The 2021 Conference of the System Dynamics Society

Review Questions

The review questions are intended to help in assessment, and also serve as a guide for things that would be good to see in submitted work. These were updated in 2020 based on discussions with previous conference program organizers.

Type of Contribution


Work that applies the techniques of System Dynamics and Systems Thinking to addressing problems or issues related to dynamic systems. The classic: problem statement, reference mode identification, statement of dynamic hypothesis, outcome evaluation procession should be evident in the work.


Work that helps in the practice of System Dynamics or Systems Thinking. This include methods for eliciting and measuring knowledge, model analysis techniques, interface design approaches and other things that are relevant to work in the field.


Relevant work that does not fit in application or methodological. This might be a literature review, history of a project or something else that is best judged by different criteria from the first two categories.

Research Papers and Practitioner Applications

There are four common questions, then questions specific to the type of contribution.

1. Is the work complete and properly formatted for its submission type (see Contribution Requirements above), and is the writing clear and easily understood?

2. Have the authors clearly identified a research question or systems problem they want to address?

3. Have the authors demonstrated the significance of the articulated question or problem (including appropriate literature citations)?

4. Do the authors clearly present the results of their work (simulation outcomes for quantitative model based applications, impact and policy discussion for qualitative applications, examples of use for methodological work)?

Application specific

5. Do the authors provide clear evidence (from experts, literature, or collected data) supporting assumptions concerning structure, logic and, if applicable, parameters?

6. Does the work present policies that clearly relate to the problem or question being addressed along with their analysis?

7. Have the authors investigated the sensitivity of model results and policy recommendations to assumptions (either with simulation experiments or through qualitative assessment for non-simulation based work)? 8. Do the authors explain the behavior of interest in terms of the feedback structure of the system and model?

9. Is there evidence provided that the work has had (is having or will have) an impact for stakeholders?

Methodology and Other specific

10. Is the value (or potential value) of the work for the practice of System Dynamics or systems thinking clear?

11. Does the work present helpful examples of how the proposed methodology has been (or could be) applied in practice (use cases)?

Work in Progress

Because the presentation of Work in Progress is abbreviated, there are fewer questions to answer:

1. How clearly have the authors articulated the problem that they are addressing with their work?

2. Is it clear how the authors intend to address the problem statement they have acticulated?

3. Have the authors described what has been done and what remains to be done clearly?

4. Is the work described relevant to the theory or practice of System Dynamics or systems thinking?