Instructions for Formatting JAIR Articles


To ensure that all articles published in the journal have a uniform appear-ance, authors must produce a PDF document that meets the formatting specications outlined here. The PDF document will be used for both the hardcopy and electronic versions of the journal.

To assist you in formatting your article according to the instructions below, we have make available a sample PDF article that illustrates the JAIR format (along with style files) in the JAIR Author Kit. Your article should look as similar as possible to the sample article. Below we outline the basic specications, including font sizes, margins, etc. However, the point is to have your articles look similar to the sample, and when in doubt you should use the sample as your guide, as well as recent articles published in the journal. Please feel free to contact the editors or production managers at JAIR if you have any questions (

To ready your work for publication, please typeset it using software such Latex or Word that produces PDF output. (LaTex is preferred.) A LaTex style file is available from the JAIR site, as well as a Word sample.

Style and Format

Papers must be printed in the single column format as shown in the JAIR sample article. Margins should be 1 1/4 inch left and right. Headers should be 1/2 inch from the top and the footer should be 1 inch from the bottom of page. The title should start 1 1/2 inches from the top of the page.


You should use Times Roman style fonts. Please be very careful not to use nonstandard or unusual fonts in the paper. Including such fonts will cause problems for many printers.

Headers and Footers should be in 9pt type. The title of the paper should be in 14pt bold type. The abstract title should be in 11pt bold type, and the abstract itself should be in 10pt type. First headings should be in 12 point bold type and second headings should be in 11 point bold type. The text and body of the paper should be in 11 point type.


The title appears near the top of the first page, centered. Authors' names should appear in designated areas below the title of the paper in twelve point bold type. Authors' complete addresses should be in italics, and their electronic addresses should be in small capitals.


The abstract appears at the beginning of the paper, indented 1/4 of an inch from the left and right margins. The title “Abstract" should appear in bold face 11 point type, centered above the body of the abstract. The abstract body should be in 10 point type.


The text and body of the paper should be in 11 point type. References to gures, tables, sections, examples, theorems and so on should be capitalized, as in “…in Section 4, we show that...".


Citations within the text should include the author's last name and year, for example (Cheeseman, 1992). Append lower-case letters to the year in cases of ambiguity, as in (Cheeseman, 1993a). Multiple authors should be treated as follows: (Cheeseman & Englemore 1988) or (Englemore, Cheeseman & Buchanan, 1992). In the case of three or more authors, the citation can be shortened by referring only to the first author, followed by “et al.", as in(Clancey et al. 1991). Multiple citations should be separated by a semi-colon, as in (Cheeseman, 1993a; Buntine, 1992). If two works have the same author or authors, the appropriate format is as follows: (Drummond 1990, 1991).

If the authors' names are mentioned in the text, the citation need only refer to the year, as in \Cheeseman and Englemore (1988) showed that...".

Avoid using citations as nouns. A phrase such as “In (Buntine, 1992) it is shown that..." is more properly expressed as follows: “Buntine (1992) showed that...". Similarly, the phrase “...established in (Buntine, 1992)" should be “...established by Buntine (1992)".  In this way, the article should read perfectly well if the citations (in parentheses) were removed.

In general, you shouldn't have parenthetical statements embedded in parenthetical statements. Therefore, citations within parenthetical remarks should not be embedded in parentheses. Use commas as separators instead. For instance, rather than “(as shown by Bresina (1992))" you should write “(as shown by Bresina, 1992)". Similarly, “(e.g., (Bresina, 1992))" should be “(e.g., Bresina, 1992). Note that THEAPA style file for LaTex on the JAIR site supports the inclusion of prefixes in citations, so this is one way to achieve the required formatting for citations in parenthetical remarks.

If you have questions about more complex cases you can consult the “Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association", which describes the APA style that JAIR uses for citations, or ask the JAIR editorial staff.

Headings and Sections

When necessary, headings should be used to separate major sections of your paper. First-level headings should be in 12 point bold type and second-level headings should be in 11 point bold type. Do not skip a line between paragraphs. Third-level headings should also be in 11 point bold type. All headings should be capitalized. After a heading, the first sentence should not be indented.

