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Submission Guidelines


Artificial Life is intended to be the primary vehicle for the dissemination of original scientific and engineering research involving the synthesis of life and life-like phenomena in wetware, hardware, and software, and the application of such techniques toward the enhancement of our theoretical understanding of life and life-like phenomena. It is also intended to serve as a forum for the discussion and evaluation of the many technological, philosophical, social, and ethical issues involved in our attempts to synthesize vital phenomena artificially.

Article types

Contributions will be accepted in the following categories: 

  • Letters—Short communications detailing original research results, typically of less than 2,000 words.
  • Articles—Manuscripts reporting original research, typically of 6,000 to 12,000 words.
  • Fast Track Articles—Short communications (typically about 2000 words) describing especially timely or important original research results or perspectives; editorial decisions are communicated to authors typically within a matter of weeks.
  • Reviews—Major overviews of domains of intellectual inquiry relevant to the field of artificial life, typically of more than 12,000 words.
  • Reports—Objective summaries of conferences, workshops, and other intellectual gatherings that would be of interest to the artificial life community, typically under 2,000 words.

If you have an exciting piece of research or a perspective on current developments in artificial life that you can summarize in about 2000 words, Artificial Life can offer you a Fast Track option in order to have your work reviewed quickly, in a matter of weeks. This process is meant to support the cutting-edge research and ideas of the Artificial Life community and increase the impact of your work. The editorial team is ready to assist you. Please contact us if you are interested in this route for publication.

Review articles will generally be solicited by the editors, but proposals for reviews will be accepted for consideration, in which case a brief summary and outline consisting of no more than 10 pages should be sent first.

Initial Submissions

Manuscripts (PDF) are to be submitted electronically to the Editor at the e-mail address at the bottom of the page.  Submissions should include a cover letter that:

  1. states the article type being submitted
  2. explains how the article fits in the scope of Artificial Life 
  3. includes suggestions of three suitable referees (name, institution, email address,  relevant expertise) who are not from any of the authors’ institutions, and have no other conflict of interest.

By submitting a manuscript, the authors are warranting that the manuscript is substantially unique and not currently published or under review elsewhere.

Formatting Accepted Submissions

Upon acceptance for publication in Artificial Life, the accepted version should be submitted following these guidelines:


The submission format is LaTeX or Microsoft Word. 

The cover page should include:

  1. title
  2. each author’s details: name, affiliation/address, e-mail address (indicate the corresponding author)
  3. abstract
  4. 5–6 keywords

The main content should start on the second page.

The entire manuscript, including abstract, references, and figure captions, should be double-spaced.

Final submissions must include (where NAME is the family name of the corresponding author, and NN is the figure number):  
  1. the entire manuscript as PDF:  NAME.pdf 
  2. the editable source file: NAME.tex  or NAME.docx 
  3. each figure also in a separate file:  NAME.figNN.* 
  4. (LaTeX only) bibliography file:  NAME.bib
  5. completed Publication Agreement form
  6. completed copyright release forms (where applicable)


Format: Figures should be provided in postscript or vector-based PDF, .tiff, .eps or other high-resolution image format.  Line art must be a minimum of 600 dpi, and halftones a minimum of 360 dpi. Color figures should be in CMYK (four color) rather than RGB format.

Permissions: If your article contains third party copyrighted material (images, illustrations, etc.) that you do not own copyright to, you must obtain and submit a copy of the required releases. You must include the proper copyright notice as required by the original copyright holder in the text.

If a figure or illustration is redrawn from copyrighted material, it must be substantially different from the original before it removes the need for a copyright release.

Citations and bibliography

Artificial Life follows the American Psychological Association (APAv7) style for citations and references. 

Citations in the body of the text have the format (Name, Year), or Name (Year), as appropriate grammatically.   The reference list is in alphabetical order by first author.

LaTeX: an appropriate bib style file for APA v7 is available at

Microsoft Word: Word 2016 and later currently support APA v6, available under References>Citations & Bibliography>Style>APA.  This format is sufficiently similar to v7 for submission purposes. 

Data and code policy

It is the responsibility of all authors submitting research for publication to ensure that all data contributing to the findings of that research are properly cited in the article itself and that the data is made publicly available where possible.  Therefore, submissions must conform to the MIT Press Research Data Policy.

Open Access Option

Upon acceptance of their article for publication in Artificial Life, authors have the option to publish as open access (OA), making it freely accessible to the public worldwide. For more information on this option, and the associated fee, see the Artificial Life Open Access Program.

Contact details

All submissions, questions and comments should be sent to:

Editor, Artificial Life


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