Can someone who has successfully submitted a LaTeX-based paper to the Elsevier Editorial System please describe the detailed steps needed, so that the paper builds correctly on EES, and can be approved?

In particular, some or all of the following information (which I couldn't find in the EES help/documentation pages) would be helpful:

  • Is there a minimum working example available somewhere, with a manuscript .tex file, separate table and figure files, and bibliography file? (plus whatever other files would be needed)
  • Is there a way to test a document's build with one's local environment, such that if it works locally, will likely work at EES?
  • If you start with a single my-paper.tex and my-bibliography.bib file and can build a PDF correctly from that, what's the process to break up those (two) files into the manuscript+tables+figures+aux pieces that EES can build from?
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    You have my sympathies, but I will admit that I was half expecting that answer. You might have more luck on academia-SX. My next suggestion would be to choose another publisher. Dec 12 '12 at 19:48
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    @texenthusiast Yes, I registered and followed their steps - essential details are missing from their documentation at the links you posted above and many other pages on their site. What would be most helpful is if someone somewhere has a minimal working example that builds successfully on EES.
    – limist
    Dec 12 '12 at 20:34
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    Well, there are >13000 less people in the world who could have helped a year ago... More seriously, even if you manage to get hold of a person in Elsevier (it can be done!) the fix won't be quick. They can take days/weeks to fix something as simple as a broken link on their website. Dec 12 '12 at 22:51
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    It even depends what journal you are submitting to, as they cannot even provide consistency across journals. Life is easier if you only upload one .tex file (sometimes there is no option to mark slave files as "macro files"), one .bib file and maybe even the .bbl file and mark them all as "manuscript". Everything should be in the same directory. Assume all packages are 3 years out-of-date, as in TeX Live 2009. As the system is undocumented in important details, it's unlikely to be possible to test locally. Just keep uploading, waiting, checking the log and guessing... Dec 13 '12 at 9:55
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    I know this doesn't answer your question, but please read why 13k+ researchers are boycotting Elsevier: thecostofknowledge.com Dec 13 '12 at 10:03

10 Answers 10


I submitted a manuscript written in LaTeX a few months ago to an Elsevier journal. I simply uploaded the pdf I had built as the main document and supplied the.tex and .bib files as "supplemental files not for publication and not for review". I'm not sure if this is the correct way to do it, but it worked without any problems and I've always sumbitted my LaTeX papers this way.

  • Thanks, this is the way I decided to use. Even though the EES documentation says in several places not to submit a PDF as the manuscript, their tech support said to do so, and their system is able to handle that. The processed PDF will have a cover page and line numbers. I'll assume that works unless I hear otherwise from the editor(s).
    – limist
    Dec 14 '12 at 2:01
  • This is also the approach I've taken in the past. Jun 27 '13 at 10:31
  • Ok... I haven't seen this any of their guides. Does it work for all journals?
    – remus
    Jul 15 '13 at 12:31
  • I'm not sure if it works for all journals, but I have tried it for several ones and never had any problems or complaints. The submission system handles pdf files perfectly.
    – die Anne.
    Jul 15 '13 at 17:11
  • Actually I've just submitted a paper/revision a couple of months/a couple of weeks ago and everything worked fine.
    – die Anne.
    Jul 15 '13 at 17:15

I struggled with this, but it turns out to be really easy.

Upload the following hypothetical items individually as "Manuscript"


And then the EES should compile it properly (it worked for me).

  • Is there a quick way to generate table pdf files?
    – remus
    Jul 15 '13 at 14:25

Just completed a submission successfully as follows:

  1. Compiled at home as normal
  2. Zipped .tex, .bib, .bbl, and the rest (no figures)
  3. Uploaded figures as Figures on ESS in pdf format (as requested by Elsevier staff)
  4. Uploaded zip as Manuscript. At this stage ESS removed .aux,.blg,.tps but kept .tex, .bib, and .bbl and marked them as Manuscript.
  5. Submitted, the viewable pdf looks perfect.

It wasn't necessary to copy the .bbl into the .tex or comment out the \bibliography lines.

