Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science

Information for authors and readers

Table of Contents

  • How to Subscribe to CJTCS
  • Issues in the Design of CJTCS
  • The Format of Published Articles in CJTCS
  • Reader-Powered Publication
  • Instructions for Authors
  • Submitting an Article to CJTCS
  • What to Submit
  • How to Submit
  • Guidelines for Your LaTeX Source
  • Mathematical Formulae
  • Reviewing and Revising
  • Appendices: approved, discouraged, and prohibited LateX features
  • Approved LaTeX Commands and Features
  • In Macros for Mathematical Formulae Only
  • LaTeX Commands and Features to Avoid
  • Prohibited LaTeX Commands and Features
  • Instructions for Readers
  • How Not to Read These Instructions
  • Legitimate Uses of Published Articles
  • How to Cite Articles
  • How to Read Articles
  • Structure of the Information Servers
  • Formatting and Displaying Articles
  • Custom Formatting
  • Simple Customization with cjropts.tex
  • Advanced Customization with cjrdefs.tex
  • Editing the LaTeX Source of an Article
  • Additional Resources

  • Exportable documents in LaTeX, DVI, PostScript, ASCII
  • Utilities for authors and readers
  • TeX Information from UCC

  • [CJCTS home] How to Subscribe to CJTCS

    The journal is currently free and maintained by the CS Theory community, mostly by volunteer work of members of the Computer Science Department at The University of Chicago.

    [CJCTS home] Issues in the Design of CJTCS

    The Format of Published Articles in CJTCS

    The definitive version of an article published in the Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science is a LaTeX2e source file containing the text of the article, an accompanying BIBTeX source file containing the bibliography, and optional encapsulated PostScript files containing drawings included in the article. The journal's copy editors prepare the source files for each article to present the logical structure of the article as clearly as possible, so as to maximize portability of the text, and to facilitate future development of browsing interfaces and information retrieval applications. Precompiled PostScript translations are provided for readers who cannot format LaTeX, or do not wish to, but the LaTeX source is the definitive copy.

    Reader-Powered Publication

    Electronically published journals have used a variety of different publication formats, including bitmapped page images, PostScript page layouts, typographical formats such as LaTeX, plain ASCII, and special proprietary formats closely integrated with browsing and information-retrieval software. Each of these choices favors different qualities of publication---for example, bitmaps, PostScript, and some proprietary formats give authors and publishers maximum control over the beauty of the final display, while plain ASCII requires the minimum equipment and skill on the part of the reader, etc. The publication format of the Chicago Journal is intended to maximize readers' power to use articles in whatever ways they find most productive. The problem is that we cannot anticipate precisely what readers will do, but we should assume at least that they display articles in a wide variety of typographical formats suited to their equipment, their paper or screen size, and their eyesight, and that they apply browsing and information-retrieval software acquired from other suppliers than MIT Press. To stretch our imaginations a bit, Reading for the Blind had a workshop investigating the use of the AsTeR system to allow audio browsing of LaTeX documents.

    The way to maximize the power of readers in the long run, without precise knowledge of reader behavior, is to represent the logical structure of articles in the most transparent and easily parsable way that we can manage (see my paper on electronic journals for a more detailed argument). SGML was designed precisely for this task, but it can also be done satisfactorily with a disciplined use of LaTeX. Furthermore, LaTeX supports the representation of mathematical formulae fairly well, and most of our reader and author community already has the software to typeset and display LaTeX. But, maximum power and flexibility for readers demands a certain amount of standardization in the source format of articles. Readers, and particularly readers' software packages, must be able to parse important components, such as sectional units, paragraphs, sentences, displayed subtexts such as theorems, easily and unambiguously. To provide this uniform clarity in the LaTeX source, copy editors must polish authors' manuscripts into a disciplined subset of LaTeX. Authors need not be concerned with the details of that disciplined subset, but should be aware that their efforts at clever layout may be lost in copy editing.

