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Final Submission Guidelines

Manuscript Formats

1. NCTM follows the Chicago Manual of Style. For references, we use the humanities style, which gives the full names of all authors and editors. View a sample of the reference style for different types of publications.

2. Only complete manuscripts will be accepted. A complete book manuscript includes—

  • a title page, consisting of the complete title and the names of all authors (as they should appear on the publication) and their affiliations (institution, city, state or province, and country if other than the United States or Canada);
  • a table of contents, which should include the full title of each chapter or section;
  • a preface, foreword, or introduction as desired;
  • the body of the text, divided into sections, chapters, references, etcetera;
  • either originals of all art and photographs or laser printouts of digital images, all labeled for placement and specified in the manuscript, usually with figure call-outs;
  • and a complete, finalized electronic file that matches the printout of the manuscript (double-spaced with one-inch margins) and has file names that correspond to the divisions used in the printed copy, along with separate image files that correspond to the call-outs in the printed copy. Both a printout and an electronic file are required.

3. If you are a volume editor or sole author, send your materials to Joanne Hodges, Director of Publications, NCTM, 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. If you are a contributing author, send them to the volume editor.


Authors and editors are responsible for obtaining permission to reprint* all copyrighted material and ensuring that any photos, artwork, or other materials have not been published elsewhere. Releases* must be obtained from a parent or guardian to publish a student's original work or a photograph of a student.

* PDF requires- Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher

Author List

A complete list of the authors, with each author's mailing address, home and work phone numbers, fax number, and e-mail address, must accompany the final manuscript. The lead author should immediately inform the Publications Department of any changes to the list. The information is essential for mailing copyright release forms and complimentary copies of the completed book.

Equity Guidelines

All submissions must adhere to the equity guidelines that have been developed for NCTM publications.

Electronic Files

1. NCTM book production currently uses InDesign,QuarkXPress, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Acrobat, and MathType. Whether you work on a PC or a Mac, we prefer that you submit your files in a standard word-processing program, such as Microsoft Word. Formatting should be minimal, but the indentation of quoted matter, the sparing use of italics for emphasis, formatting of tabular material, and formatting (e.g., boldface or italics) to indicate the order of heads and subheads are all acceptable.

2. Please do not box any text. If you have special formatting ideas, indicate them on the manuscript in pencil or describe them in a cover note, and our production staff will keep them in mind when designing your publication.

3. Please do not format your manuscript in a page-layout program (eg., PageMaker, QuarkXpress, TeX, LaTeX, etc.). Our production staff will design the layout and typography for the book and will create page-layout templates that include all the final design elements.

4. For complex mathematical copy, we can support MathType or Equation Editor, which is a simplified version of MathType that comes with Microsoft Word. If you wish to use any other program to create your files, please check with the NCTM production staff in advance.

5. You can send your files on CDs, ZIP disks, or floppy disks, along with a complete paper copy of the final manuscript. Do not send your manuscript as a PDF file.


Artwork, carefully chosen and prepared, greatly enhances the usefulness and appeal of written material. Please feel free to contact the production staff if you have any questions about preparing your art.

1. If your manuscript includes original art (such as students' work), we prefer to have the original work or, if necessary, a full-sized, high-quality scan or photocopy. Any original work by students should be accompanied by a signed release form (PDF- Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher required). Please see section below on Photos and Scans.

2. When necessary, art will be redrawn by professional artists. They will need detailed instructions about what is to be shown, along with sketches drawn to scale.

3. Always save computer-generated art separately in the native application; this is especially important if you have also embedded the art in the text. You can save line art as an EPS file (as well as an application file). When computer generated art contains screens and or shades, make sure they are gray scale and at least 10% black; otherwise, they may not print. Please identify the software that you used to create the art and send a printed version with the electronic file (if necessary, we can scan the printout to create a usable file). Write any additional suggestions or instructions on the printed copy, label all drawings and printouts for identification, and key them to the text for suggested placement.

Student Work 

Many NCTM publications include examples of work by students. Reproducing these clearly can present significant challenges in the layout process. Authors may submit samples of student work in several ways:

1. Best method
For optimal reproduction, send the ORIGINAL version of the student work. Include a note if you want us to return the originals when we have completed the publication.

2 . Second best method
For grey-scale or color originals, provide a stand-alone (not embedded in Microsoft Word), full-size, high-resolution scan of the student work at 300 dpi (dots per inch). If the item is in color, provide a color scan, even if the publication is to be black-and-white. The color scan will give more options for differentiating tones of grey in the NCTM production staff artwork. Having a color scan also facilitates eliminating the lines, if desired, in work on lined paper.

For black-and-white line art, such as blackline masters, provide a scan at 1200 dpi. These should be strictly black and white with no shading or grey tones. If your art has shading, use the guidelines for grey-scale and color originals, above.

