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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (unless an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word, or Markdown document file format.
  • Citations and references are formatted using the APA style, and where available, DOIs or URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines below.
  • Access to the code and data is provided, through URLs to public archives or repositories, where appropriate.
  • Suggest 3-5 reviewers in the cover letter.
  • By submitting the manuscript, authors grant SESMO a non-exclusive license to publish and distribute the article (once accepted) under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0), and acknowledge SESMO as the original publisher of their work.

Author Guidelines

Formatting - The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses). Please add line numbers and page numbers.
Figures & Tables - All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end. All figures and tables must be referred to in the text. Figures should be at least 300 dpi resolution, and any embedded text must be clearly legible.
Equations - Mathematical equations should be inserted as editable text, not images.
Referencing - Bibliographic references and citations should follow the APA style.  
Title - The title of the article should be concise, yet informative. The title should not contain any abbreviations.
Abstract - Abstract text should contain no more than 250 words and no citations.
Keywords – Suggest three to five keywords
Data & Software availability – A statement regarding access to the model code and data should be provided (see Data and Software availability policy below).
Main body - The article should be divided into clearly defined and numbered sections.

Article Types

SESMO considers three types of contributions:
Research papers present the results of original research in the area of socio-environmental systems. The core article should desirably not exceed 10,000 words but could include supplementary material with additional technical details and analysis.
Advances in Modelling Practice are short, succinct, and problem-oriented papers that offer tangible takeaways that can be applied to the day-to-day work of modellers of socio-environmental systems. Topics can include, but are not limited to: innovations and best practices in modelling software, participatory modelling, programming solutions, communicating model results, model analysis, model evaluation, and model documentation. Within this category, there are two types of articles: 1) traditional research articles which define a problem or issue in the practice of modelling socio-environmental systems, and then demonstrate how that problem was overcome, and 2) “how-to“ articles where the intent is to provide the reader with clear, concise, step-by-step guidelines for successfully completing tasks that are or might become common practice.
Modelling reviews are reviews of books, models, data, methods, conferences, MOOCs or other types of scholarly activities related to modelling of socio-environmental systems. Reviews provide authoritative, unbiased critique of those scholarly activities and provide constructive information of the latest developments in the field.

Peer review process

To ensure the quality of papers published by the journal, submitted manuscripts are peer-reviewed before acceptance. All submissions will first be assessed by an Editor to determine whether it is within the scope of the journal. The submission will then undergo a rigour peer review process involving two or more expert scientists. Editorial decisions are made on the basis of referees’ reports, and Editors may seek additional reviews or advice from editorial board members.

Open Access statement

SESMO is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI (Budapest Open Access Initiative) definition of open access.

Licensing terms

Published articles are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) as described at

The copyright of the article is held by the authors, who are free to disseminate it as they wish. Submission of the manuscript implies that the authors grant SESMO an non-exclusive license to publish and distribute the article, and acknowledge SESMO as the original publisher.

Publication fees

This journal does not charge any submission, article processing or publication fees. SESMO is a not-for-profit, open-access only journal owned by the scientific community. We strive towards attracting high quality submissions without incurring any article processing fees for authors. Instead journal costs are covered by institutional support from the International Environmental Modelling & Software Society (iEMSs) and other academic societies and donors, as well as the volunteer work of editors and reviewers. With our continued growth, we do need more resources in the future. You can support our community by becoming a member of iEMSs at

Data and Software availability

SESMO requires authors to make model code and data underlying the findings described in their manuscript available under an appropriate Open Source license. When submitting a manuscript online, authors must provide a Code Availability Statement describing compliance with SESMO’s policy. If the article is accepted for publication, the code availability statement will be published as part of the final article.

It is understood that there can be restrictions to data availability used for the model, for example due to privacy concerns. In those cases, researchers are encouraged to create a synthetic dataset that can be used to run the model that is shared publicly, understanding that such a version will not reproduce the published results. Methods acceptable to SESMO with respect to code sharing are listed below. If authors use model software developed by somebody else, this source must be credited as appropriate. SESMO has a strong commitment for open science but if you have concerns about this requirement feel free to contact the Editor-in-Chief.

Software sharing methods

We distinguish between archives and version control systems. Archives provide reasonable guarantees of permanence with respect to storage, accessibility, and discoverability of deposited artifacts (such a providing DOIs). A reference to a version control system’s repository is not desirable as they do not have an explicit mission to serve as a permanent archive.

The Code Availability Statement must specify that model code and dependent data are deposited publicly and list the name(s) of archives along with digital object identifiers or URLs for the relevant deposits.

Acceptable Public Archives include (highly recommended):  CoMSES Model Library - Open Science Framework - Zenodo - Figshare

Acceptable Public Repositories include (acceptable):  Github - Bitbucket - Sourceforge - OpenGMS - Netlogo commons

Data sharing methods

SESMO requires authors to make all data underlying the findings described in the manuscript fully available. In contrast to the code availability statement, we do not refer to data collected for the model, but to data on the model use, participatory modeling process or similar activities and used in the manuscript to support the findings. When submitting a manuscript online, authors must provide a Data Availability Statement describing compliance with SESMO’s policy. If the article is accepted for publication, the data availability statement will be published as part of the final article.

There are various public archives to share the data, including:  Open Science Framework - Zenodo - Figshare

Plagiarism policy

Plagiarism refers to intentional copying of someone else’s prior ideas or text without attribution to the original source. This can include self-plagiarism, where the author reuses a large part of his/her own previously published work without providing appropriate references. If suspected plagiarism is detected, the journal will conduct an investigation and the authors will be asked to respond. Depending on the extent of plagiarism and misconduct, the submitted manuscript may be outright rejected and the author’s institute may be contacted. If plagiarism is found after publication, the paper may be retracted.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.