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Author Instructions

Overall Guidelines

A Bulletin paper should conform to the following:
  1. Paper should not exceed 1 MB in size, including all figures. They should not be longer than 12 pages.
  2. No paper should use the following packages
    1. subfigure: subfigure has been replaced by subfig. Use subfig instead.
    2. geometry: this package has, in the past, messed up paper margins.
    3. enumitem: this produces lots of error messages and may mess up lists.
    4. cleveref: this package seems to get confused when the hyperref is used.
    5. others: there are several other packages that do not appear to work. Some of these are fullpage, stmaryrd. In general, you should try to minimize the number of packages used in the paper.
    6. any package with parameters: e.g. do not use \usepackage [numbers]{natbib}. This will not work with the debulletin.sty that I use to compile the issue.
  3. When using packages or commands, only packages and commands that are actually used in the paper should be listed. It is not ok to comment them out. Please remove unused packages and commands from the paper. This may seem like a small thing, but reading a paper to debug the compilation is much harder when a large amount of unused stuff is present. INCLUDE IN THE PAPER ONLY PACKAGES USED BY THE PAPER!
  4. The tex file for the paper should fully contain all files necessary to make the paper, with the exception of figures. Thus, all sections, and the bibliography should be included in the single .tex file. It makes it easier for the issue to be assembled, and for corrections to be made, when everything is in one place. AUTHORS MUST NOT SUBMIT THEIR PAPER AS MULTIPLE .tex FILES AND/OR .bbl (BibTex) FILES.
  5. All figures should be placed in a directory called figs. This makes it easy for me to find them, and gives a consistent way to refer to them. I can look for ``figs/" in the .tex file to find the exact line on which the figures are referenced.

Latex Standards

Authors should use the deauthor.sty document style provided by the Data Engineering Bulletin.

Authors should begin papers with:


I use latex with dvipdfm to assemble the issue. This is the reason for the attribute dvipdfm in the documentclass command that starts the paper. The dvipdfm command can, in addition to generating the complete issue, also generate articles of the issue separately, with correct page numbering.

They should use at least the following packages


Add any more to this list that the paper requires, but please do not include packages that the paper does not require. I know that many authors have latex templates that include many packages, whether they are used or not. These only make formatting the issues more difficult.

Define a graphicspath


I will put the article file in such a directory, and this directory name then needs to be added to the path for for embedded figures.

Authors should write their paper using vanilla latex commands. There are a few rules:

  1. Use \begin{document} immediately before the title and authors are given.
  2. Papers should use the \title command for the title, and \authors for authors.
  3. Use \maketitle to format the paper title, not the title page environment. The \maketitle command should appear immediately after title and author.
  4. It is recommended that papers have an abstract. This is the place for the abstract, which should use the commands \begin{abstract}...\end{abstract}.
  5. Use the environments below as they are defined in deauthor.sty:

    abstract proposition theorem claim lemma definition corollary proof

  6. Do not modify the page layout, especially don't modify

    \textheight \topmargin \textwidth \headheight \oddsidemargin \headsep \evensidemargin \footheight

    The document style deauthor.sty is defined to prevent the use of the LaTeX \setlength command to change the layout parameters defined by deauthor.sty. Such attempts will produce error messages and be ignored. For example, the command "\setlength{\textwidth}{3in}" will result in the error message

    ! AUTHOR error: You aren't allowed to change \textwidth .. Ignored. \@unchangeable ... allowed to change #1.. Ignored}

    and be ignored.

  7. The submission should be a single .tex file, plus the files required for figures in the file, if needed. If submitting .pdf or .png files, please include the bounding box in the .tex file.
  8. The files for figures should be in a subdirectory called figs. The figures can be included using a number of possible commands, e.g. \psfig, \epsfig, etc. However, it is strongly suggested that authors use \includegraphics.

  9. All papers must end with an \end{document} command.

Managing Figures

Preferred Figure Inclusion

Most problems in assembling an issue are caused by figures. Using the includegraphics command in the graphicx package will avoid most of the difficulties. This is illustrated below.


\includegraphics[bb= xlow ylow xhigh yhigh]{figs/myfigure.png}

\caption{A simple figure.}


A dvipdfm document can, using the includegraphics command, deal with postscript, pdf, png,(perhaps more, e.g. jpg). For pdf and png, the command needs bounding boxes. Any of these file types can be used, though see below for my recommendation.

The Figure Files

To reduce the size of figures, and to provide a uniform way of dealing with them, I suggest putting figures into png format. This can be done regardless of the way that you generate the figures. A png file will usually be smaller than postscript or pdf files. Usually, postscript files are very large, and I would discourage authors from using them.

PNG Files

Windows comes with a "snipping tool" which allows you to capture a screen shot that is displayed on your monitor. It does not matter what program is used to generate the figure. The snipping tool produces a png file on output.

