Document Format Standards

Citation standard

Please use the science standard (numbered note system) for formatting references.

Document format

Please submit written work to me in Rich Text Format (.rtf), Portable Document Format (.pdf), or plain text (.txt). I will also grudgingly accept Microsoft formats.

If buying Microsoft products is beyond your budget or you prefer not to use Microsoft products, the free LibreOffice is a good alternative.

Regardless of how you prepare your written work, please convert it to a .rtf or .pdf before submitting it to me by e-mail. How this should be achieved depends on your OS and what version of editing software you are running, but it should go something like the following: choose File from the menu, then choose Export or Save As, then select the file type as .rtf or .pdf.

I discourage the use of Microsoft Word. Here is why:-
Distributing Word documents via email is a serious security hazard to the sender, and to recipients. Most Word users are unaware that any Word document may include information that is not visible to the preparer but is readable by certain (easily obtainable) hacking tools. Information inadvertently included in a Word document may be confidential to the sender or their organization or both. Accidental release of confidential information can happen when the preparer uses a template from one Word document - i.e., erases the text, but keeps the formatting - to create another document. The original information is still there in the bloated Word file, and even someone with my teeny hacking skills can extract it.

Poster and presentation design

Please start by consulting the posters and presentations howto guide on the UofT Library website. I recommend choosing 4:3 aspect ratio (wider than square), so that your poster can be displayed on the classroom screen during your oral presentation. (Posters at physics conferences I have attended are often 4ft by 3ft, but I am not asking you to get yours printed because the cost would probably be $70-100!) One source of advice listed in the Library resources is this website on designing scientific posters, which includes templates you can download; the fourth template has 4:3 aspect ratio. Regardless of whether you use someone else's template, for readability please use a plain sans-serif font (e.g. Helvetica, Verdana, Arial, Computer Modern sans serif), aim for 24pt body text, and never use sizes smaller than 18pt. Also, stay away from colour combinations with low contrast, like yellow on white or dark blue on black.