  • When you first submit do you add the lineno package (for line numbering) too? Do you add the review documentclass option? Do you compile for 2 columns (if the journal has this style)?
    – remus
    Jul 15 '13 at 12:39
  • what about latex tables? How to submit them with the manuscript?
    – Rasoul
    Aug 27 '14 at 11:45
  • Worked for me at the first try!.. Thanks :) Sep 25 '15 at 0:48

After several attempts, I finally get a perfectly compiled pdf through Elsevier's system. If you are submitting your paper for the first round of review, to avoid the hassles, I would recommend to just upload the paper in pdf and author's biography with authors' photos. I did so for Ad Hoc Network journal. (I contact the journal to make sure this is okay. Not sure about other journals though. The second time I try to do this when submitting my first revision, the editor asked me to submit the latex sources.)

Here are what I did for submitting the LaTex sources:

  1. I prepared my journal using pdflatex. To make sure it is recognized correctly by the journal website, add the following line at the beginning of your tex file.


  2. Put everything you can into a single .tex file including your bibliography.

    To integrate the bibliography into .tex file is actually easy, you just compile your original .tex with the .bib file as you normally do. You will find a .bbl file is generated (along with other compiled files, .pdf ,.aux ,.log ,etc.). Then you comment out the \bibliography{...} line in your .tex file and copy all the contents in the .bbl file right after the line.

  3. Don't upload figures in eps format. pdflatex has already converted the .eps figures to .pdf when I compiled my paper locally so I just change the tex file accordingly to let it load the .pdf figure.


I could not make my .bib to be correctly compiled online. The solution I used was to compile it at home, then comment out the \bibliography{BIBLIO} line and copy and past the content of the .bbl file (same as cyberSingularity's comment).

This solution was suggested to me by a member of Elsevier staff on the help chat. You should try that feature ; hey can be really helpful. See here.

Figures were not a problem for me. Just adding them with something like

  \caption{A nice picture of an elephant.}

worked properly. Figures can be uploaded in one go using a .zip file.

  • This is what AIP require - everything except figures in a single .tex file
    – Chris H
    Jul 26 '13 at 8:58
  • @ChrisH I don't know what AIP stands for. You should probably expand the acronym to make your comment useful for more people.
    – M. Toya
    Jul 26 '13 at 9:35
  • good point, but I don't appear to be able to edit my previous comment. It's American Institute of Physics.
    – Chris H
    Jul 26 '13 at 9:43

Submit both the .tex and .bib files as type manuscript.

Provided you are using XeLaTeX to compile your .pdf offline, this should compile correctly on the Elsevier submission software as well.

Make sure you have saved your images as .eps, as these seem to work best on their compiler. There are probably other image options as well, but I know .jpeg's won't work (this got me frustrated for days the first time).

I like to use the classic uploader as it seems more robust.

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    Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look on our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. Jun 27 '13 at 7:45

It seems some Elsevier journals are now adopting the option Latex Source Files during the upload of the files. In this case, upload your compiled pdf file as Manuscript and the source files, preferably zipped, as Latex Source Files.


my problem was that I had to remove the .bib at the end of the bibliography filename:

\bibliography{my_bib.bib} %wrong, but worked on my local installation
\bibliography{my_bib} %right

using the first one, I just had question marks in the text [?] and an empty reference section


I struggle with this, too. Success in my experience is the integration of two steps:

  1. Compile .bib locally, and copy the generated content from .bbl file to the .tex file.

  2. Mark figures file (ex. .eps or .pdf) as "Manuscript."

BTW, the Anne's approach seems not workable right now. Maybe Elsevier find some ways to block this trick??


This is easy, you can generate a .bbl file.



and run your TeX engine to generated your .pdf.

Then copy all content of template.bbl and replace with above two lines.

  • 2
    Welcome to TeX.SX! The last part of your answer seems more like a new question, so it would be best to repost it as a fresh question. Follow-up questions like this are more than welcome! Please use the "Ask Question" link for your new question; there you can link to this question to provide the background. Jun 22 '13 at 4:45

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