Journal cover Journal topic
Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 3.062 IF 3.062
  • IF 5-year<br/> value: 2.938 IF 5-year
  • SNIP value: 0.707 SNIP 0.707
  • IPP value: 2.516 IPP 2.516
  • SJR value: 1.399 SJR 1.399
  • h5-index value: 13 h5-index 13

Special issue guidelines

Earth System Dynamics (ESD) and its discussion forum Earth System Dynamics Discussions (ESDD) offer an efficient new way of publishing special issues for measurement campaigns, conferences, etc. The individual papers are peer-reviewed and published as soon as they are available in regular issues;  they are then labelled as part of the special issue and linked electronically.

The specific advantages are the following:

  • Publication date is not delayed by the latest paper, which is behind in the peer-review process: every individual contribution to the special issue is published as soon as it is available.
  • Efficient interactive discussion of the common theme takes places on the ESDD website.
  • Prepublication of discussion papers in ESDD allows efficient cross-referencing between the final revised papers in ESD.
  • All contributions are efficiently linked and coherently presented on dedicated special issue web pages (an appropriate logo is welcome as a *.jpg file) easily accessible from the ESD/ESDD online libraries.
  • Guest editors can define the order of the published papers on the SI web page.
  • Either a non-peer-reviewed editorial preface or a peer-reviewed scientific paper can be used to introduce a special issue.
  • Print versions are available upon completed publication of all contributions. A minimum order of 20 copies is necessary, and the price will depend on the total number of pages in the special issue.  

    The price per printed copy is calculated as follows:

    number of pages × €0.15
    + softcover and binding (€2.35) (hardcover price on request)
    + priority mail (individually calculated)

    = net price + VAT

    Please contact the Copernicus Publications Production Office for an official offer.

Inter-journal special issues  

A special issue can comprise any number of journals, and the special issue editors can be the same or different and from different journals. The manuscript processing follows the standard special issue procedure of the journal in which the manuscript is submitted. Afterwards, all published papers are co-listed on a joint special issue web page (in addition to the regular chronological volume of each journal).

Special issue proposal & guidelines for editors

To make arrangements for a special issue, please contact one of the ESD editors covering the relevant subject areas and one of the ESD chief editors (see editorial board and journal subject areas). Please provide the following information:

  • title of the special issue;
  • names, affiliations, and short CVs of the proposed special issue editors;
  • start date & end date of submission;
  • a statement of the purpose of the special issue (including information on whether the special issue will include only invited papers or whether it is open for all submissions within the scope of the special issue).

Responsibilities of special issue editors:

  • to coordinate a rigorous peer-review process (at least two independent referees);
  • to ensure that the English is at a high level and request copy-editing if necessary.

To browse existing special issues follow the links ESDD special issues and ESD special issues, respectively.

Scheduled special issues

The following special issues are scheduled for publication in ESD and its discussion forum ESDD:

Climate, land use, and conflict in Africa
  • Guest editors: T. Brücher, M. Brzoska, M. Claussen, K. H. Cook, P. M. Link, J. Link, C. Mbow, and J. Scheffran
  • Timeline: 01 Apr 2015–01 Nov 2016

Africa, and the Sahel in particular, is highly vulnerable to climate change, due to strong exposure to increasing temperature, precipitation variability, and population growth. A major link between climate and humans in this region is land use and associated land cover change, mainly where subsistence farming prevails. But how strongly do climate change and land use change affect each other? To what extent are climate-induced water, food, and wood shortages associated with land degradation, migration, and conflict?

We welcome contributions covering at least one of the following four themes with a focus on Africa:

  • Theme 1: Climate change in recent years and possible future climate change
  • Theme 2: Current land use and land cover change
  • Theme 3: Current conflict and conflict potential
  • Theme 4: Synthesis of climate, land use, and conflict

Social dynamics and planetary boundaries in Earth system modelling
  • Guest editors: W. Lucht, J. Donges, A. Kleidon, S. Cornell, J. Dyke, M. Sivapalan, and J. J. Finnigan
  • Timeline: 01 May 2014–30 Apr 2016

Human actions play an increasing role in shaping the Earth’s planetary environment, from the physical climate system to biogeochemical cycles to the functioning of the land surface. To understand and predict the future evolution of the Earth system, it is thus critical to understand the planetary boundaries of the human playing field, as well as socio-economic dynamics and their interactions with climate, and the consequences for the planetary system. There is a range of urgent questions related to this topic, from the definition of planetary boundaries, the safe operating space for humanity, thresholds and critical transitions in the global socio-environmental system, and the identification of sustainable pathways for future development.

However, the current Earth system modeling landscape lacks the tools to adequately address these challenges. Either societal dynamics is tightly constrained by economic optimization paradigms (Integrated Assessment modeling) or present only as prescribed scenario input in physical Earth system models. Furthermore, feedback loops between social and environmental processes are largely absent in current Earth system models.

What is needed is a more dynamic societal sphere allowing for social tipping points, major reorganizations, revolutions and collapse in conjunction with a description of the fully coupled co-evolutionary dynamics of human societies and the natural Earth system. In this special issue, we seek novel and innovative approaches that deal with modeling socio-economic phenomena in the Earth system, their dynamics, interactions, and boundaries.

We welcome contributions applying concepts and methods that include, but are not limited to:

  • Earth and social systems thermodynamics and stoichiometry (e.g., socio-industrial metabolism)
  • Socio-ecological systems modeling
  • Conceptual, empirical, or agent-based models from the social sciences
  • Adaptive and temporal networks
  • Dynamical and evolutionary game theory
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