IMC 2013 lectures, posters and proceedings

Presenting a good lecture or poster requires to be well prepared. The best way to prepare your IMC presentation is in first order to summarize your information in the form of a written paper. Based on this paper a power point presentation can be derived for a lecture in function of the attributed lecture time. Always leave a margin of 2-3 minutes for questions or comments from the audiance and pay attention to the time duration of your lecture. Don't try to fit 20 minutes in a talk of 15 minutes. Having prepared an article as paper contribution to the IMC Proceedings, you'll be better prepared for your lecture or poster and you help the IMC Proceedings getting out in time.

  • For each lecture or poster presented at the IMC a paper for Proceedings is mandatory.
  • The quality control of the IMC as a scientific and technical conference may exclude questionable or off-topic presentations.
  • People with a presentation who did not manage to deliver their paper before 31 July are invited to deliver their paper still before the IMC. If you have for some reason problems with this deadline please contact us to agree another deadline in our planning, otherwise send your paper in to The 2013 IMC Proceedings editors. For papers that get delayed until after the IMC, it is important to have a planning to optimize the editing time. The editors work as volunteers, don't make it the editors more difficult than necssary and avoid delay and postponing as that seriously hampers the organizing of the next IMC.

Instructions for all authors

Everyone who gives a talk or presents a poster at the IMC is supposed to write a contribution on his/her talk or poster for the IMC Proceedings. (Even if you cannot provide a paper because it is already being published elsewhere, you should at least provide an abstract of at least a few paragraphs, accompanied by the relevant references.)

Please mind the following general guidelines in writing your contribution.

  1. There is no formal page limit, but contributions should be concise. Most contributions fit within 4 pages (as printed in the proceedings’ style), few exceed 6 pages. If you think you need more pages and can justify this, please contact The 2013 IMC Proceedings editors.
  2. Convey content. Your contribution must have a purpose, and the text of your contribution should make that clear to the reader. Just a title and a collection of pictures with captions, for example, is not acceptable.
  3. Writing style should be formal and scientific. Avoid mixing in your own emotions in your writing, prefer written language over spoken language, and avoid abbreviations such as “don’t” or “can’t” but write “do not” and “cannot.” Scientific writing furthermore requires that statements not substantiated in your paper are supported by properly cited references. These general principles also apply to papers that are more descriptive by nature.
  4. Use simple language. The larger part of the IMC audience does not have English as native language. Make your paper accessible to as many interested persons as possible by avoiding long sentences, difficult grammatical constructions, or fancy words. Also, avoid needless words. If you can convey a thought in five words rather than ten, go for the former.

It is always a good idea to browse through previous IMC Proceedings to get a better feel of what is expected of you as an author. You can find preview articles of the IMC 2012 Proceedings at Also, much of what is said in about writing for the IMO Journal WGN is also applicable to the IMC Proceedings. Finally, the sample article, even though primarily intended for LaTeX users, is of interest to all, in particular for matters of style and layout.
(download the sample article (PDF)).

Your article should contain the following elements.

1. Title

The title of your contribution is preferably identical to the title of your talk/poster, although this is not a requirement. Notwithstanding, the contribution must of course deal with what you presented in your talk or poster. A good title is neither too short nor too long and should be telling. From the title, readers must get a representative idea of what your contribution is about. “Fancy” or “clever” titles must be avoided. Do not capitalize each word in your title (in other words, write your title as if it were a normal sentence in a text).

2. Authors

Immediately under the title comes the list of all contributing authors. Each author must be identified with his/her full first name and last name (middle names and/or initials are optional). Please be careful not to misspell the names of your co-authors, especially if they contain characters which have accents on them.

3. Affiliations/addresses and email addresses

The affiliations/addresses and email addresses follow immediately under the list of authors. Use superscript numbers to link each author to his/her correct affiliation and/or address. Under the affiliation or address, mention the email addresses of all authors with that affiliation, in the same order as in the author list.
Notice that, for at least one author, an affiliation or address and an email address is required.

4. Abstract

The last part of the contribution’s header is the abstract. It contains typically five to fifteen lines explaining (1) what the paper is about, (2) which results or type of results are described in it, and (3) what is generally concluded from them. Unless explicitly building on previous work, avoid citing references in your abstract. Ideally, your abstract should be able to stand alone. Mind that the content of scientific publications is often described by giving title, authors, and abstract of each contribution.

