Writing a Research Paper

ASME Journals Digital Submission Tool Guidelines and Information

Writing a Research Paper or Technical Brief

Only original contributions to the engineering literature are accepted for publication; work should incorporate substantial information not previously published.


If a submission contains excerpts from other copyrighted material (including without limitation any diagrams, photographs, figures or text), it is the responsibility of the authors to acquire in writing all necessary rights from third parties to include those materials in a submission. In addition, appropriate credit for that third-party material must be included in footnotes, figure/table captions, Acknowledgements, References or Bibliography. This is part of the Terms and Conditions of the Copyright Transfer Agreement required form each author prior to publication of an accepted submission.

Resources The Office of Research Integrity has the following guide that may be a useful reference: Avoiding Plagiarism, Self-Plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing.

Accuracy It is of the greatest importance that all technical, scientific, and mathematical information contained in the paper be checked with the utmost care.

SI Units

It is ASME policy that SI units of measurement be included in all papers. When U.S. customary units are given preference, the SI equivalent should be provided in parentheses or in a supplementary table. When preference is given to SI units, the U.S. customary units should be provided in parentheses or in a supplementary table.


A research paper should not exceed 12,000 words. Beyond this amount, a mandatory excess-page charge can be assessed. These charges are described here: Publication Charges.

To estimate figures and tables:

  • 1 journal page = 1000 words
  • Half-journal page or a single column = 500 words
  • Half-column = 250 words
  • Quarter column = 125 words.

The Editor reserves the right to send papers that exceed the length limitation back to the author(s) for shortening before initiating the review process.

Elements of a Paper

The basic elements of a paper or brief are listed below in the order in which they should appear:

  • title
  • author names and affiliations
  • abstract
  • body of paper
  • acknowledgments
  • nomenclature
  • appendices
  • references
  • figures and tables

Font Type

Text: 9 or 10 pt. Times Roman medium (or equivalent typeface), justified, with single line spacing


The title of the paper should be concise and definitive.

Author Names and Affiliations

It is ASME policy that all those who have participated significantly in the technical aspects of a paper be recognized as co-authors or cited in the acknowledgments. Author name should consist of first name (or initial), middle initial, and last name. The author affiliation should consist of the following, as applicable, in the order noted:

  • university or company (with department name or company division)
  • mailing address
  • city, state, zip code
  • country name (other than the U.S.)
  • e-mail (university or company email addresses should be used whenever possible)


An abstract (250 words maximum) should open the paper or brief. The purpose of the abstract is to give a clear indication of the objective, scope, and results so that readers may determine whether the full text will be of particular interest to them.


The text should be organized into logical parts or sections. The purpose of the paper should be stated at the beginning, followed by a description of the problem, the means of solution, and any other information necessary to properly qualify the results presented and the conclusions. The results should be presented in an orderly form, followed by the author'/s conclusions.


Headings and subheadings should appear throughout the work to divide the subject matter into logical parts and to emphasize the major elements and considerations. Parts or sections may be numbered, if desired, but paragraphs should not be numbered.


Equations should be numbered consecutively beginning with (1) to the end of the paper, including any appendices. The number should be enclosed in parentheses and set flush right in the column on the same line as the equation. It is this number that should be used when referring to equations within the text. Equations should be referenced within the text as "Eq. (x)." When the reference to an equation begins a sentence, it should be spelled out, e.g., "Equation (x)."

Formulas and equations should be created to clearly distinguish capital letters from lowercase letters. Care should be taken to avoid confusion between the lowercase "l"(el) and the numeral one, or between zero and the lowercase "o." All subscripts, superscripts, Greek letters, and other symbols should be clearly indicated.

In all mathematical expressions and analyses, any symbols (and the units in which they are measured) not previously defined in nomenclature should be explained. If the paper is highly mathematical in nature, it may be advisable to develop equations and formulas in appendices rather than in the body of the paper.


