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Manuscript submission guidelines

Prepare a successful manuscript submission for Photonics West

Please read the following information to facilitate the successful preparation and submission of your work. These guidelines include best practices for manuscript submission for the SPIE Digital Library, as well as for multimedia files for publication.

Important dates


Registration Now open
Post-Deadline Abstract Submission Site Open November 2020 to February 2021
Upload system available for digital presentations Now - 12 February 2021
Videos, posters, manuscripts due 12 February 2021
Digital Forum dates 6 - 11 March 2021

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.

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.

Conference volumes are published within three to four weeks post conference. The Contact Author for the manuscript will receive an e-mail from SPIE once it has been published to the SPIE Digital Library.

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. 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, preferred, and appreciated. SPIE strives to ensure that the published proceedings accurately and completely reflect the program content.

A "Transfer of Copyright" should be completed and returned to SPIE when you submit your manuscript, or as soon as possible thereafter. The online form 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 SPIE journals. 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.

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 Proceedings papers are indexed in all major science and engineering indexes, search engines, and library discovery platforms, including Web of Science Conference Proceedings, Scopus, Ei Compendex, Astrophysical Data System (ADS), Chemical Abstracts (selected content), CrossRef, Semantic Scholar, Dimensions, DeepDyve, Inspec, Portico, Primo, Summon, and others.

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.