Guidelines for authors

Before submitting your paper to Evolutionary Computation, please read both the publisher's guidelines for authors, and the more dedicated text below.

ECJ accepts papers that broadly fall into the three categories Applications/Experimental Results/Theory described below. Of course, many papers may fall into more than one category.


(1) Applications: a commonly accepted idea is that Evolutionary Computation only focuses on the fundamentals of bio-inspired algorithms. This is not at all the case, and application papers describing original work are welcome. A minimal requirement, though, is to carefully present the application domain, assuming that the reader is not familiar with even its basic concepts.


It is not sufficient simply to apply an arbitrarily chosen EA to a new problem domain and show some results.  An application paper will likely fall into one of two categories:

·      Results oriented: contain strong evidence that the use of Evolutionary Computation resulted in break-through results that could not be achieved by another method

·      Methodological: papers where the specificities of the real-world problem led to significant algorithmic improvements that could possibly be generalized to other areas


Such "success stories" are of course reviewed by experts in the application domain, i.e. outside our usual pool of reviewers.



(2) Experimental results: as in all experimental sciences, the first requirement is that of reproducibility. All details of the algorithm, parameter values, etc. must be clearly given - and remember that there is no such thing as "a standard EA" that would replace the complete description of your algorithm. Moreover, because we are dealing with stochastic algorithms, strong conclusions drawn from experimental results must rely on statistically sound analysis. There have been to-date many tutorials, workshops and books describing statistically sound experimental protocols. Although all papers are different, please consider the following guidelines when preparing your manuscript:


·      Ensure reproducibility (pseudo-code, parameters etc.)

·      Use the most recent and well-cited benchmarks to evaluate your work. Show the generality applicability of your method across a broad a range of instances as possible – there are many datasets freely available – testing on a small selected instance set is usually not sufficient.

·      Provide a comparison to state-of-the-art results from both EC methods and other fields if appropriate

·      Provide evidence of tuning rather than arbitrary selection of parameters (there are many packages for doing this for you)

·      Consider providing code as supplementary data

·      Consider providing datasets if possible as supplementary data

·      Provide a proper statistical analysis. This goes beyond a table showing mean/standard deviation. Use appropriate parametric/non-parametric statistics to show statistical significance with stated confidence levels



(3) Theoretical results: submitted material should include all proofs. While conference papers, because of space limitation, often cannot present the complete proofs, journal papers must be self-contained, or refer to easily accessible published results when citing existing proofs (e.g. no "Personal Communication"). In exceptional cases (e.g. Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat theorem), parts of the proofs can be added as supplementary material.


Because reviewers are a scarce resource, submitted papers that fall short on some of the issues above will be rejected without entering the usual journal review process.

General Submission Guidelines for all papers:

  1. Before submitting a paper, always check whether the material presented is worth publishing in our high-impact journal. Always keep in mind that your contribution must significantly exceed the contents of conference contributions.
  2. ECJ welcomes all papers inspired by natural systems.  It is fine to describe the natural system that motivates your work in the introductory section of your paper, but please ensure that you explain the computational properties of the system you use. It is mandatory that all algorithms are described using standard computational terminology (e.g. please refer to solutions and not penguins or lions…) so that comparisons to existing algorithms can be made in a transparent manner.
  3. Check for adequate citations. That is, citations must adequately reflect the current scientific knowledge of the topic considered.  The most mature and complete presentation of a result or contribution will often be an article in a peer-reviewed journal, and should be cited in preference to conference papers or technical reports. (Conference papers maybe cited in addition). However, overly large bibliographies must be avoided.
  4. When using text or ideas from other papers and authors, always acknowledge these works by citing the respective works. This is an absolute must. Violating this principle of good scientific practice is regarded as plagiarism and will cause a straight rejection and further actions depending on the severity of the plagiarism. Always keep in mind that plagiarism will damage and might ruin your scientific career.

Manuscript Preparation & Submission

  1. Prepare the paper using LaTeX taking ecj.sty as style file (see Always typeset the paper as you would like to see it in the Journal, i.e., do not separate tables and figures from the text and do not use double-spacing.
  2. The maximum page-length is 25 pages. Papers should be of an appropriate length.  Please consider using a Supplementary Material file to place material that detracts from the readability of your paper or to include additional material (see below). Exceptions (e.g. a survey paper) must be approved by the Editor-in-Chief before submission.
  3. Supplementary Material can be submitted in addition to your paper. This will be made available electronically. Supplementary material might contain additional data, figures etc. Code, videos and images can also be made available as supplementary material.
  4. Prepare your submission as a pdf. All fonts must be embedded.
  5. In order to avoid delays in the paper handling and reviewing process, ensure that the file size of the submitted material does not exceed 8MB.

Emma Hart
July 2017

Guidelines updated from Marc Schoenauer's Editorial Introduction of Evolutionary Computation 14(4) - Winter 2006