All figures (graphs, line drawings, photographs, etc.) should be numbered consecutively and have a caption consisting of the figure number and a brief title or description of the figure. This number should be used when referring to the figure in text. Figure references should be included within the text in numerical order according to their order of appearance. Figures should be referenced within the text as "Fig. 1." When the reference to a figure begins a sentence, the abbreviation "Fig." should be spelled out, e.g., "Figure 1." A separate list of figure numbers and their respective captions should be included at the end of the paper (for production purposes only). ASME accepts .tiff (.tif) or .eps file formats for figures.

  • TIFF (Tag Image File Format) is for bitmap images (spatially mapped array of bits).
  • EPS (Encapsulated Postscript) is for vector graphics (mathematical expressions of geometrical primitives).

Images created in Word can opened in Adobe Acrobat and saved as .tif or .eps

Figure files greater than 15MB should be checked to see if layers were merged.


All tables should be numbered consecutively and have a caption consisting of the table number and a brief title. This number should be used when referring to the table in text. Table references should be included within the text in numerical order according to their order of appearance. Tables should be inserted as part of the text as close as possible to its first reference — with the exception of those tables included at the end of the paper as an appendix. A separate list of table numbers and their respective captions should be included at the end of the paper (for production purposes only).

Video Files

Currently, the ASME Journal Tool does not accommodate the submission of video files. Authors can contact the Editor by email if they have video files. If accepted by the Editor for review, ASME will provide information for transferring the files by FTP.

Video files should augment a figure that is included in the paper since they will be included as part of the peer-review of the paper, and if accepted for publication, part of the archival version of the paper.

The following file formats can be accepted for video files:

  1. mpeg
  2. mov
  3. avi
  4. wmv

Supplemental Material

Go to “Supplemental Material” for information on this.


Acknowledgments may be made to individuals or institutions not mentioned elsewhere in the work who have made an important contribution.

Funding Information

Funding information provided will be placed at the end of the Acknowledgment section.


Nomenclature should follow customary usage. For reference, consult American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recommendations. The nomenclature list should be in alphabetical order (capital letters first, followed by lowercase letters), followed by any Greek symbols, with subscripts and superscripts last, identified with headings.

Sample Nomenclature


  1. Pages must be paginated.
  2. Highly technical terms or phraseology must be explained and defined.
  3. The use of the first person and reference to individuals should be made in such a manner as to avoid personal bias.
  4. Company names should be mentioned only in the acknowledgments.
  5. All papers should be concise regardless of length.
  6. Long quotations should be avoided by referring to sources.
  7. Illustrations and tables must be kept to a practicable minimum.
  8. Detailed drawings, lengthy test data and calculations, and photographs not integral to the understanding of the subject, should be omitted.
  9. Equations should be kept to a reasonable minimum, and built-up fractions within sentences should be avoided.
  10. Spell out all acronyms on first use. Put the acronym in parentheses immediately after the spelled-out term.
  11. All lines of the initial submission must be numbered.


Within the text, references should be cited in numerical order according to their order of appearance. The numbered reference citation within text should be enclosed in brackets.

Example: It was shown by Prusa [1] that the width of the plume decreases under these conditions.

All references must include a DOI.

In the case of two citations, the numbers should be separated by a comma [1,2]. In the case of more than two references, the numbers should be separated by a dash [5-7].

Note: ASME primarily uses the Chicago Manual of Style for reference format. Authors are encouraged to seek out precise instructions via: http://www.ChicagoManualofStyle.org. ASME does not allow references to Wikipedia.

Sample References

References should be listed together at the end of the paper; footnotes should not be used for this purpose.

References should be arranged in numerical order according to the sequence of citations within the text. Each reference should include the last name of each author followed by initials.

