Submitting your LaTeX manuscript through the Editorial Manager (Springer and Elsevier)

Posted by on Sep 30, 2010 in Documentation, Publication | 31 comments

LaTeX is an excellent tool for formatting your manuscripts. During the peer review process, most journals accept PDF files. But when it comes submitting your camera ready version, the Editorial Manager (EM), used by both Springer and Elsevier, insists on receiving a source file. The process has some problems and I would like to share some of the lessons I learned. First of all you need to know that EM will compile the LaTeX files for you. You do not need to upload your PDF or DVI files.

  1. EM is not able to digest figures in the PDF format. Convert all your figures to EPS. This can be achieved with Adobe Acrobat or Preview (MAC).
  2. EM is not able to deal with directories. All your files must be in one directory, including all figures.
  3. You can ZIP your complete LaTeX directory and upload it. EM decompresses all the files for you. Make sure that you do not include a PDF or DVI version of your manuscript, otherwise EM will include it as well. You will end up with multiple versions of your text in the final PDF.
  4. If EM encounters any problems during the compilation of your LaTeX files, it will write the log into the resulting PDF. You can find out what went wrong by looking at it.
  5. If an error occurred, EM has trouble with processing .tex files again which have the same name as in the previous attempt. Rename your .tex file (e.g. by adding a serial number) and upload it again. EM will then compile this new file instead of the old one.


  1. Many thanks for this very helpful information. I was getting extremely frustrated with EM until I came across your website. This information should be in the help files of the EM !!

  2. I have tried everything I can think of and cannot get my LaTeX files to properly produce a PDF at an Elsevier journal site (Water Research) and multiple online chats with support staff were not helpful (I was told to just upload the PDF of my manuscript files to the system). A check of the log file suggests nonsense–it states that I left out the command \begin{document} which is clearly ridiculous. The only thing I can think of is that I have included some specific commands in my *.tex manuscript file that easily run through my system, but not on any EM system. Any advice you can provide would very helpful. Thank you.

  3. Turns out that Malcom had used a package that was not supported by EM. You may want to comment out extra packages one by one to find the culprit. And do not forget to give the latex file a new name. Otherwise EM will choke on it.

  4. I just uploaded a latex manuscript with pdf figures, and it was correctly processed (after fixing a few unrelated things, like the flat file hierarchy you mentioned).

  5. Useful info but did not work for me! Firstly, I got errors saying EPS is not a recognized file format. Changing everything to PNG sorted that. But I also got errors objecting to \text{} inside equations – this just works on my local TexLive installation.

    Finally, I got an output for approval which was just the terminal output from pdftex. It stated that a PDF of the correct number of pages had been built… except I couldn’t see it! Changing the name of the tex file (as in #5) made no difference.

    All made worse by the Editorial Assistant responsible not replying to any of the emails I sent. Very frustrated!!! Do they want my paper or not?

  6. Finally managed to upload my paper! There was a small error in my Tex file which both the local systems I had used had ‘auto-corrected’. A third latex system, on the other hand, flagged the error (a misplaced ‘$’). After fixing the minor error, the file now builds on EM.

    Worryingly, the Springer EM system neither flagged the error nor built the PDF, despite saying that it had.

    And another thing against EM: It does not seem to accept with bib files…

  7. Springer usually contacts me after the acceptance of the paper with the request to email them the bib file again. They do indeed have a problem with bib files. They often claim that the bib file was not uploaded, but that is of course just wrong. It also appears to me that the whole processing has been outsourced to India.

  8. Ditto what S. Walford says at the top comment – I found that EM is very frustrating to deal with and this advice helped me a lot

  9. For me it was the “numcompress.sty” that was required for the journal “Intermetallics” and which i obtained directly from the Elsevier report, that prevented the building of the pdf! I commented it out finally et voila. This problem was not mentioned in the log report also.

  10. I recently had some similar problems. I found out that:

    1. PDF images can be included, but you have to add the .pdf extension to the file name, e.g. \includegraphics{image.pdf} instead of \includegraphics{image}.

    2. Sometimes the system changes your figure file names by adding a number at the beginning, e.g. “myfigure” becomes “2myfigure.” That was a problem for me when I submitted my revised paper but kept some of the same figures that I had used in the original submission.

    3. Finally, I was told that they added %&pdflatex at the top of the tex file. However, I don’t see how that could make a difference since it appears to be “commented out.” If anyone understands that, please comment.

    4. I also had to include my bibliography in the tex document instead of a separate file.

  11. I can confirm that adding %&pdflatex to the first line of the document enabled PDFLaTeX. Finally I was able to include pdf and jpg files.

  12. Hi, I cannot get my .tex file to produce a correct .pdf file at an Springer journal, specifically Methodology and Computing in Applied Probability.
    If you could provide some help, I would greatly appreciate it.

  13. In order to submit to Materials Science and Engineering A, I have found it necessary to upload the *.bib file as a “manuscript” in order to get my pdf document to compile correctly. I have also found it necessary to use the complete image name (ie. *.pdf) in the “include” statements.

