What does "archival quality" mean in this context? Is it just a posh way of saying they only want a paper if it describes an important breakthrough?

IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation publishes archival quality original papers in evolutionary computation and related areas including nature-inspired algorithms, population-based methods, and optimization where selection and variation are integral, and hybrid systems where these paradigms are combined. Purely theoretical papers are considered as are application papers that provide general insights into these areas of computation.

Note: I think this may be a duplicate of What does archival contribution in journals mean. However, even if it gets closed as a duplicate, it will help others searching for the information. And it would be nice to have a more extensive answer, either here or on the other question.

  • Actually, archival quality paper is paper that is acid free and will last 500 years if used with ink that is also archival quality. Sep 1, 2017 at 19:44
  • Welcome to the site! The quote in the question makes it clear, though, that "paper" is being used in the sense of "published piece of writing", not "the stuff that books are made from." Sep 1, 2017 at 21:25
  • A reference to the corresponding ISO standard (or to an equivalent definition) is missing.
    – Leon Meier
    Sep 1, 2017 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


Generally "archival quality" implies some level of "completeness" and comprehensiveness (to the degree that any work of science and engineering can really be "complete.") In many fields, early work can be published in some conferences, but journal papers that are expected to be "archival quality" are supposed to be more mature.

To quote from this Guidelines for Expanding Conference Papers for Submission to the IEEE Sensors Journal:

Conference papers are usually short, and deal with very recent research results or new ideas illustrated by preliminary experiments. An archival journal paper, on the contrary, contains an overview of the state-of-the-art (with references to other’s and one’s own past work), a problem statement, the concept of a solution, a discussion of the theoretical background, experimental set-up, sound measurement data, an evaluation of the results, discussion and conclusions – a much more complete presentation of the overall project and its results.

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