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Smart Materials and Structures

About Smart Materials and Structures


Smart Materials and Structures™ (SMS) is a multi-disciplinary engineering journal that publishes findings from a series of subdisciplines that together make up the broad field of smart materials research, including structural and system-level aspects, from design and control to physical intelligence.

A smart material is defined as any material that undergoes changes to its properties or behaviour as the result of some stimuli. A smart structure/system is one judiciously structured in order to utilise the smart properties of its constituent parts, including architected structures. The scope of SMS extends from the nano to macro regimes and is divided into the following subdisciplines:

  • Smart Materials Development and Application, including but not limited to;
    • Shape memory alloys and polymers
    • Sensing and actuating smart materials and their application across multiple environments
    • Electro and magnetorheological materials
    • Piezoelectric materials
    • Ferroelectric and multiferroics
    • Functional and multifunctional materials and systems
    • 3D and 4D printed smart materials
    • Smart materials for adaptive control or structural health monitoring
    • Self-Healing materials
    • Machine Learning for novel smart materials
    • Physical intelligence
  • Smart Materials for Energy applications, including;
    • Energy harvesting materials
    • Photovoltaic materials
    • Energy storage systems (including battery and capacitor devices)
    • Smart grid technologies
  • Soft Smart Materials
    • Smart materials for soft robotics
    • Soft intelligent systems
    • Electroactive polymers (dielectric, ionic, etc.)
    • Liquid crystal elastomers
    • Hydrogels
  • Smart Biomaterials
    • Biomimetic and bioinspired materials
    • Biocomposite materials
    • Engineered living systems
    • Functional polymer materials
    • Artificial muscle systems
    • Smart materials for medical devices
  • Auxetics and Metamaterials including but not limited to,
    • Auxetic materials and structures
    • Elastic and acoustic metamaterials
    • Mechanical metamaterials and metastructures
    • Phononic structures
    • Programmable and tunable metamaterials

Articles that present theoretical findings of novel smart materials as well as structures and systems, across any of these subdisciplines, will also be considered.

SMS has an Editorial Board who are specialists in a multitude of areas, ensuring that reviews are fast, fair and performed by experts in all sub-disciplines of smart materials, systems and structures.

Why should you publish in Smart Materials and Structures (SMS)?

  • High standards: fast, rigorous and constructive review process, overseen by a member of the Editorial Board.
  • Fast publication: we are committed to providing you with a fast, professional service to ensure rapid first decision, acceptance and publication. Once accepted, your article will be accessible to readers within 24 hours and will include a citable DOI.
  • Open access: the choice to make individual articles available on an open access basis (on payment of an article processing charge).
  • Transfer opportunities: as well as accepting direct submissions, the journal also offers you a quick and easy solution to transfer your manuscript from another IOP Publishing journal if it does not fit that journal’s scope or significance criteria. Articles are transferred along with peer review reports to save time and avoid duplication of work for reviewers.
  • International Editorial Board: led by Christopher Lynch, University of California-Los Angeles, USA.
  • Society owned: IOP Publishing is a leading society publisher of advanced physics research. Any profits generated by IOP Publishing are invested in the Institute of Physics, helping to support research, education and outreach around the world.

Article types

SMS welcomes submissions of the following article types:

  • Letters: (not normally more than 5400 words* or six journal pages) these articles should be short, urgent announcements reporting new and timely developments of high interest in the field. They are published at the front of the journal. To facilitate a fast review process authors must keep their articles short and provide a written justification to the Editors explaining how their article meets the criteria of a Letter and why it should benefit from accelerated publication.
  • Research Papers: reports of original research work; not normally more than 9000 words* (10 journal pages).
  • Technical Notes: (not normally more than 7200 words* or eight journal pages): these are technical communications containing material typically insufficient for publication as a full scientific article but revealing new technical procedures. A Technical Note should be sufficiently detailed and in-depth to further the technical know-how of the community and help the development of novel devices.
  • Topical Reviews: a review article should discuss the current state of research in a selected field, and also include a general overview and an introduction with enough basic information to make the article interesting and informative for non-specialists. These are intended to summarize accepted practice and report on recent progress. They do not have to be fully comprehensive and should be about 12000–18000 words long*. Such articles are generally commissioned by the Editorial Board.
  • Focus Issues: each focus issue serves to highlight timely work conducted within specific areas of interest. Articles are commissioned by Guest Editors.
  • Roadmaps: composed by leading researchers in the field and providing an overview on the status, current and future challenges, and emerging technologies across a given subject area.