3. Third best method
If sending originals or high-resolution scans is not possible, provide very high-quality reproductions of the work. A commercial establishment (e.g., Kinko’s) can assist you in obtaining copies that are better than those from a normal photocopy machine.

4. Additional information
Permission—If the student's name is clearly identifiable on the work, you need to obtain permission (PDF- Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher required) from the child’s parent or guardian to use it in a publication.

5. Redrawing student work
On occasion, NCTM publication staff must redraw students’ work for clarity and legibility, possibly by using Adobe Illustrator and/or typing handwritten text. NCTM will send any art that is reworked in this fashion to the author or editor of the publication for review. If you do not want a reworking of your samples of students' work under any circumstances, please specify that when you submit the material.

Photos and Scans

We welcome the opportunity to consider photographs of students and teachers involved in the activities described in your manuscript. We realize that few teachers will have the latest photographic technology available at any given time. These guidelines offer ideas for turning that the "teachable moment" in the classroom into a "photographable moment," as well.

With prior approval, we can reimburse you for the costs of professional photography. Photographers from public relations departments in school districts or universities as well as from local newspapers can be helpful. If you wish to hire a photographer, please complete a contract form (PDF- Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher required), have it signed by the photographer, and submit it for approval to Joanne Hodges, Director of Publications, before work begins. Because photographic images can enhance covers and are effective in publicizing publications, the contract includes a release for such use. When you receive the approved contract from us, the job can begin.

When photographing, keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. The strongest photos are those that emphasize a single concept. Ask yourself what you are trying to say, and design the image that best illustrates it. Come in close, filling the frame with your subject. A common mistake is photographing from too far away.

2. Emphasize the students' involvement with the mathematical task, using appropriate props. Avoid paper-and-pencil, desktop activities—they do not generally make dynamic pictures. Shoot from below, or on the same level as, the subjects (unless an overview is needed to place the activity in context).

3. Pay careful attention to your lighting sources. Avoid direct light or very bright light on or behind your subject; it may cause glare in your lens or inaccurate meter readings. For example, if you are wearing sunglasses, it may not be the best time to take the photo. Avoid mixing dark shady areas with brightly lighted areas. When using a flash, try to maximize ambient lighting and stand about ten feet away from your subject. Keep any unrelated shiny objects out of the shot.

4. Include males and females of different races and abilities. Avoid sexist and ethnic stereotyping.

5. Whenever possible, limit the number of subjects in each picture (usually no more than three) unless special circumstances require more. Keep backgrounds uncluttered to minimize distractions. Try to avoid elements that might date a photo (background signs, etc.).

6. Identify each slide or photo with your name and contact information (phone or e-mail), either on a label or a separate sheet of paper. Include a description of the activity, the grade level, the copyright owner, and any other pertinent information.

7. Include release forms signed by a parent or guardian of any student who is identifiable in the photographs, and key them to the appropriate photos. Keep a copy for your files. Adult subjects should be informed that the photos you are taking may appear in an NCTM publication.

8. Sharp-focus, glossy, black-and-white prints reproduce the best.

9. For photos of individuals ("head shots"), neutral backgrounds are preferable.

10. Digital images are fine, but they must meet very specific requirements to print out correctly in a book. Computers render digital images as pixels (short for "picture elements"). The pixels form a mosaic on a fine grid. The finer the grid, the higher the resolution of the image. Resolution is usually expressed in dots per inch, or dpi. For good print quality, photos need to have a pixel resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) at final size. This means that after NCTM production staff have cropped the image and sized it in the layout, the image that remains must be 300 dpi at 100% of its final size. Please note that you need this resolution when taking the picture—you cannot "sample up" later. If you use a portion of a photo and blow it up, the original dpi would have to be 600. You can’t "sample up" to get this number; however, sampling down is okay. Contact the publications department with any questions. If you want to submit digital photos, please study the following explanation carefully; contact the production staff for additional information:

  • Send digital pictures as JPG, EPS or TIF files.
  • When taking digital photos, always use the noncompressed setting.
  • For more information on this and related subject, visit: — for a comprehensive online "digital photo" lesson
  • Some photographers will note that their high resolution digital photos at first have a resolution of 72 dpi, and a high number of inches wide and tall. That is, a photo with the pixel dimension of 1280 x 960 may appear to be 72 dpi, 17.8 inches wide and 13.33 inches tall. This would translate to a 300 dpi picture that is 4.26 inches wide and 3.2 inches tall. The following formula may be useful when you are trying to decide whether your photo is large enough to be commercially printed: 300 dpi/72 dpi = 4.17. In other words, if your photo has a resolution of 72 dpi, take your dimensions in inches and divide them by 4.17 (4 is close enough). (In the example above, 17.78 divided by 4.17 is 4.26, which will be the width the picture at 300 dpi.) That tells you the largest size we can print the photo at 300 dpi. We can always go smaller and retain high resolution, but if your picture is going to be too small, please take the time to get a larger photo.




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