I want to submit my paper to Elsevier Optics Communications, but I'm confused about the template of the journal. According to the guide for author, the manuscript can be in either Word or LaTex format.

It seems that there is no sample template for Word format, but they DO say that the Word template should be in ONE column.

This journal doesn't provide its own LaTex template but they provide the general template for all types journal in Elsevier. There is also a sample LaTex template which is in ONE column format. There are several options including "preprint", "review", "1p", "3p", and "5p". The default option in the sample template is "review" which has ONE column format.

What makes me confused is that the final format of Optics Communication (as can be seen in published paper) is TWO column. Does this journal (and maybe all Elsevier journals) require ONE column format for the manuscript to be reviewed? After the manuscript is accepted, the officer of the journal will turn the manuscript into TWO column.

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    It is not the officer of the journal, but just a person specifically employed to do the layout of the journals that changes the layout. It is usually best if only one person tries to mess with this stuff, so they prefer if authors do as little as possible on the layout, and leave the layouting to the layouter. Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 13:08

2 Answers 2


In mathematics, usually authors aren't expected to format their paper according to the journal's template until after the paper is accepted. Even then, authors usually don't bother and leave it up to copyeditors. This is the case for Elsevier as well as other publishers. Although publishers' websites often "encourage" authors to format submissions in a certain way, these suggestions are typically ignored.

What is true for math might not be true for optics, so it is probably worthwhile to ask a scientist with firsthand knowledge of the journal (or at least the research field in general). Perhaps such a person will answer your question here. Otherwise, I would suggest that you only invest any effort into reformatting your paper if such a scientist (not an Elsevier employee) confirms that this is indeed important. If it's not practical to ask a colleague, you might e-mail a member of the journal's editorial board with this question.


The process of publishing a paper has a number of steps. Two key steps are preparing/formatting the manuscript for review and the production of camera ready copy (CRC). The elsarticle LaTeX class is now accepted for submitted articles, both in Elsevier's electronic submission system and elsewhere. The instructions for using the LaTeX class suggest the single column format is to be used. There may be a journal (or a conference) that deviates from this, but in general, the instructions to authors would for that journal/conference would be clear about any deviations.

Despite some of the options included in the elsarticle class, it is not for preparing CRC:

The authors can format their submission to the page size and margins of their preferred journal. elsarticle provides four class options for the same. But it does not mean that using these options you can emulate the exact page layout of the final print copy.

Again, there may be some journals/conferences that deviate from this and require authors to submit CRC.

In my experience asking authors to submit CRC after the manuscript is accepted is common in many fields. Prior to acceptance, I have only seen requests for CRC for conferences where there are strict page limits.

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