The acknowledgments section, if included, appears after the main body of the text and is titled “Acknowledgments." The section should not be numbered. This section typically includes acknowledgments of help from associates and colleagues, financial support, authors’ affiliations (which may not be evident from the author’s address on the first page) and permission to publish.

Appendices, if included, follow the acknowledgments. Each appendix should be lettered, e.g., “Appendix A". If online appendices are submitted, they should not be included in the PDF manuscript (see below), although they may be referred to in the manuscript. They will be published online in separate files. The online appendices should be numbered and may referred to as Online Appendix 1, Online Appendix 2, etc.

The reference section should be labeled “References" and should appear at the end of the paper in APA format. A sample list of references is given at the end of these instructions. Poorly prepared, incomplete or sloppy references reflect badly on the quality of your research. Please prepare complete and accurate citations.

Figures and Tables

Figures and tables should be inserted in proper places throughout the text. Do not group them together at the beginning of a page, nor at the bottom of the paper. Number figures and tables sequentially, e.g., Figure 1, and so on.

The figure or table number and the caption should appear under the illustration. Leave a margin of one-quarter inch around the area covered by the gure and caption. Captions, labels, and other text in illustrations must be at least nine-point type.

Page Numbering and Publication Date

After your paper is accepted, upon final approval of the associate editor in charge of your paper, you will be assigned a page number that should be the first page of your article. You should number the remainder of your article accordingly. Page numbers should appear at the bottom of the page in the center. You will also be assigned a volume number and publication date that you will use in the header.

Headers and Footers

The first page of your article should include the journal name, volume number, year and page numbers in the upper left corner, the submission date and publication date in the upper right corner, and the copyright notice in the lower left corner. The JAIR production staff will let you know the volume number, year, pages, submission date and publication date.

On the even numbered pages, the header of the page should be the authors names. On the odd pages, starting with the third page, the header should be the title of the paper (shortened if necessary, as in the sample).


We encourage authors to use footnotes sparingly. Footnotes should be numbered sequentially and should appear at the bottom of the page.

Style Files

We have created a LaTex style file that takes care of the formatting requirements for the paper (jair.sty, theapa.sty, theapa.bst). With help from the community, we've also created sample files that will enable you to use Word. (Latex is preferred, however.)  All sample and style files links are available here.

For LaTex users, the following command can be used in the LaTex version of your paper to set the first page header:


Please note that the specific numbers in the example above for the volume, pages, etc. will be different for your article, will be provided to you by the JAIR production staff immediately prior to publication.

LaTex users can set the title and authors for headings via the following command:

\ShortHeadings{short title}{authors}

For example: 

\ShortHeadings{Minimizing Conflicts}{Minton et al.}

Similarly, to set your page number, use this commond:


Of course, instead of 99 you should use the starting page number that you have been assigned.

Examples of the APA format for References:


Cormen, T. H., Leiserson, C. E., & Rivest, R. L. (1990). Introduction to Algorithms. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Edited Book

Fisher, D. H., Pazzani, M. J., & Langley, P. (Eds.) (1991). Concept Formation: Knowledge and Experience in Unsupervised Learning.  San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.

Journal Article

Smith, R.C. & Cheeseman, P. (1987). On the representation and estimation of spatial uncertainty. The International Journal of Robotics Research, 5, 56-68.

Proceedings Paper

Cardie, C., & Lehnert, W. (1991). A cognitively plausible approach to under standing complex syntax. In Proceedings of AAAI-91.


Allen, J. A., & Langley, P. (1990). Integrating memory and search in planning. In Proceedings of the 1990 Darpa Workshop on Innovative Approaches to PlanningScheduling, and Control. San Diego, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.

University Technical Report

Rice, J. (1986). Poligon: A system for parallel problem solving. Tech.  rep. KSL-86-19, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University.

Dissertation or Thesis

Clancey, W. J. (1979). Transfer of rule-based expertise through a tutorial dialogue. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Computer Science, Stanford Univer-sity.

Forthcoming Publication

Doe, W. J. (1993). The engineering of qualitative models. Submitted for publication.


Schlimmer, J. C., & Langley, P. (in press). Machine learning. In S. Shapiro (Ed.), Encyclopedia of articial intelligence (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.