    [CJCTS home] Instructions for Authors

    Submitting an Article to CJTCS

    All contributions to the Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science are submitted by electronic mail in LaTeX source format. If your contribution is accepted, the copy editor will polish your LaTeX source into the portable, flexible, and robust form discussed in the previous two sections. The remainder of these instructions are intended to guide you in preparing a submission efficiently. The closer that you follow these rules, the more quickly and easily your contribution can be evaluated and published, and the less effort you will waste on clever layout that may be replaced by the copy editor. When there are good reasons to use structures other than the normal ones, you should negotiate changes with the editors. But, when conventional forms are satisfactory, you will help everyone's efficiency by following them.

    What to Submit

    To submit an article for consideration by the editors, choose a short mnemonic name for your contribution, and prepare the following three files:

    If you have a large BIBTeX database, you may wish to use aux2bib (from David Kotz's toolkit), or the combination of citetags and citefind (from Nelson Beebe's toolkit) to select the items relevant to your submitted article.

    Please include all local macro definitions (everything not defined in TeX, plain TeX, LaTeX, the article style, the AMS-LaTeX options, or encapsulated PostScript support such as the epsf style) in the preamble to name.tex, rather than in a separate file of macro definitions. If you have written your article using other files of specialized macro definitions, you may find the UNIX command texexpand helpful in folding those definitions in to one file.


    I recommend strongly that you prepare drawings with xfig, export them in eepic format (but save the fig sources as well), and include them in the LaTeX source file with the rest of the article. This will make it much easier to revise the drawings, and keep them consistent with various article formats. The main shortcoming of xfig is that it does not format mathematical formulae and text with the same fonts and the same style as your article. But, it is reasonably easy to fix this by editing the eepic output. This final editing is easiest if you use a single xfig text entry for each piece of formatted text or formula, rather than, e.g., placing superscripts and subscripts as separate text elements in xfig. The actual text entry in xfig does not need to look exactly like the final product: it only needs to be easily recognizable when you are editing the eepic. Look at the LaTeX source of published articles for examples. If your article is accepted, I will ask for the fig sources as well, so that I can polish the figures during final production.

    As a last resort, if eepic cannot support the drawings that you need to convey your ideas, you may provide encapsulated PostScript as follows:

    The first two years of journal publication have shown that the xfig/eepic method is much more efficient and effective than encapsulated PostScript.

    How to Submit

    Submit your article by electronic mail to

    If you are computing on a UNIX system, the best form of submission is a single shar archive containing all of the files mentioned above in one message. Use the mnemonic name of your article as the Subject line of the message. The next best form is a separate message for each file transmitted, using the file name as the Subject line.

    Guidelines for Your LaTeX Source

    Try to use the simplest, most direct expression of the structure of your article in the main name.tex file. For example, mark sectional units with the standard LaTeX sectional commands \section, \subsection, etc., rather than hand-coding your own headings. Do not try to achieve a beautiful layout by clever use of TeX and LaTeX tricks: most of that layout work will be lost during copy editing anyway. In particular, specific font choices (except \em for emphasis, and special uses in defining mathematical symbols), type size choices, spacing by reference to absolute units (in, cm, pc, pt), and page breaking will be lost in copy editing. We are collecting macros to aid you in preparing submissions in the file cjauthor.tex (it has only one item so far). As this collection of macros grows, please use it as much as possible to avoid wasted effort on solved problems. You may contribute material for cjauthor.tex, but it will be incorporated only if it contributes to the efficiency of this journal. Use indentation and blank comment lines to make your LaTeX source file more readable.

    As much as possible, provide drawings in the main article source file, using the pic, epic, or eepic resources. If you have material that can only be presented in encapsulated PostScript, use the command


    which is normally defined in a file named epsf.sty.

    Your contribution is a late draft, and you may decide to revise it in light of the referees' comments. So, make full use of the LaTeX features that support the maintenance of a sequence of drafts. Avoid typing in absolute names and numbers for labels, cross-references and citations. Use the automatically numbered version of the sectioning commands, floats, and theorem-like environments, as well as \label, \ref, and \cite. In this way latex will produce labels, cross-references and citations automatically, and correct them after revisions. You may leave the final publication numbering scheme to the copy editors. Or, if you suggest a particular numbering scheme (for example, hierarchical within sectional units, or lemmas numbered hierarchically within the proofs that contain them) the editors will use it as long as it is internally consistent and compatible with the needs of readers for clear references into articles.

