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Guidelines for Authors

Editorial Policy

Types of Submissions

JCMS publishes articles, research reports, reviews and tutorials. Articles should make a significant theoretical or empirical contribution, and have no word limit. Research reports should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words in length and are intended to describe research which is in a preliminary state. Reviews provide critical commentary on scholarly books and conferences in the field and should not normally be longer than 2,000 words. Tutorials are illustrations of new technologies and should be no longer than 4,000 words.

JCMS strongly encourages submissions that take advantage of the online format of the journal, by using multimedia elements such as sound files (MP3 format), videos (MP4 format), colour graphics (PNG and JPEG format) and hyperlinks for referencing materials on the Internet.

Peer-Review Process

All submissions are double-blind peer-reviewed. Manuscripts are initially reviewed by the editorial team. Papers which meet our editorial criteria are sent for formal review. The editors will make a decision based on reviewers' assessments according to the following options:

JCMS is committed to a fast review process. We intend to provide authors with feedback in less than three months from submission, and to publish manuscripts within six months of final acceptance.


How to Submit

Please send an email with your materials to Steven Jan, Editor, at

Materials to Submit

Submissions must be in the form of a LaTeX or a Word document and should contain the following sections: personal details, article details and body of the text. Please use this template for LaTeX submissions or this template for Word submissions.

It is also possible to submit MP3 sound files and MP4 video files as a single compressed folder (either ZIP or RAR format is acceptable). If the size of the sound files exceeds the capacity of your email system, please contact the Associate Editor at in order to arrange file transfer via Dropbox.

Personal details should be given on the first page of the text document and should contain the following information for each of the authors:

Submission details should be placed after the personal details. This section should contain the following information:

Authors should indicate 3 to 5 keywords separated by commas (e.g., KEYWORDS: algorithmic composition, swarm intelligence, music perception). The abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.

The body of the manuscript should be placed on a new page after the article details. At the time of submission, figures and tables should be included in the text file. High resolution versions of graphics in PNG or JPEG format (at least 300dpi) should be sent if the manuscript is accepted for publication.

Formatting Requirements

Authors should provide a carefully proofread manuscript which is clear and easy to follow. No particular formatting and layout styles are required at the submission stage. JCMS is published in HTML and details concerning the implementation of formatting and layout for the web are handled by the editorial team.

Ensuring Blind Review

To ensure blind peer-review, the name of the author(s) should be given only in the personal/article details, so that these sections may be easily removed when sending the manuscript to reviewers. Authors should avoid explicit reference to their names and their published work in the body of the text.

Text Preparation

Sections and Subsections

The body of the article should be divided into sections. Sections should be numbered sequentially (e.g., 1. Introduction, 2. Background). A paper should have at most two levels of nested sections (i.e., subsections and sub-subsections). Nested sections should also be numbered sequentially (e.g., 2.1 Algorithmic composers, 2.1.1 Systems based on generative grammars).

Figures, Tables and Multimedia Files

Figures and tables should be provided within the manuscript as PNG or JPEG files and should be numbered sequentially. They should be accompanied by a short explanatory caption (e.g., "Tab.1: Approaches used in algorithmic composition", "Fig.1: Example of melody generated by the system").

Sound files (MP3 format) and video files (MP4 format) should also be numbered sequentially. If not related to a figure, they also require a descriptive caption (e.g., "Excerpt 1: Example of rhythmic pattern generated by the system").

Musical Conventions

Traditional symbols should be employed for indicating flats, sharps and naturals (e.g., F♯ B♭). We recommend Bach musicological font for Word users. All note names should be followed by a number which identifies the octave if the context is ambiguous (where C4 = middle C).

Equations and Algorithms

JCMS uses MathJax to display equations. At initial submission, equations should be included within the manuscript. If the submission is accepted, and if you used LaTeX to generate equations, you will be asked to provide the source code to the editorial team.

Algorithms should be described in pseudocode and thoroughly commented (i.e., more English than code). To prevent incorrect line breaks, lengthy examples should normally be presented as figures.

Punctuation and Other Conventions

Quotations should be handled in accordance with the APA6 Style. Short quotations should be placed in the main text within "double" quotation marks. 'Single' quotation marks are used for quotations within quotations.

For quotations longer than 40 words, use a free-standing block of text, and omit quotation marks. Begin the quotation on a new line. Include author, year of publication and the page number(s) for the reference (preceded by p(p).). For more information on the treatment of quotations, please refer to the Publication Manual APA (6th ed., section 4.08, p. 92; sections 6.03–6.10, pp. 170–174).

The en-dash should be used to connect values in a range or that are related (e.g., in dates 1914–1918), or to separate phrases (e.g., Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach–son of Johann Sebastian–was a renowned composer).

To pluralize a number, add an "s" at the end (e.g., 2000s).

The following elements should be capitalised:

The following elements should be italicised:


Authors whose submissions present or discuss specific music-creative systems are strongly encouraged to incorporate a systematic evaluation of these systems (or to offer a rationalization of why evaluation is not possible or necessary). Ideally, this evaluation would be conducted under a formal framework, such as the SPECS model (Jordanous, A.K. (2012). Evaluating Computational Creativity: A Standardised Procedure for Evaluating Creative Systems and its Application. University of Sussex.). Alternatively, authors may use other evaluation frameworks, including those they have developed themselves.

Reference Style


JCMS accepts submissions using the American Psychological Association (APA) Citation Style, sixth edition only. Works cited within the text should appear in a section called "References", positioned at the end of the manuscript. Detailed explanations about the APA Citation Style can be found on the Cornell University Library website.


Footnotes should be employed to expand on points stated in the body of the text and to provide discursive asides. Footnote reference numbers should be placed at the end of a sentence or clause after the comma or full stop.

To Request Information

If you would like advice on the suitability of a manuscript for publication with JCMS, or any other information please contact Steven Jan, Editor, at

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