Website Content

  • [2] Wayne, John “John Cowboy Videos 2009,” YouTube video, 7:00, November 13, 2009, http://www.you tube.com/ watch?v= aBcDeFgH9yz.
  • [3] “Apple Privacy Policy,” last modified February 4, 2009, accessed July 19, 2010, http://www.apple.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html.
  • [17] “WD2000: Visual Basic Macro to Assign Clipboard Text to a String Variable,” revision 1.3, Microsoft Help and Support, last modified November 23, 2006, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/212730.
  • Note: If a site ceases to exist before publication, or if the information is modified or deleted, this must be included: [8] As of February 22, 2013, Sullivan was claiming on her website that … (a claim that had disappeared from her page by March 4, 2013).

Journal Articles and Papers in Serial Publications

  • [3] Adams, Z., 2014, “Bending of an Infinite Beam on an Elastic Substrate,” ASME J Appl. Mech., 3, pp. 221-228.
  • [9] Zhang, T. W., Khun, C., Liu, Q., and Miller, A. P., 2011, “Self-Healing Techniques,” Nature, 332(6662), pp. 888-892.

Textbooks and Monographs

  • [10] Gibson, T.A., and Tucker, M. T., 2008, The Big Book of Cellular Studies, John Wiley and Sons, NY.

Chapter Within a Book

  • [32] Stevens, T. T., 1999, “Stochastic Fields and Their Digital Simulation,” Stochastic Methods. T. A. Sulle, and M. Siiu, eds., Martinius Publishers, Dordrecht, Germany, pp. 22-36.

Individual Conference Papers/Papers in Compiled Proceedings/Collection of Works by Numerous Authors

  • [21] Wions, T. T., and Mills, C. D., 2006, “Structural Dynamics in Parallel Manipulation,” Proceedings of the IDETC/CIE, New Orleans, LA, September 10-13, 2005, ASME Paper No. DETC2005-99532, pp. 777-798.

Theses and Technical Reports

  • [1] Oligaria, T. T., Fredy, C. W., Popullo, A. Z., and Tucker, M. A., 20111, “Characterization of PKM Dynamics,” SAE Technical Paper No. 2011-02-8345, 07ATC-96.
  • [25] Mollen, T., P., 2014, “Use of General Nonlinear Material in Articulated Systems,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Boston, Boston, MA.
  • [27] Clinton, D., 2013, “Review of Rocket Technology,” NASA Report No. NASA RE-8842.

Books Consulted Online

  • [23] Smith, John, 2014, A Dog’s Life in Berlin. Oxford University Press, New York. Doi: 10.1055/acprof.oso/97890.0394.000.

Citing ASME Journal Titles

In order to improve the accuracy of citation data collection, ASME is standardizing on the following abbreviations for the titles in the ASME Journal Program. Authors should use these abbreviations for ASME titles in their references:

ASME Journal Title Abbreviation
Applied Mechanics Reviews Appl Mech Rev
Journal of Applied Mechanics J Appl Mech
Journal of Biomechanical Engineering J Biomech Eng
Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics J Comput Nonlin Dyn
Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering J Comput Inf Sci Eng
Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control J Dyn Syst-T ASME
Journal of Electronic Packaging J Electron Packaging
Journal of Energy Resources Technology J Energ Resour
Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power J Eng Gas Turb Power
Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology J Eng Mater
Journal of Fluids Engineering J Fluid Eng
Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology J Fuel Cell Sci Tech
Journal of Heat Transfer J Heat Trans
Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering J Manuf Sci E
Journal of Mechanical Design J Mech Design
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics J Mech Robot
Journal of Medical Devices J Med Devices
Journal of Micro and Nano-Manufacturing J Micro Nano-Manuf
Journal of Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine J Nanotech Eng Med
Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering J Offshore Mech Arct
Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology J Press Vess
Journal of Solar Energy Engineering J Sol Energ
Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications J Therm Sci Eng Appl
Journal of Tribology J Tribol
Journal of Turbomachinery J Turbomach
Journal of Vibration and Acoustics J Vib Acoust
Journal Statements:
Journal of Fluids Engineering
Statement on the Content of Numerical Accuracy
Reporting Uncertainties in Experimental Measurements and Results

Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science
Uncertainty Quantification

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