    Mathematical Formulae

    Mathematical formulae tend to blur the distinction between meaningful text and aesthetic layout, so you may need to exercise closer control of formatting than you do in normal English text. As much as possible, define sensible macros that stand for mathematically meaningful operations. Try to put all nitty-gritty typographical commands, such as type style choices and spacing adjustments, inside such macros. When you need to design special mathematical notation, use the standard type styles \rm, \it, \bf, \sl, \sf, \sc, \tt, \cal, or type styles supported by fonts distributed by the American Mathematical Society. Other type styles must be negotiated with the editors in advance, and they must be implemented by fonts that are available for free distribution to all readers. Use the \mathstyleclass command in cjauthor.tex to declare new classes of mathematical symbols using specific type styles.

    Reviewing and Revising

    Your contributed article will be assigned to a contact editor, who will use anonymous referees to help review it. After the review, the editors may decide to accept the article for publication, decline it, or ask for revisions. When revisions are required by the editors and referees, you should submit a complete revised version of your article, along with comments on how your revisions address the concerns of the editors and referees. Such revisions may be submitted in the same form as your original contribution, except that instead of the files name.*, provide name-resp1.* containing your response to the referees' comments, and mail the revised version to your contact editor. The journal also provides a way for the referees to communicate technical questions to you directly but anonymously when appropriate to speed reviewing. You may answer such queries in the normal way that you reply to network mail.

    If your article is accepted for publication, it will be forwarded immediately to the copy editors, who will correct stylistic problems and edit your LaTeX source into the disciplined form that we designed to maximize readers' flexibility. Copy editing is not intended to introduce substantive changes in your article, but since the boundary between format and substance is not always simple, the copy editors will need to communicate with you to ask questions and to gain your approval of the final version. Please address all replies directly to the copy editors. If you wish to propose any revisions during copy editing, please describe the appropriate changes to the copy editors, instead of submitting fresh versions of the complete article. Copy editing requires one month. In order to maintain this schedule, you need to respond to queries from the copy editor within 3 working days.

    Appendixes: approved, discouraged, and prohibited LaTeX features

    [CJCTS home] Instructions for Readers

    The design of the Chicago Journal is intended to maximize the long-term value of articles to readers, not by offering sophisticated user-interface software specialized to the journal, but rather by providing the clearest and most flexible possible presentation of the information in each article, and allowing readers the freedom to use that information in whatever ways they find most productive. A previous section explains the ideas leading to the design of the source format for journal articles.

    How Not to Read These Instructions

    If you only want to read an individual article in a preformatted layout, and you know the directory where the article is stored, just print or view the only file with the suffix ".ps" using your favorite PostScript processor. If you are contemplating anything more sophisticated, you may need to read on.

    Legitimate Uses of Published Articles

    Over the years and centuries, society has developed a certain amount of consensus about the reasonable use of printed texts. It is probably impossible to lay out precise rules for the use of published electronic texts, but common sense reasoning in good faith should carry us a long way. Many principles carry over from printed text to electronic text, as long as those principles are expressed in terms of the transactions that take place between authors, editors, publishers, readers, and the information in the text, rather than in terms of physical operations on the presentation of the text. For example, the act of reading a text carries over fairly well, but the act of copying, which is well-defined for printed text, is not at all clear for electronic text. The act of formatting a text into a particular visual layout carries over from print to electronics, but because it requires much less capital equipment in the electronic form, it may often be done by readers instead of publishers.

    In general, you have the right to use published articles in any way whose primary intention and effect is to further your own research or studies. You must not use articles in order to mislead others about the views or competence of the author, nor as part of a commercial product unless authorized by the publisher. For example, you may

    Every copy that you make of an article or an article fragment (not including purely temporary copies that constitute intermediate steps in processing articles for display or other purposes) must preserve the author's name, title, journal name, publisher, and copyright statement.

