How to arrange a LaTeX journal article for easy navigation

This is a brief how-to document for my students to create a LaTeX article that is easy for me or anyone else (collaborators, journal typesetters) to navigate.

We started working collaboratively in LaTeX using ShareLaTeX, which has recently merged into Overleaf. There are many good desktop LaTeX editors as well (although you may want or need to remove the additional files that your TeX engine creates before zipping up and sending it to someone else).

The key TeX file to be compiled should be named Manuscript. If you prefer to keep each individual section in its own TeX file, the abstract can be placed in the Manuscript file and the sections (as applicable) should be titled, in order:

  • Introduction
  • Theory
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

The Acknowledgments section is also short and can go in the manuscript file itself. If you have more than these 6 sections, combine your tex files.

Your bibliography should be a .bib file called References in the root folder, and everything else should be gathered into folders (as applicable):

  • Archive
  • Images
  • Submission Documents (cover letter, highlights, etc.)

Minor points:

  • I find that it’s easier to use a bibliography if it has its own file, rather than including bibTeX info in one of the TeX files.
  • I recommend naming image files with something that indicates what they are rather than with numbers or vague names.
  • If you are writing a nomenclature section, you’re welcome to take this nomenclature tex file and edit it to suit your needs.