5. Introduction

The actual paper typically starts with an introduction. This introduction must introduce the subject of your contribution by providing the necessary context. You should aim at writing this introduction in such a way that a serious meteor amateur, irrespective of his specialization in meteor astronomy, can understand it. (The later sections can of course be more technical). The context you describe here may contain some historical background, give a description of the problem in general terms, and compare with other relevant work in the literature. In all cases, the introduction should clearly state the aims of the contribution.

6. Technical/detailed sections

The Introduction is the first in a series of numbered sections.
After the Introduction, some more technical or detailed sections will follow. Section headings must be representative for the content of that section, but should also be short. Preferably a section heading should fit on one line, but certainly not require more than two lines.
You may also use subsections, provided the organization of the paper benefits from it. As a general rule of thumb, avoid sections or subsections that are unreasonably short. Subsections are best avoided in very short contributions, and “sub-subsections” are to be avoided altogether. Remember, the purpose of sections and subsections is to organize the paper so that its structure becomes apparent to the reader, and not to hide its structure from the reader!
The rules for capitalization of the title also apply to section and subsection headers.

7. Concluding section(s)

In one or more concluding sections (Discussion, Conclusions, Future work, …), the authors should reflect on the meaning of their results, provide a short summary of what they have accomplished, and optionally discuss ongoing and future work.

8. Acknowledgements

This is an optional unnumbered section in which the authors can thank persons or institutions who provided help in either writing the paper or doing the work described in the paper. If this work is part of a project sponsored by a third party, and you must acknowledge this support, this is the place to do so!

9. References

The references are also listed in the very last section, which is also unnumbered. References should be relevant to the text of the paper, meaning that each and every reference must be cited in the paper! Even if you want to add some references providing further background information to the interested reader, they should be cited, for example in the Introduction, where you might say “The interested reader is referred to … (followed by the references concerned). Uncited references will be removed in the editing process!
References are cited by the author’s last name (if there is only one), both authors’ last names (if there are two), or first author’s last name followed by “et al.” In each case, the year of publication follows. Distinct references for the same claim are separated by semicolons. This is a (fictitious) example of how to do it:
Many authors have shown this (Asher, 2011; 2012; Arlt and Rendtel, 2009; Barentsen et al., 2010).
An alternative way to cite references is the following:
This has been shown by Asher (2011; 2012), Arlt and Rendtel (2009), and Barentsen et al. (2010).
Depending on whether the authors are part of your sentence or not, you choose the latter or the former form.
References should conform the following format:

  • For journals:
    Asher D. J., Arlt R., and Barentsen G. (2010). “Title of the paper”. Name of the Journal, 27, 32-35.
    (Only the journal name is capitalized. The journal name is followed by the volume name in boldfaced type, and the pagination.)
  • For books:
    Arlt R. and Rendtel J. (2011). Name of the Book. Publisher Name.
    (You may add the publisher’s location, but only if this is essential to identify the publisher, e.g., in the case of local publishers.)
    You may also add additional information if you are only referring to part of a book:
    Arlt R. and Rendtel J. (2011). Name of the Book. Publisher Name, Chapter 2, pages 3-14.
  • For proceedings:
    Barentsen G. (2009). “Title”. In Gyssens M. and Roggemans P., editors, Proceedings of the Name of the Conference, Paris, France, 12-15 October 2008, Publisher Name, pages 124-128.
  • URLs
    In general, it is not such a good idea to refer to a URL, as URLs tend to change and links tend to become obsolete after a while. Preferably, the reference list of a paper should be timeless. It is therefore better to use footnotes in the text if you wish to refer to a website.
  • For other types of publications:
    The three types of publications above cover the vast majority of references, except perhaps URLs (see below), even though the examples above do not cover all possible variations. If in doubt, check the previews of the contributions of the 2012 IMC Proceedings, or, even simpler, use your common sense. If something is not quite all right, the editors will gladly correct it.

In the bibliography, references must be ordered alphabetically on the full list of authors. If two references share exactly the same list of authors, they should be ordered according to the year of publication. References with the same list of authors and the same year of publication should be distinguished by adding a lowercase letter to the year of publication, e.g., 2012a, 2012b, etc. This letter must, of course, also be added in citations of this reference.
LaTeX users familiar with BibTeX should of course not worry about these formatting issues, as BibTeX will do the work for them. This is explained in the sample article.

