If you would like to publish a paper or collection of papers as a MITWPL volume, please contact us.

This page is especially for editors of and contributors to volumes in the MIT Working Papers in Linguistics (MITWPL) series and specialty series such as Endangered and Less Familiar Languages. Here you will find the MITWPL style template and other resources and guidelines for contributors and editors. Contributors should contact their editors about any specific guidelines and requirements.

If you are an editor and want to post your guidelines here, please contact us.

Style Template

Papers submitted for publication in a MITWPL volume (volumes 57 and above) should conform to the formatting standard of the MITWPL style template.

The template may be downloaded in two formats:

  1. MITWPL style template in LaTeX (ZIP file)
  2. MITWPL style template in Microsoft Word

Documents produced in LaTeX are generally of a higher graphical quality than documents produced in Microsoft Word. The latter is generally more accessible (in various senses) than the former. We therefore encourage the use of the LaTeX template subject to the ability and convenience of editors as well as contributors. Following are the layout specifications embodied in the template:

  1. Margins: 1 inch on all sides
  2. Font: 12 pt Times New Roman
  3. Footnotes: 10 pt Times New Roman
  4. Title: 20 pt bold small-caps Times New Roman; offset from normal vertical starting point of text (i.e., the bottom edge of the top margin) by blank space 20 times the height of the character “x” in 12 pt Times New Roman
  5. Author names: separated from title by two blank lines; 12 pt small-caps Times New Roman
  6. Affiliation: directly below author names; 12 pt italic Times New Roman
  7. Two blank lines before start of first section
  8. Section headings: numeral with intermediate points (i.e., “2.1” not “2.1.”), followed by blank space twice the width of the character “x” in 12 pt Times New Roman, followed by the name of the section, in title case (i.e., with content words capitalized)
  9. Level 1 headings: 17 pt bold Times New Roman
  10. Level 2 headings: 14 pt bold Times New Roman
  11. Level 3 headings: 14 pt Times New Roman
  12. First paragraph after heading not indented; other paragraphs indented by ¼ inch
  13. First page header: empty
  14. First page footer: page number flush right (12 pt Times New Roman)
  15. Even pages header: page number flush left (12 pt Times New Roman), running author names flush right (12 pt italic Times New Roman)
  16. Even pages footer: empty
  17. Odd pages header: running title flush left (12 pt italic Times New Roman), page-number flush right (12 pt Times New Roman)
  18. Odd pages footer: empty

To achieve the spaces that are given in terms of the character “x,” we suggest you color it white.

Publishing Agreement

MITWPL is the official publisher of all MITWPL volumes. Copyright belongs to the author of each paper, and MITWPL freely permits publication of papers elsewhere. Authors are asked to sign the publishing agreement, which may be downloaded here:

  1. MITWPL publishing agreement (PDF file)

Guidelines for Contributors

Here are some guidelines for preparing your paper for publication in a MITWPL volume:

  1. Use the template to prepare your manuscript for publication.
  2. Don’t forget to edit the headers, which are different for left and right facing pages: one header contains the authors’ last names, the other the running title (a shortened version of the paper’s title; see template).
  3. Be sure to proofread carefully for spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  4. Make sure that the references are complete and correct.
  5. Your editors may impose specific requirements over and above those of MITWPL style. For example, they may make specific choices about nomenclature for the subdiscipline you are working in. Or they may prefer that you use the Microsoft Word template, not LaTeX. Contact your editors if you have any doubts on such matters. In general, they should be your first point of contact.

You must also sign and forward to your editor the MITWPL publishing agreement, which we must receive in order to publish your paper.

Guidelines for Editors

The editors of each MITWPL volume are responsible for assembling and submitting a complete and camera-ready digital manuscript in the form of a PDF document. The raw materials for the finished manuscript are provided by contributors (individual articles) and the editors (the table of contents). Cover art and other ancillary material will be added by MITWPL. You will almost certainly need to edit the files submitted by your contributors, to make necessary corrections and to create continuous pagination from one paper to the next. Therefore, it is a good idea to tell your contributors which document formats you can accept: LaTeX, Microsoft Word, or both. (We encourage the use of LaTeX over Microsoft Word whenever possible.) General guidelines for contributors were given above. You should direct contributors to this page’s URL (http://mitwpl.mit.edu/publish/), asking them to use the template and guidelines given here. Feel free to supplement (but not supplant) these guidelines with your own volume-specific guidelines. If you would like to post those here, please contact us. Here are some tips for editing individual contributions:

  1. Use the template to check the formatting of the paper. Also compare with the guidelines for contributors.
  2. Proofread the paper carefully for spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  3. It is a fact that contributors will not always follow guidelines completely. Some contributors may also be unable to use the templates provided, or have other issues related to file format. It is your responsibility to make sure that the entire manuscript is properly formatted and proofread to an acceptable standard. Keep in mind that this is a published collection receiving wide circulation among your colleagues. It is true that we are a working papers series, and we do not employ professional copy editors or typesetters, but a little bit of work will go a long way toward making the publication look professional. This will reflect well on contributors, editors and publisher alike.
  4. We strongly advise editors to run by their contributors the final copy of their article to make sure that nothing has been lost during editing and reformatting.

Here are some guidelines for assembling the complete volume:

  1. Ensure that the formatting is consistent and uniform from one paper to the next and observes MITWPL’s guidelines.
  2. Pagination should be continuous throughout the manuscript, excluding the table of contents. The simplest way of accomplishing continuous pagination would be to concatenate all the papers together as a single document, but this is typically not practical. Instead, set the starting page number for each paper according to the number of pages occupied by the previous papers. For example, if the first paper is 16 pages long and the second paper is 14 pages long, then set the second paper’s starting page number to 17 and the third paper’s starting page number to 31. In Microsoft Word, starting page number can be changed by clicking Insert > Page Numbers > Format. (After changing the page numbering and leaving the Format dialog, click Close instead of OK to avoid actually inserting a new page number.) In LaTeX, edit the line \setcounter{page}{1} in the preamble of the document.
  3. Each paper should begin on an odd page number, so that its first page will be the right-hand facing page (the recto) when the book is open. In order for all papers to start on the recto, they must each occupy an even number of pages. For papers whose actual page length is odd, insert a blank page between it and the next paper. (Although this page is completely blank, it has a number.)
  4. A complete MITWPL manuscript includes a table of contents. The template is available in LaTeX and Microsoft Word:
    1. Table of contents in LaTeX
    2. Table of contents in Microsoft Word
    The title and authors of each paper listed in the table of contents should exactly match the way they are given on the first page of the paper itself.
  5. MITWPL reserves the right to choose and format a design for the cover of your volume. Please contact us if you have questions.

Once the volume is completely ready for publication, submit it to MITWPL:

  1. The digital manuscript should be submitted by email in PDF.
  2. Each paper should be a separate PDF document, and the file names should be such that the order is transparent. For example, 0TableOfContents.pdf, 1SmithPaper.pdf, 2JonesPaper.pdf, ...
  3. Please include with the digital manuscript publishing agreements signed by all contributors.
  4. Send all materials together marked “c/o (volume name) publication manuscript”.