A png file requires a bounding box to be included as a figure. Fortunately, this is easy to discover. One can use the Paint program to display the screen clip. At the bottom center of the Paint window, the dimensions of what is captured are given. These are the upper coordinates for the bounding box. Looking at the commented figure below, these values are the xhigh and yhigh values (in the correct order, with the lower bounds of zero for xlow and ylow). The units for these bounds is not pt, but px (I believe I have this right). The result is that you will need to multiply xhigh and yhigh by 0.75 to get the correct upper bounds for the figure.

PDF Files

Pdf files are much smaller, and sometimes can be used directly in figures. Pdf files also require a bounding box. I do not know how to get the bounding box using the Acrobat Reader. But, if you use ghostview to open the pdf file, the bounding box can be determined as follows.
  1. Open the figure file in ghostview.
  2. With the figure displayed, "hover" your mouse cursor over the lower left had corner of the figure. The number that are displayed on the bottom of the window- immediately preceding "Page" are the correct coordinates for the lower bounds xlow and xhigh for the bounding box (bb = xlow, ylow, xhigh, yhigh). The values for xhigh and yhigh can be found similarly by hovering your mouse cursor over the upper right hand corner of the figure.


Authors now frequently like to include active links to bibiographic entries, figures, sections, tables, etc. The current miktex framework that I use permits that. However, there is a problem when papers from several authors define labels for, e.g., sections, in the same way. This results in error messages and in links leading to the wrong places. For that reason, I will include the command


in the deissue.tex file used to generate the entire issue. Thus, hyperlinks will not be present in the pdf for the full issue. I will replace this version with


in deissue.tex when I generate the individual papers. This will permit dvipdfm to generate the separate papers with the correct links in them.


Authors have tended to use a variety of bibliography styles, and frequently have required that bibtex be executed to generate the bibliography for their paper. This is painful when trying to assemble an entire issue. So, my more prescriptive way to handle this is as follows:


Further, I want to standardize the way bibliographies are listed and displayed. So please present your bibliography using the template below.


\bibitem{askit2012} R.~Boim, O.~Greenshpan, T.~Milo, S.~Novgorodov, N.~Polyzotis, and W.-C. Tan. \newblock Asking the right questions in crowd data sourcing. \newblock {\em ICDE}, 0:1261--1264, 2012.



The exact form of a bibliograhic entry is up to the author, though brevity is encouraged. In particular, a paper must have a bibliography that is less than two pages. And, it must be in small font, not footnotesize.

Dealing with Copyright Transfers

All Data Engineering Bulletin articles are copyrighted by the IEEE. Authors are expected to sign a copyright transfer. Information about the IEEE copyright policy is here . This is the copyright transfer form . The copyright transfer must be filled in appropriately, including the fact that it is being published in the Data Engineering Bulletin, the issue number and date, the full title of the article, and a full listing of the authors. AT LEAST ONE AUTHOR MUST SIGN THE COPYRIGHT TRANSFER.

The signed copyright transfer should be emailed to editor-in-chief (David Lomet) at lomet@microsoft.com or faxed to the fax number (425) 708-3356.

Issue Editor Instructions

Formatting Instructions

Editors assemble an issue of the Bulletin using the debulletin.sty file by tailoring the deissue.tex file as follows:

  1. Make sure that all submitted articles have followed the author instructions above, and that the resulting postscript article produced by LaTex is visually acceptable.
  2. Modify deissue.tex so that the article environments refer correctly to the articles of the issue.
  3. Write your letter introducing the issue, in deauthor.sty, using the \documentstyle command above, bracketing it with \begin{document}...\end{document} and refer to it correctly from the letter environment.
  4. Optionally set the date, volume number, and issue number in issue.tex to the values appropriate for  your issue.
  5. Use LaTex to generate the issue from issue.tex. Latex must be executed twice in order to produce the cover which includes the table of contents.
  6. Use dvipdfm to convert the latex generated dvi file to pdf.

This will not result in camera-ready copy, as it will be missing the letter from the editor-in-chief, entries for the "Notices" section, the front inside cover, the IEEE logo, etc. But it will contain all the material specific to the special issue, and will give the editor a good idea of how the issue will look.

Copyrights and Permissions

Editors need to ensure that their issue can be published in a timely manner. This requires that in addition to assembling the content of the issue, that they in addition solicit copyright transfers permissions for the articles of the issue. The Bulletin will not be published until these are electronically delivered to the editor-in-chief.
    Each article of each issue of the Data Engineering Bulletin must be accompanied by a signed copyright transfer (see author instructions above).  It is the responsibility of the issue editor to solicit these copyright transfers from authors.  The signed copyright transfer should be emailed to editor-in-chief (David Lomet) at lomet@microsoft.com or faxed to the fax number (425) 708-3356.

last updated - 2/15/2016