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Nigel Gilbert (1998) 'Editorial'

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation vol. 1, no. 1, <http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/1/1/editorial.html>

To cite articles published in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, please reference the above information and include paragraph numbers if necessary


* Welcome to the First Issue of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation!

World-wide interest in the potential of computer simulation for addressing issues in the social sciences has been growing since at least the beginning of the 1990s. The founding of this journal is just the latest step in a sequence which seems to be following the sociologists' of science template for the growth of new scientific specialities in the finest detail (see, for example, Lemaine et al, 1976).

Here is a personal view of a few of the milestones which have already been passed:

Until now, most of the research work in the field has been published in edited collections (for example, those cited above). However, such collections typically take a long time between submission of the manuscript and eventual publication, and the books are expensive and sometimes difficult to get hold of. The benefits of an electronic journal are that material can be published quickly (always within three months); it is cheap to produce, because there are no media or distribution costs; and formats such as colour illustrations and animations are easy to include.

This first issue contains three papers, fully refereed as one would expect of a scholarly journal, which are representative of current work. Although one article comes from a department of anthropology, one from economics and one from computer science, all three speak to general issues in the social sciences: the role of culture, modelling institutions, and ideology.

The issue also features the first Forum debate. The Forum is a place for programmatics, controversy, working papers and debate. Items here are not refereed before publication, but we will expect responses and counter-responses to the material in the Forum.

The journal will also publish reviews of books likely to be of interest to our readers. If you know of a recent book which you would like reviewed, or if you would like to review a book yourself, please let us know.

A note about the technicalities of using an electronic journal:

Reading articles
Most people only scan articles on screen and then print those that they want to read carefully onto paper. Old-fashioned paper still has great advantages for close reading.
Referencing articles
To reference an article in JASSS, look at the head of the article, where its URL (address) is given. Our articles are not divided into pages (to allow easy downloading and printing), but each paragraph is numbered. This allows you to cite a specific paragraph if you want to quote the article in a publication.
Submitting articles
Submitting papers is easy: you need only provide an electronic copy of a plain text version and any illustrations to the editor. The formatting is done by the journal. Refereed articles are sent to referees and when accepted are published in the next issue (Another advantage of an electronic journal is that there are no page limits; we can therefore always guarantee publication in the next issue).

JASSS has borrowed heavily from a prior and very successful electronic journal, Sociological Research Online. We thank those who have designed, developed, edited and funded Sociological Research Online for their inspiration and practical assistance.

Finally, we look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Nigel Gilbert
Editor, JASSS


* References

CONTE, R., R. Hegslemann, and P. Terna Eds. (1997) Simulating Social Phenomena Berlin: Springer.

GILBERT, N. and R. Conte, Eds. (1995) Artificial Societies: the computer simulation of social life London: UCL Press.

GILBERT, N. and J. Doran, Eds. (1994) Simulating Societies: the computer simulation of social phenomena London: UCL Press.

HEGSELMANN, R., U. Mueller and K. G. Troitzsch, Eds. (1996) Modelling and simulation in the social sciences from the philosophy of science point of view Dordrecht: Kluwer.

LEMAINE, G., Macleod, R., Mulkay, M., and Weingart, P. Eds. (1976) Perspectives on the emergence of scientific disciplines. Den Haag: Mouton and Co.

TROITZSCH, K. G., U. Mueller, N. Gilbert and J. E. Doran, Eds. (1996) Social science microsimulation Berlin: Springer.


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© Copyright Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 1998