    How to Cite Articles

    The source code for every published article contains a standard bibliographical citation to the article in BIBTeX form. If you are citing the article in another document prepared with LaTeX, please copy that standard citation unchanged, or with the least change necessary to satisfy the stylistic requirements of your publisher. When quoting passages from articles, please copy directly from the LaTeX source as much as possible. The LaTeX source publication format for the Chicago Journal has all landmarks such as section numbers written in explicitly, rather than produced dynamically by latex, so if you quote published material in another LaTeX-formatted document it is easy to maintain perfect accuracy. You may load, or copy selected definitions from, the freely distributed style file cjstruct.cls in order to process the special macros used in published articles (authors note---these macros are introduced during copy editing, so you need not be concerned about them).

    When referring to specific portions of the text of a published article in the Chicago Journal, please be careful to use robust and portable landmarks. In particular, do not refer to page numbers. Page numbers are ephemeral in Chicago Journal aricles---they are reassigned dynamically for the convenience of the reader each time an article is formatted, but they have no permanence and no meaning. Instead of page numbers, refer to sectional units, definitions, theorems, lemmas, etc., by their numbers. If you need to specify finer grains, you may use short quotes, or the standardized paragraph numbers in the LaTeX source (these are often not printed, but see \parnumstrue below). If you really want to refer to sentences, they are marked unambiguously in the LaTeX source by the macros \@ (for sentences ending in punctuation) or \sentence (when there is no terminating punctuation). Sentence numbers are not written into the source, but you may count from the beginnings of paragraphs. There are more cases than you might think in which one sentence contains another, so at this level of reference short quotes often provide the clearest pointers.

    If you are confused about how to cite, quote, and refer to articles clearly and precisely, please contact me.

    How to Read Articles

    Structure of the Information Servers

    Articles in the Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science are published one at a time, to minimize delays. They are collected into volumes, labelled by the calendar year of publication. Within each volume, articles are numbered sequentially. The official information servers carrying the Chicago Journal have a directory for each volume, containing a subdirectory for each article. Within the subdirectory for an article, it is convenient to use a systematic assignment of file names for the several files associated with an article. For example, consider the fictitious 12th article published in the year 1993 (the first article, in fact, was published in 1995). The required files defining the article are

    definitive LaTeX source for the article body
    BIBTeX source for the bibliography
    In addition, if Figures 3, 4, and 7, and Tables 1 and 3, are presented in encapsulated PostScript form, those files are
    encapsulated PostScript for Figure 3
    encapsulated PostScript for Figure 4
    encapsulated PostScript for Figure 7
    encapsulated PostScript for Table 1
    encapsulated PostScript for Table 3
    Other figures and tables may be represented directly in the LaTeX source. The files described above constitute the definitive permanent text of Volume 1993, Article 12. Preformatted DVI and PostScript versions are provided as a convenience, with the names
    preformatted DVI version of the entire article
    preformatted PostScript version of the entire article
    An experimental preformatted audio version of the article in 8,000 Hz 8-bit mu-law encoding is provided as
    preformatted audio version of the entire article
    (the audio feature is under development). Finally, for readers who wish to do their own custom formatting (see the next section), a suggested customization file is provided in
    parameter settings for custom formatting

    Formatting and Displaying Articles

    The simplest way to read articles from the Chicago Journal is to display the preformatted DVI or PostScript version supplied with each article, either on a graphics screen, using a viewer such as xdvi or ghostview, or printed on paper using any PostScript printer and driving software. If you read articles this way, please be aware that, unlike an article printed in a paper journal, the specific layout in the PostScript version has no permanence. In particular, you should not refer to typographical ephemera, such as page numbers, in written references to articles. Instead, use the permanent numbers of sectional units and other subtexts, such as theorems. If you prefer to read aurally, you may play the experimental audio version of the article through appropriate audio output software and devices. The PostScript and audio versions are not guaranteed to be archived permanently. They will be provided as long as they seem to be sufficiently valuable as conveniences to readers who cannot or do not care to produce their own layouts.

    Custom Formatting

    Instead of reading the preformatted PostScript or audio version of an article, you may present the article in whatever layout is most convenient for your own research or study. The LaTeX source format for the journal has been designed to make it as convenient as possible for you to customize the layout without accidentally changing the contents of the article. Essentially, you may apply any LaTeX style definitions, acquired from others or of your own invention, to produce a convenient display. This is possible without any editing of the definitive text of the article, as represented in the *.tex, *.bib, and *.eps files described above. Since TeX is a powerful and general programming language, something called a "style definition" might in principle change the text arbitrarily, substituting entirely different material. It is your responsibility as a reader not to distort the author's meaning by processing an article in a misleading way through a "style definition." In practice, this is no more subtle than your responsibility not to misattribute ideas in print.