    Indexing the *.tex file was a great tip and much appreciated.

  14. Hi All, I dont know, where to upload zip folder in “”.

    Please tell.
    Thanks in advance!

  15. Enter the submission system and fill in all the required meta data. Once you get to the upload stage, select “manuscript” as the type and select your zipped files from your hard disk. Editorial manager will automatically unizp all the files and make them available. That is much faster than uploading all the files individually.

  16. Thanks! PNG images were the ones giving me trouble

  17. I haven’t been able to get natbib references to work in Editorial Manager. Does anyone have tips any tips? Converting them to bibitems manually seems like a terrible waste of time.

  18. I’ve submitted my paper and the pdf file was correctly generated.
    But afterwards I received an e-mail from the editor asking “Kindly do not embed your figures and tables in your manuscript text. Kindly upload the figures and tables as separate file.”
    Of course I have uploaded the figures as a separate file, but the editorial system has included them when compiling the tex file.
    Also the tables were done in latex so how can I upload them separated?
    Any of you had this problem?
    Thank you

  19. Thanks a lot, all the comments above helped to submit my paper and get the PDF proof after 100 tries.
    1) changed the file name each time
    2) pics converted to PDF
    3) Add .pdf to the end of the figs in tex file {figure1.pdf}
    4) upload all the packages

  20. Dear Admin,
    We are having trouble uploading our revised manuscript . We successfully uploaded all of our files (one manuscript and 24 figures). The pdf file was apparently successfully built, however, when checking the pdf file for approval, we discovered that some of the figures are left out, while the figure captions remained in the manuscript. All of our figures are of eps format, and are made using the same software. We already tried renaming all of the uploaded files, and rebuilding the pdf, but had the same outcome. We also checked the pdf built on our PC, and it was fine (all of the figures showed in their proper place).
    Looking forward to hearing from You.
    Mirjana Isic
    Zoltan Horvat

  21. I just thought I would add my experience in case it helps someone else. After 13 attempts to upload to EES, I have finally succeeded. In the end what worked for me was:
    – it wouldn’t accept .eps figures, so I used .pdf
    – many packages that are in the current version of TexLive do not seem to be supported by EES. This includes several that are in the template file that I got directly from Elsevier. I went through each package in my Tex file, commenting them out until I managed to get it working, then included the .sty files for each of the problematic ones. For me they were: textgreek; amssymb; numcompress.
    -so the files I uploaded to the system (in addition to the cover letter) were:
    figures in .pdf format
    .sty files for the packages the system didn’t like.

    The process nearly drove me crazy, but at least I got there in the end.

  22. I am writing an article to submit to nimB. I am using the bibliographystyle model1-num-names. For some reasons, whenever I call multiple citations, I just get[1,2,3,4] instead of [1-4]. What do I need to do?

  23. I cannot get my PDF to build on EES either, in spite of all my figures being in PDF format, LaTeX SIunits and amssymb packages uploaded. This is literally driving me crazy.

    Most annoying is EES simply stating “Error”, with absolutely no further information…

  24. Thank you mr Christoph Bartneck and mr BA
    You have really helped me

  25. Some pointers according to my experience with sciencedirect submission:
    * To get your PDF accepted, try generating the .ps from the .dvi then generate the .pdf from .ps. I did this and no longer get the Error status with no explication.
    * To check if your .tex file will compile successfully in their platform, upload the .tex file, .bib file, (as manuscript), figures. Then you’ll get the pdf file compiled and the error messages. If you get the .sty not found, upload it (as manuscript). Repeat this last action until you get the correct compiled pdf file.
    * Know that you have the choice to upload either the pdf file and the latex source files (as .zip) or the .tex files as described in above.

  26. I was submitting tex file from scientific word but I could not get the PDF. Using the info provided here, I found out the problem was the “doublespace package” that i had used in the paper. After removing this package from the file everything worked perfectly. Thank you all

  27. I trying to submit a manuscript in springer journal but in the last step my paper is not build correctly whatever I do. I need your help to get ride of this problem.Thank you very much.

  28. Submitting LaTeX manuscript but Editorial Manager Springer not able to built pdf file.

  29. Please be so kind to go through the following steps below and then rebuild the PDF.

    • Please verify that all associated TeX related files ( .sty, etc) files are uploaded to the submission.
    • Please verify that files are not referenced in sub-directories/subfolders, otherwise the paper will not build properly.
    • Please verify that all the .EPS image files are uploaded to the submission. Please verify that the EPS image files are not referenced in sub-directories/subfolders, otherwise your paper will not build correctly.
    • Please verify the EPS image name is correct in your TeX file.

    After steps 1-4 above are reviewed/corrected, please rebuild your submission.

    If you still find any difficulty, please let me know.
    Please noted that I was Submitted only TeX file and EPS file now what I have to do?

  30. Followed above suggestions, still I am unable to get my pdf correctly. Any solutions?

  31. Hi, how can I force EM Springer/Elsevier to compile the .tex source using lualatex?


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