10. Figures

As must be the case for references, figures should be relevant to the paper you are writing. Hence, each and every figure must be referred to in your text! Figures are numbered consecutively (Figure 1, 2, 3, and so on). Always refer to a figure by its number! Never use “the figure above” or “the figure below” as the precise location of the figure in print may change due to the editing.
Your figures may be in full color, which is now for the on-line version, but mind that the Proceedings are printed in black-and-white, and that there is invariably a loss of quality in the printing process. Therefore, make sure your figures are of good resolution, not too dark and of sufficient contrast. Be aware that very fine details will get lost. In particular, pay attention to the readability of text and numbers, in particular along the axes of a graph. Mind in particular that many screenshots we receive do not meet these minimal quality requirements!
We can deal with most common formats for figures, although jpeg and png are preferred. Eventually, these will have to be converted to eps (encapsulated postscript). You may generate the eps versions yourself, but always supply us also with the original version of the figures. This leaves us the option to improve your figures should their quality be unsatisfactory.
Each figure should have a figure caption beneath it explaining what the figure represents. Make sure to explain the symbols used in the figure.

11. Tables

Just like figures, tables must be relevant: each and every table must be referred to in your text! Tables are numbered consecutively (Table 1, 2, 3, and so on). Always refer to a table by its number! Never use “the table above” or “the table below” as the precise location of the table in print may change due to the editing.
The sample article gives a very general idea how a table looks like in the style of the IMC Proceedings. Notice that no vertical lines are used to separate columns! For more complex tables, we refer to the preview contributions of the 2012 IMC Proceedings.
Each table should have a caption, which should appear above the actual table. Make sure all symbols used in the table heading are explained in the caption, unless they are standard, such as “ZHR”.

Instructions for Word users

We prefer contributions prepared in LaTeX (see below). If you are not familiar with LaTeX, however, we suggest you use Word. In this case, please mind the following:

  1. Do not try to mimic fatefully the double-column format of the printed IMC Proceedings! You must be aware that if you submit a Word document, its layout is useless to us. On the contrary, a complicated layout of your Word document will make the editors’ job to convert it to LaTeX more difficult. Therefore, stick to a simple, single-column layout and try to follow the “Instructions to all authors” above as much as possible.
  2. While it is ok for us that you include your figures in your Word document to have a single document containing everything (reducing the risk that a figure is overlooked, for example), we ask you to supply us the original figures also separately. (In LaTeX, figures are actually separate files whose content is “loaded” into the document during compilation.)

Instructions for LaTeX users

All the files you need can be found in the zip-archive below.
(Link to the zip-archive).

In particular, this archive contains the source file of the sample article, which you should use as a template. This sample file also contains more information on how to prepare your article in LaTeX. In addition, LaTeX users should mind the following.

  1. Use the format --.tex to name your file. For example,
    barentsen-1-2013.tex is the first contribution of Geert Barentsen for the 2013 IMC Proceedings.
  2. Use labels to refer to figures, tables, sections, and subsections. These labels should start with the file name without extension, followed by a dash, followed by fig, tab, sec, or subsec, and the number of that item. For example, barentsen-1-2013-fig2 is the label of the second figure in Geert’s (fictitious) contribution. This standard scheme of cross-referencing avoids that different contributions could use the same label for a particular item. The use of labels to refer to these items is important, as, in extreme cases, the editors may, for example, have to swap two figures for layout reasons (which, of course, they will only do if the article permits it).
  3. LaTeX users familiar with BibTeX may use the bibliography style file imo2.bst included in the zip-archive to generate the bibliography in the correct format. Just before submitting your contribution, please paste the .bbl file in your LaTeX document, please.
  4. Do not use the \cite command in your text to quote references, please, but do this “by hand” following the rules under item 9 of the “Instructions to all users”. If you are working with BibTeX, use the command \nocite to generate the correct list of references. More detailed instructions for BibTeX users can be found in the sample article.
  5. Avoid perfectionism! However nicely you have prepared your submission, there will always be editing changes. These can involve improving the English, improving the style, ensuring consistency for the Proceedings as a whole, etc. Every LaTeX user knows that such changes, small as they may be, can seriously impact the layout. As a consequence the laborious efforts you may have spent on fixing the last details could prove to be futile, and that would be a shame for all the efforts spent on them …