Manuscript Titles, Authorship, and Footnotes

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Manuscript Titles

Your title should accurately reflect the content of the manuscript. Keep the title informative and concise (clear, descriptive, and not too long – no more than 12 words). You should avoid technical jargon and acronyms and abbreviations, which might not be familiar to the reader. Don’t begin a title with an article (The, A, An); remove all redundancies such as studies on, the nature of, etc.; and avoid expressions such as preliminary or exploratory. Remember that long titles with multiple prepositional phrases are distracting and tend to limit reader interest.  Focus on the main topic and ask yourself, "How would I search for this piece of information?" when you design the title.


Listed authors are limited to those who have made significant contributions to the article, and typically the number of authors is limited to 8–10 individuals, although exceptions can be made when justified. Full first names are preferred over initials to disambiguate among authors with similar names and to make indexing by search engines easier. Author affiliations will include the company or institution name, city, state, and ZIP code; include the country name and postal code for authors outside the United States.

To determine authorship, consider whether all of the following criteria have been met:

  1. The author has made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the written work or to the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work.
  2. The author participated in drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
  3. The author was included in the final approval process for the version to be published.
  4. The author is willing to be personally and publicly accountable for the accuracy and integrity of any part of the work, not just the contributions he or she has made to the work, and has confidence in the integrity of the contributions of all coauthors.

Footnotes to display author job titles and departments on the first page of your manuscript should use the symbols *, †, ‡, §, ¶, **, ††, etc. to follow AIAA style. If you wish to designate one or more corresponding authors, include that information in the author footnotes, as appropriate, to include the contact email address. Authors who are AIAA members also may include their member grade at the end of their footnote.

The use of footnotes elsewhere in your manuscript is discouraged. Explanatory information usually can be incorporated efficiently into the main text, and footnotes are easily lost in the online journal format.