting. Then, select the, "Submit Manuscript Revision" link for your paper.

Manuscript submission is expected and strongly encouraged. SPIE strives to ensure that the published proceedings accurately and completely reflect the program content.

Yes. A "Transfer of Copyright" should be completed and returned to SPIE when you submit your manuscript, or as soon as possible thereafter. Submitting the online form through your account at http://spie.org/myaccount is preferred, but you may download and email the PDF version if necessary. The copyright agreement protects both SPIE and authors/employers and specifies rights for both parties with respect to publication and reuse of the material.

SPIE publication policy permits manuscripts based partly or entirely on scientific content previously reported in SPIE Proceedings to be submitted to an SPIE journal. In most cases, it is anticipated that the journal submission will be a substantively expanded and revised manuscript relative to the proceedings paper to fully satisfy the standards of significance, originality, and presentation quality that may result in acceptance through the journal peer review process. For more information: https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/proceedings-to-journals

Disclosure: If a manuscript (or portion of a manuscript) was previously published in a conference proceedings or is under consideration for publication in a proceedings, this information must be disclosed when the manuscript is submitted to an SPIE journal. Authors should also reference or acknowledge the prior proceedings paper within the submitted journal article.

SPIE partners with relevant scientific databases to enable researchers to find Proceedings of SPIE. They are indexed in Web of Science, Scopus, Ei Compendex, Inspec, Google Scholar, Astrophysical Data System (ADS), CrossRef, and other scholarly indexes, and are widely accessible to leading research organizations, conference attendees, and individual researchers.

SPIE Guidelines for Ethical Publishing


SPIE guidelines for ethical publishing:

Policy regarding use of the "Lena" image in proceedings:

  • SPIE no longer publishes submissions containing the Lena image without convincing scientific justification for its use. Authors are advised to use other suitable images to illustrate and compare image processing algorithms. Any author who chooses to include a Lena image will be contacted and the decision as to whether the image is published remains with SPIE.

SPIE proceedings to journals pathway


SPIE publication policy permits manuscripts based partly or entirely on scientific content previously reported in SPIE proceedings to be submitted to SPIE journals. In most cases, it is anticipated that the journal submission will represent a substantively expanded, refined, or otherwise revised manuscript relative to the related proceedings paper to fully satisfy the standards of significance, originality, and presentation quality that may result in acceptance through the journal peer review process. A manuscript submitted to an SPIE journal that incorporates minimal or no revisions over a prior or concurrent SPIE proceedings paper may be considered for publication in an SPIE journal and admitted into the peer-review process provided the submission fulfills the requirements of significance, originality, and completeness expected in a journal submission. SPIE does not consider publication of an accepted journal article based on a prior proceedings paper to constitute double publication.

If a manuscript (or portion of a manuscript) was previously published in a conference proceedings or is under consideration for publication in a conference proceedings, this information must be disclosed when the manuscript is initially submitted to an SPIE journal. Authors should also reference or acknowledge the prior proceedings paper within the submitted journal article.

SPIE copyright policy permits authors to submit derivations of their proceedings papers to their journal of choice. Submissions to SPIE journals are permissible provided the other expectations described herein are satisfied. Authors submitting to journals published by other publishers should verify that publisher's copyright and submission policies. Authors wishing to submit papers that were presented at or published in a conference proceedings sponsored by organizations other than SPIE are responsible for adhering to the copyright policies related to that presentation or publication and are expected to disclose the prior presentation or publication history of the submission.

For Journal guidelines, visit:Submit Your Research to an SPIE Journal.