    In order to format Chicago Journal articles on your own, you need:

    1. an installation of LaTeX,
    2. the LaTeX style file cjstruct.cls,
    3. for many articles, one or more of the AMS style definitions for mathematical formulae.
    All of the style definitions are distributed for free on the same official information servers that hold journal articles. All LaTeX source for published journal articles uses the cjstruct style. The definition of this "style" does very little in the way of stylistic layout; rather, it translates from an unambiguous markup of the logical structure of the text into the macro calls expected by the article and cjlook styles. The cjstruct style definition reads in reader-defined options and other style definitions to determine most of the layout style. Any layout style set in cjstruct may be superseded by reader definitions.

    To format a Chicago Journal article you need to establish all of the defining files for the article in a directory that you may write in, and run LaTeX once, then BIBTeX once, then LaTeX twice more. If you find this sequence annoying, you may try the UNIX utility latexmk.

    The two vehicles for reader customization are files named cjropts.tex and cjrdefs.tex, defined by you and read in by cjstruct. cjropts.tex is read near the beginning of processing, and is the best place to accomplish simple customizations: to choose a main LaTeX style other than the default cjlook or article; to provide style options, such as point sizes; to set style parameters, such as page length and width; to select or suppress optional features in the article, such as author information, table of figures, paragraph numbers. cjrdefs.tex is read near the end of processing, just before the options to the main LaTeX style. Your definitions in cjrdefs.tex override everything that came before.

    Simple Customization with cjropts.tex

    The default LaTeX layout style for an article is cjlook, if that style definition is found on your system. The secondary default is article, which is found with essentially every LaTeX installation. To select a style other than the default, put a line of the form

    in your cjropts.tex file. To provide options to that style, put in a line of the form
    where option-list is a list of options separated by commas. When you run latex, the article will be formatted as if it began with the line
    or, if you are using LaTeX2e, with
    Any style that uses the same command names as article should work, but styles with different commands, such as amsart, will not. Many useful options are compatible with cjstruct, but a few, such as leqno, are not.

    You may also set normal TeX and LaTeX style parameters, such as \textwidth, in cjropts.tex, just as you would in your own LaTeX source file. In addition, there are some special style parameters defined by cjstruct.cls:

    Advanced Customization with cjrdefs.tex

    In cjrdefs.tex you may over-ride any definitions in cjstruct.cls and the main LaTeX style that you chose by setting \rstyle as described above. If you are TeXpert enough to be performing advanced customization, your best source of information is the documented source for cjstruct.cls and the other style file that you have chosen. Due to the order in which LaTeX reads style definitions, the files associated with any options that you select by setting \roptions are read in after cjrdefs.tex, and those definitions will over-ride yours. To enjoy the truly last word, you may read in option files explicitly, using \input commands in either cjropts.tex or cjrdefs.tex. Or, you may create an option file of your own, say myopt.sty, and make it the last option mentioned when you define \roptions. Such a personal *.sty file has the additional advantage of access to macros with occurrences of the "@" character in their names.

    Editing the LaTeX Source of an Article

    As much as possible, avoid editing the LaTeX source code of an article. You should be able to achieve most any stylistic customization by appropriate entries in your own cjropts.tex and cjrdefs.tex files. The only obvious reason for editing the article source is to quote a short passage in another work---for this purpose you should use your favorite editor program to copy in the simplest and most direct way possible, and either load or copy selected definitions from cjstruct.cls to interpret the macros in the quoted portions. In particular, you should not replace the specially defined numbering commands with the corresponding LaTeX commands (e.g., you should not replace \asection with \section) because then latex will renumber sectional units and other subtexts whose identifying numbers are intended as standardized landmarks for reference into the article. If you think that you need to edit article source in any more radical way than excerpting a quote, please contact me for an alternative solution.

    [CJCTS home]