So here is the thing, I recently submitted a paper to an Elsevier Journal (EJOR) and prepared it using LaTeX. I used the elsarticle documentclass that Elsevier provides.

When doing this I tried to figure out how the layout of the resulting PDF should be. Specifically, I could not find any information on the parameters of the LaTeX documentclass.

In the template from Elsevier there are these example snippets (commented out):

%% Use the options 1p,twocolumn; 3p; 3p,twocolumn; 5p; or 5p,twocolumn
%% for a journal layout:
%% \documentclass[final,1p,times]{elsarticle}
%% \documentclass[final,1p,times,twocolumn]{elsarticle}
%% \documentclass[final,3p,times]{elsarticle}
%% \documentclass[final,3p,times,twocolumn]{elsarticle}
%% \documentclass[final,5p,times]{elsarticle}

So depending on the journal, I have to choose different parameters. For EJOR I used this


although I am not entirely sure this is correct. I was not able to find any information on this: which journal requires which parameters? EJOR looked like 5p, but isn't there an official source for this? Next, I want to publish to Computers & Security and, again, I can't find a hint on this. Am I looking in the wrong place?Does anyone know more about this? A site where they publish this?

Thanks a lot!

  • 1
    I vaguely remember some obscure and hard-to-find table that contained this information, but I fail to find it now.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jan 27, 2015 at 13:54
  • 1
    Did the instructions to authors say you must prepare the initial submission in the journal style? Most people in pure math don't do this, but I don't know about OR.
    – Kimball
    Jan 27, 2015 at 14:03
  • @Kimball A number of people in pure maths don't submit to Elsevier either.
    – Jessica B
    Jan 27, 2015 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


The options not only allow you to chose between three different two-column layouts but also one column modes. The role of the two-column mode is to allow the journal to type-set the article once it should be published. You can therefore use the settings to to see the length of your final article (in terms of journal pages. In other words, you as an author have access to the type-setting mode of the journal paper, this is a side-effect of the versatility of LaTeX class construction in the manuscript handling phase.

The fact that there are no instructions for which to use means you can chose whichever suits the format best. I am, however, sure the journal can take the final manuscript in any of the modes since the only thing they need to do is to switch a comment between two lines if your choice is not optimal. I would send in the manuscript in single-column format and let the journal worry about which of the formats they use in the end.

  • 2
    Commenting out the appropriate lines isn't the only thing the journal needs to do. If you prepared your paper in a one-column layout and they switch it to two-column, there might now be lines that are too long or too short, equations that don't fit, images that are too big, etc, etc. The copy editor will probably try to fix these, but may not do so in the best possible way. (For example, it's often hard to know how to properly break an equation into two lines, unless you fully understand the equation itself.) Jan 27, 2015 at 15:35
  • It seems like there is no rule for the format when submitting a paper. I personally like to have the paper in its final form so I can fine tune the things Nate mentioned. Apr 27, 2015 at 18:26

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