How to format papers for journal submission (and for dissertations)

Increasingly, authors have often asked how to format their papers for submission to the journal, Construction Management and Economics.

In submitting a paper to a journal such as this, it may be helpful to note that your submission is, effectively, a draft paper. Therefore, our expectation is that the paper will be presented with the following formatting features:

  • Use a simple font, such as Times New Roman 12 pt.
  • Use double-spaced line spacing.
  • Set 2.5 cm margins all round.
  • Do not add page numbers
  • Do not add headers or footers of any kind.
  • Do not use multi-column layout.
  • Distinguish headings from sub-headings clearly. Although published papers do not use heading numbers, you may use them in the draft to make clear the different levels of heading.
  • Figures and Tables should be all moved to the back or uploaded as separate files (several per file, or one at a time, whichever you find easier). This is not a uniform requirement, so you need to look carefully at whether a specific journal applies this requirement just to Figures, to Figures and Tables, or not at all.
  • If it would help you to have a template, there is one for downloading here: CM&E Paper Template.

It may come as a surprise to many that this is exactly the same format, in general terms, as most requirements for the submission of dissertations and theses, at least in the UK. Has anyone noticed that dissertations are submitted as if they were draft papers ready for taking to a journal?

You may also find the following posts in this forum useful:


About Will

Professor of Construction Management and Economics, University of Reading, UK. Editor-in-Chief, Construction Management and Economics (1992-2016). Programme Director, MSc Construction Management. School Director of Postgraduate Teaching Programmes.
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