I promise never again to complain about students not listening to instructions.* Faculty are just as bad.
As editor of a proceedings volume from a recent conference, I sent out an email to people who had said they intended to submit their papers. It was fairly short and included the following lines (direct quotes):
"All submissions will be anonymously peer-reviewed."The guidelines for authors included, among other instructions, the following:
"Please find attached to this email the "guidelines for authors" issued by the publishers. We can only accept manuscripts that follow the conventions laid out in this document, so please read it carefully."
"Please leave two spaces between sentences, two spaces after a colon, and one space after other punctuation."A few weeks later I got an email from one of the authors, saying:
"Please double space your paper."
I have read the guidelines and generally followed them. But I have a few formatting questions. [Publisher] requires authors to 'leave two spaces between sentences, two spaces after a colon, and one space after other punctuation (p. 10)'. Do I need to strictly follow it? Also, do I need to double-space my paper?To which, of course, the correct response would be, "No, you do not need to follow these instructions. I just sent them out to see how many authors would be willing to jump through meaningless hoops."
Today I received a submission (several months late), with this in the cover letter:
I've been rushing to pull the paper together, so I haven't checked if you had any specific formatting requirements. Can you cast a glance at it and see if there's anything outlandish about it?Gah! Just, gah!
* Well, not for a few weeks, anyway.