*Allow approximately 200 words from the maximum word limit of any article type for each figure, graph or table.

Special requirements

Note on work previously presented at a conference

SMS considers submissions that report original science, are of interest to the community and which add significantly to what is already in the peer-reviewed literature.

The journal is happy to consider papers that expand upon work originally presented in short, non-peer-reviewed proceedings articles provided that:

  • the paper has been reworked or extended as necessary to suit the different format, length and quality criteria of a journal article;
  • the paper’s reference list includes a clear citation to the conference proceedings article upon which it is based; and
  • publication of the paper would not contravene any copyright assignments the authors have already made to the publisher of the conference proceedings.

Peer review

The following summary describes the peer review process for Smart Materials and Structures, using the ANSI/NISO Standard Terminology for Peer Review:

  • Identity transparency: single-anonymous, double-anonymous (author choice)
  • Reviewer interacts with: Editor
  • Review information published: review reports (author and reviewer opt in), author/editor communication, reviewer identities (reviewer opt in)

Our Publishing Support website provides more information on our reviewing process as well as checklists in both English and Chinese language to help authors prepare their manuscripts for submission.

If an article is not accepted for publication, we may offer the author the opportunity to transfer their submission to other suitable journals we publish.

Inclusivity and diversity

IOP Publishing recognises that there are inequalities within the scientific publishing and research ecosystems. We are committed to a progressive approach to inclusivity and diversity, and are working hard to eliminate discrimination to foster an equitable and welcoming publishing environment for all.

IOP Publishing follows Guidelines on Inclusive Language and Images in Scholarly Communication to ensure that journal articles use bias-free and culturally sensitive communication. We ask authors to please follow these guidelines in their manuscript submissions.

More information about our work on inclusivity is available on our Open Physics hub.


Smart Materials and Structures maintains the highest standards of publication and research ethics and is a member of the Committee for Publication Ethics (COPE). Authors are expected to comply with IOP Publishing’s Ethical Policy.

Research data

Smart Materials and Structures has adopted IOP Publishing’s research data policy. Please check that your article complies with the policy before submission.

Please note that this policy requires authors to include a data availability statement in their article.

For any questions about the policy please contact the journal.

Many research funders now require authors to make all data related to their research available in an online repository. Please refer to the policy for further information about research data, data repositories and data citation.

Open access

Smart Materials and Structures is a hybrid open access journal. Authors have the option to pay an article publication charge (APC) to publish their article on a gold open access basis under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. Articles published on a gold open access basis are freely available to everyone to read and reuse immediately upon publication, provided the terms of the licence are followed and clear attribution to the author is given.

Alternatively authors who do not select the gold open access option can choose a green open access route to publication.

For more information on IOP Publishing’s open access policies please see our Open access page. For our author rights policies please see our Author rights page.

Publication charges

Publication on a subscription-access basis is free of charge.

Authors have the option to pay the following article publication charge (APC) to publish their article on an open access basis under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.

Article publication charge* £2295 €2635 $3165
Reduced article publication charge* for Group B countries** £500 €575 $675
Reduced article publication charge for Group A countries** £0 €0 $0

*excluding VAT where applicable

**eligibility criteria can be found here

APCs only apply to articles accepted for publication; there are no submission charges.

There are no other charges for publishing in Smart Materials and Structures.

Transformative Agreements

Smart Materials and Structures is included in our transformative agreements which allow authors from some institutions to publish open access without paying an APC.

Find out if you’re covered by an agreement

If you are covered by an agreement, use our author guide to help you submit your paper.

Countries where we have transformative agreements include:
Austria, Canada, Croatia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

Paying for open access

Various discounts, waivers and funding arrangements are available to support our authors. Visit our Paying for open access page for further details.


Abstracting and indexing services

We work with our authors to help make their work as easy to discover as possible. SMS is currently included in the following abstracting and discovery services:

  • Baidu Scholar
  • Chemical Abstracts Service
  • CNKI
  • Ei Compendex
  • INIS (International Nuclear Information System)
  • Inspec
  • J-Gate
  • JST
  • MyScienceWork
  • NASA Astrophysics Data System
  • Naver Academic
  • Polymer Library
  • R Discovery
  • Scilit
  • Scopus
  • Semantic Scholar
  • VINITI Abstracts Journal (Referativnyi Zhurnal)
  • Wanfang Data
  • Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded, Current Contents Engineering, Computing & Technology, Essential Science Indicators)
  • x-mol
  • WTI AG
  • x-mol

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