Submission Formatting and Presentation


Document Format

We only accept submissions in PDF. We do not accept papers submitted after the deadline no matter what the reason is, so please check on your ability to convert to PDF early.


A paper template is available and is linked below. Do not modify the formatting provided in the templates. Any change to font sizes, page dimensions, line spacing, etc. may delay the publication of your paper. Please do not include any additional markings such as Draft or To appear in… on the pages. Make sure your paper does not contain page numbers.

Paper Length

For RSS 2021, no arbitrary maximum (or minimum) length is imposed on papers. Reviewers will be instructed that they do not need to review material other than the abstract, references, and the first eight pages. Papers will not be summarily rejected for exceeding eight pages of technical content, but authors should not expect the reviewers to read beyond eight pages.

Recommendations and Suggestions*

Paper Presentation

Submissions should be written such that their content, style, and appearance aid the reviewing process. Authors should keep in mind that their submission will be evaluated not only by experts in their subarea but also by the entire PC. The submission should be addressed to a broad spectrum of roboticists, not solely to experts in a single subarea.

Poor presentation may result in rejection either indirectly (the reviewers fail to appreciate the merits of the submission) or directly (the PC decides that the community will be better served by the paper being revised and resubmitted).

Length Considerations

Since RSS 2021 has no arbitrary maximum page count, the first eight pages of a submission should contain a concise and lucid presentation of the merits of the paper, including a discussion of its importance, prior work, and an outline of key technical ideas and methods used to achieve the main claims. The submission should also allow reviewers to easily expand their understanding of any of the specifics to the extent they deem important to the evaluation of the submission. Ideally, it should include all of the ideas necessary for an expert to fully verify the central claims in the paper.

Authors should anticipate that their papers may be rejected if the key technical result is not adequately presented and evaluated in the first eight pages. The reason we have removed the page limit is to acknowledge that the page limit is arbitrary, and there may be good reasons to take a little more space. Papers may be perceived as too long if they are verbose or repetitive, or too short if they omit important details or tamper with formatting rules just to save on page count.

In optimization jargon: Think of the paper length not as a constraint but as a cost.

Templates and Font Embedding

A paper template is available in LaTeX and Word.

Submit a PDF-format paper. Delays in the production of proceedings are usually caused by PDF file submissions that do not embed all fonts. Please follow the below instructions to ensure that your PDF document will not suffer from this problem.

When preparing your document in LaTeX, make sure to create the PDF file from your LaTeX source using these (or equivalent, xelatex or pdflatex) commands:

latex paper.tex
dvips paper.dvi -o -t letter -Ppdf -G0

The arguments provided to dvips will ensure that all fonts are embedded in the PDF file produced by ps2pdf.

  • These guidelines borrow heavily from those used by Siggraph and FOCS. RSS’s historic role as bellwether for the robotics community, and these blog posts have motivated this new approach.