National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Biocene Publication Guidelines

The proceedings of the summit will be published as a NASA TM in mixed format.

This means you are free to present your work in a format that is best suited to convey information.

If you would rather have a default template to follow, here is an excerpt from the NASA STI website as a guide for authors:

We recommend single column test, times new roman font.

For slides, please include sufficient notes along with your slides to allow readers to follow along.


NASA STI Formatting guidellines Recommendations for Usage

Refer to the appropriate NASA template for style and usage guidance on the NASA STI Web site (, “Publish STI.”) Requirements for Text Placement

A column of text may not end with a section heading alone, a heading and only one line of text, or a short line that is not the last line of a paragraph. A column may not begin with the last line of a paragraph. A page may not end with a hyphen. Page Numbering

Use lowercase roman numerals to paginate front matter. Reserve page i for the title page, but do not show the number on the page.

Number main text pages sequentially throughout with Arabic numerals (preferred style). If a long report has multiple sections or parts, it may be necessary to number by section with sets of numbers that indicate both section and page (e.g., 1-1, 4-2).

Number back matter (such as appendixes) sequentially with main text (preferred style). If necessary, appendixes may be numbered separately, with the appendix designator followed by a hyphen, then the page number (e.g., A-1, A-2).

Assign an implied page number to blank pages or pages that have a special layout which prevents the number from being shown.

4.4 Tables and Figures

After data have been acquired, a decision must be made as to which data are to be presented in tabular (table) form and which in graphic (figure) form. Graphs are more useful for showing trends and comparisons; tables are more useful if readers will want to know exact numerical results. Similar data should be presented in the same form throughout a report.

Placement of Tables and Figures

When inserting a table or figure into a document, consider the following guidelines to determine exact placement:

On a Page. Place all tables and figures as close as possible to their first citation in the text. It is permissible to place them before a citation, if necessary, as long as they are on the same or facing page.




In a Section. Place tables and figures as close as possible to their first citation in the text unless it is necessary to group them at the end of the report. It is preferable to place figures and tables within the section in which they are mentioned.

At the End of a Report. Grouping figures and tables at the end of a report is appropriate only when such placement facilitates speedy publication or when large groups of figures or tables create reading or layout problems. In these cases, place figures and tables at the back of the document, following the references.

In an Appendix. If tables and figures contain only supplementary information, place them in an appendix, and leave the text to carry a discussion of the data and summary graphs.

Orientation. Orient figures upright (portrait), rather than broadside (landscape, side-reading) whenever feasible.

Foldouts. Avoid foldouts if possible. Instead, rearrange and spread the figure or table horizontally across a two-page layout.


Titles for Tables and Figures

When creating a title for a table or figure, bear these rules in mind:

 Never give two tables or figures the same title within the same document.

 Be as brief as possible, but also be descriptive. Include purpose and content.

 Craft titles so that readers of the table of contents can understand the nature of the illustration before they look at it. For example, instead of “Comparison,” use “Cost Comparison of Two Launch Options in FY99 Dollars.” Or, instead of “Graph of Results,” use “Results of Performance Testing A, B, and C.”



Preparation of useful tables requires careful attention to detail:

Organization. Arrange the table so that the values are in columns topped by column labels (in the following form: concept, symbol, and unit of measure, e.g., Change, D, m/s) and the constants or independent variables are given in the first column. In addition, organize the first-column entries in the way that will be most helpful to the reader. Ensure structural uniformity. If column labels change in the middle of a table, divide the table into two tables.

Footnotes. Use table footnotes to present information concerning special conditions relating to an entry or a class of entries. Identify each footnote by superscript nonitalic letters. If letters are confusing, use asterisks, daggers, or other symbols.



Examples of figures are photographs, artwork, graphs, drawings, and diagrams.


For compatibility, ensure that photographs of similar subjects are of similar size.


Consistency. For easy comparison by the reader, present similar data in the same type of graph drawn to the same scale, using the same symbology throughout the report.




Lines. Make lines as simple as possible. It is advisable to have no more than six types of lines and data points on a graph; it is better to have only four. Use different line patterns or labels in addition to color to differentiate lines so that the graph will make sense when printed in black and white or when viewed by someone with color blindness. Alternatively, colors that vary in brightness may be used to ensure that the lines show as different, discernable shades of gray when displayed or printed in black and white. The lines and data points should refer to the same condition in related figures.

Scale. Ordinate (vertical axis) and abscissa (horizontal axis) scales and proportions should be the same on similar figures (thus allowing overlays).


Drawings and Diagrams

When adding drawings or diagrams to a document or a figure in a document, keep these rules in mind:

Labels. Capitalize the first word of the label. When space is very limited, use letters or numbers rather than words, arranging them in some spatial order (for example, clockwise around the drawing). Identify these letters or numbers in a key.

Leaders. Leaders from a label to an item in a figure go from the beginning of the first word (if it is from the left of the label) and from the end of the last word (if it is from the right of the label). Arrowheads are not used on leaders, only on dimension lines.

Shading. When it is necessary to differentiate parts of a drawing, use shading rather than color. It is also acceptable to use spaced black dots or lines for this purpose. Alternatively, colors that vary in brightness could be used to ensure that shaded areas show as different shades of gray when displayed or printed in black and white.

Captions. Describe the content of the figure in the caption, but provide background information, results, and comments about it in the text instead of the caption. We recommend that the caption be part of the text file instead of part of the figure.


Text in Figures

When you prepare figures

 limit the text in figures to letters, numbers, symbols, words, and short phrases;

 identify the letters, numbers, and symbols in a key or legend;

 provide details and explanations in the body of the document where the figure is discussed;

 place equations in the body of the document;

 display tabular material in a separate table.