Contribution Requirements

Call for Papers | Submission Instructions Deadlines and Key Dates | Threads | Conference Organizers | Workshop Submissions | Session Types

On the ISDC 2019 Submission Home, select the correct button for submitting Program Submissions, Colloquium Submissions, Workshops, or Other/Meetings.


FILE FOR REVIEW: The file must be an Adobe Acrobat file (.pdf, .pdfx) and should have no author information included. This file must be submitted by March 15, 2019. Do not upload a submission that is not ready to be reviewed.

SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: You are encouraged to include any model files, or presentations on which your paper is based and other material that will make it easier to understand your work. This file will be made accessible to the reviewers in addition to your file for review, so no author information should be included in this file either, during the review phase. This file can be in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf, .pdfx), MSWord (.doc, .docx), or MS PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx), image files (.jpg, .jpeg, .png, .svs) as well as a model file in one of the common formats (.itmx, .mdl, .sip, .stmx, .vmdl, .vmf, .vpa, .vpm, .xmile). If you wish to upload a file with an extension other than these listed, you will need to zip it (.zip).


  1. You can submit your Research Paper, Practitioner Presentation, Work-in-Progress by clicking on the "Program Submission" button:
    1. Research Papers of approximately 5000 words (and not to exceed 7500 words) properly formatted with an abstract, problem statement, literature review,  clear delineation of the contribution being made, presentation of model structure or theoretical framework, demonstration of the model results or theory use, conclusions, and bibliography. The paper submitted for review should conform to academic publication standards. These papers are considered for all session types. The conference record will include an extended abstract of papers selected for Plenary, Parallel, and Poster sessions and the title and abstract for papers selected for other session types. Research papers will be subject to blind peer review, selection by Thread Chairs and have their disposition finalized by the Program Chairs. 

    2. Application Presentations of 10 to 30 presentation slides, including an abstract (not for presentation), problem statement, clear statement of why solving the problem has value, presentation of model structure, demonstration of results, discussion of acceptance and implementation, and a bibliographic slide (not for presentation). Application presentations may hold back model structure or data presented to protect client confidentiality, but still need to convey the fundamental dynamic insights. Application presentations are considered for all session types but are not put out for blind peer review. They will be selected by Thread Chairs, with the final disposition determined by the Program Chairs.

    3. Work-in-progress Descriptions in the form of an extended abstract (a two-page document, plus a bibliography) describing the work being conducted and preliminary results, if any. The abstract should contain a clear statement of the problem being addressed and the contribution expected to be made relative to existing literature. Work in progress can be presented at any stage of development, and authors are encouraged to share preliminary insights and novelties of model structure or methodology that are of interest to other researchers. No discussion of conclusions or potential extensions of the work is needed. After the abstract a bibliography should be included (no length limit). Work-in-progress Descriptions will be considered for Work-in-Progress Discussion Sessions, Poster Sessions, and Feedback Talks. Thread Chairs make selections and this is finalized by the Program Chairs. NOTE: the contribution requirement is a two-page abstract. If more than two pages are submitted, program committee are only asked to read up to the first two pages.
  2. System Dynamics Colloquium Paper includes an extended abstract or a full paper. Visit the Colloquium website for further details.

  3. Workshop includes an abstract (~250 words), information on format, background, expectations, and facility requirements. Please visit Workshop Submission page for more information. Workshops are selected by the Workshop Chairs with the approval of the Program Committee.

  4. Other/Meetings includes an abstract (~250 words) and will be considered for activities of Chapters and SIGs, meetings, work done by K-12 students, administrative meetings to be scheduled, and any other appropriate event to be scheduled in the program. This work will be considered for Specialized Presentations (roundtable, parallel, poster or other format). Other/Meeting activities are not part of the review process, but instead are managed by the Home Office with the approval of the Program Chairs. If you are not sure if “Other” is the appropriate category, please contact the Society office.

Regardless of submission type, Be clear and precise in your writing; completeness is appreciated, but so is conciseness. Also, in your submission title please do not refer to system dynamics or “a systems approach”. In the case of model-based papers, please also take note of recommended practices of model development, testing, and reporting.  Such recommendations may be found in the following articles:

  1. Rahmandad H and Sterman JD (2012). Reporting guidelines for simulation-based research in social sciences. Syst Dyn Rev 28(4):396–411.
  2. Martinez-Moyano IJ (2012).  Documentation for model transparency, Syst Dyn Rev 28(2):199–208.
  3. Homer JB (2014).  Levels of evidence in system dynamics modeling. Syst Dyn Rev 30(1-2):75-80.
  4. Sterman JD (2018). System dynamics at sixty: the path forward.  Syst Dyn Rev 34(1-2): 5–47.

See also Tom Fiddaman’s tips on writing good System Dynamics Conference papers: Writing an SD Conference Paper and Writing a good System Dynamics paper II.

The expectations for conference papers are, of course, not quite the same as those for a peer-reviewed journal, particularly with regard to detailed model documentation and reporting.  We recognize that many conference papers report works still under development and not yet complete. 

But, whatever the model’s stage of development, the submission should still demonstrate rigor and adherence to the scientific method.  Evidence should be cited supporting model structure, meaning the choice of model boundary, causal relationships, and parameter values.  Evidence should also be cited supporting the realism and plausibility of model behavior over time, for as many output variables as possible.  Sensitivity and policy testing are expected, and explanation of model behavior as a function of its feedback structure is also important.