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I need something that gives me the following functionality:

  • 2 column
  • journal style
  • natbib or other automatic parsing of .bib file with hyperlinks
  • numbered bibliography items and citations, i.e. instead of [Author et. al, 2008] I want to see [2] or [2,5] if there were two citations together for something, etc.
  • multiple authors each with multiple affiliations, where affiliation notations (number or symbols) show as superscript after the authors name
  • proper keywords notation
  • proper abstract section, either 1 column or full width

I know there has to be something out there that fits these requirements, but I have no idea where to look, or what to use as I am fairly new to latex.

I've looked into the authblk package, but it doesn't seem to work with the only class I was vaguely familiar with, a class that isn't supported and whose successor fails to compile even a simple document I create, so I want to work with something else.

Recommendations would be very much appreciated, thanks!

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There are a few websites offering collections of free LaTeX templates, for example http://www.latextemplates.com, https://www.overleaf.com/gallery, or https://www.sharelatex.com/templates.

Many of the generic templates are modifications of the standard classes, and some are fairly well documented. If you don't find a template that satisfies your needs immediately, you might at least find one that is close, and you could adapt it to your needs. Some things - like how to specify authors, affiliations, and keywords - will be implemented in different ways, so you have to check out the sample files coming with the respective template.

In most cases, I would assume that you'll still have to load additional packages to support bibliographies. As you mention natbib: it can be configured to provide numbered references, but you have to set it up accordingly (see its documentation at https://ctan.org/pkg/natbib). There are other options as well, in particular biblatex. https://www.overleaf.com/learn/latex/Bibliography_management_in_LaTeX provides several examples; the first one might produce what you are looking for.

There are also templates for specific journals, often maintained by the publishing companies themselves. They include the handling of the titles and authors as well as the biography according to their rules and are the best choice if you intend to submit a paper to the respective journal.

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CTAN (the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network) has a large number of templates for journals, conferences, theses, etc. For journals specifically, a listing is here: https://ctan.org/topic/journalpub.

You may be particularly interested in the revtex package: `` In­cludes styles for Amer­i­can Phys­i­cal So­ci­ety, Amer­i­can In­sti­tute of Physics, and Op­ti­cal So­ci­ety of Amer­ica. ''

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