Recently I prepared to submit to a conference of IEEE. In the requirements of submission, it indicated that:

PDF and Postscript files:

  • must not have Adobe Document Protection or Document Security enabled,

  • must have either 'US Letter' or 'A4' sized pages,

  • must be in first-page-first order, and

  • must have ALL FONTS embedded and subset.

I have searched for the phrase of "first-page-first", but still did not have an idea of it (sorry my first language is not english).

If anyone can tell me what's the meaning of it exactly I would be very grateful.

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    While Strongbad's likely answered this correctly, consider contacting the conference itself to verify. – Lilienthal Jan 12 '15 at 17:14

I am pretty sure this is just a ridiculously dated instruction. On some older printers, the pages were ejected print side up and new pages were added to the top. This means that the first page printed would end up being the bottom page of the document when you picked it up. If you then wanted to staple the document in the correct order, you needed to reorder everything. With these printers it was much more desirable to print "back-to-front" such that when you pick up the document from the printer everything is in the "correct" order. Some computers provided (and maybe some still do) the option to print "back-to-front" to avoid this. Some people conceivably, though I have never seen it, produced documents in a first-page last order to help with the printing. I think this instruction just means that the pages should go in the order you expect them in: the first page of your pdf should be page 1 and the last page N. In a first-page-last order the first page would be N and the last page 1, which would be really awful to read on screen.

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    Just as an aside, document protection/security is the bane of my life. I am usually called upon by my wife who wrangles conferences professionally (IEEE is one of her clients) and she often calls on me when someone foolishly submits their paper with document protection enabled and that paper then needs to be placed in the conference proceedings with a suitable ISBN and proceedings page numbering. – Justin Jan 12 '15 at 3:37
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    Sorry, I don't know the meaning of "modern archaism". Would you tell me, please? @jakebeal – Andnot Jan 12 '15 at 6:16
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    @jakebeal - Another closely related one is using a floppy disk icon for saving... when was the last time you saw one of those? – Bobson Jan 12 '15 at 20:36
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    This clearly show the difference between PDF and Postscript. PDF is a printer-agnostic description. Postscript is a (usually very large) program to be executed by the specific printer. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jan 12 '15 at 23:55
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    @Andnot, "Oh I see" is common, natural English. What jakebeal meant was that printing pages so they end up in reverse order is archaic. – mhwombat Jan 13 '15 at 10:20

I asked my wife, who is a professional conference manager and organizes IEEE conferences (the last one she did was the S3SConference) and her response was: "The first page of the submitted PDF must be the first page of the paper" and the clarification was "some papers get submitted with several cover sheets embedded in the PDF before you get to the actual content of the technical paper. I have to edit out the cover pages before they are presented to the selection committee which makes my job harder."

Purely an anecdotal answer, but that was her opinion based on her work.

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  • Maybe these guys confused the conference paper and journal paper (the latter usually needs a cover letter). Thank you and your wife for this good answer! – Andnot Jan 12 '15 at 6:05
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    @Andnot Could you clarify why you chose to accept StrongBad's answer? It's a nice bit of historical trivia but an unlikely explanation (at least I certainly hope so). Justin's answer seems to be more accurate and comes from a source with first-hand experience. – Lilienthal Jan 12 '15 at 12:38
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    @Lilienthal While only the conference organizers can truly answer what they mean, describing no cover pages as first-page-first might make sense, but describing it as "first-page-first ORDER" is totally non-intuitive. – StrongBad Jan 12 '15 at 13:53
  • @StrongBad Good point, I hadn't considered the wording which does match your interpretation much better. – Lilienthal Jan 12 '15 at 17:12
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    @StrongBad - I considered making an edit but decided not to. (With the edit made, people might opt to downvote this answer, which could now be regarded as more irrelevant and inaccurate – especially to a first-time reader who may not notice that the question was edited.) But I appreciate your exhortation to do my part to improve the site. – J.R. Jan 13 '15 at 9:42

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