Human Factors - Information for Authors

(Updated May 2022)

Manuscript Submission Quick Reference Guide

  • Submission of your paper indicates your agreement to abide by the Article Submission Policies of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
  • Manuscripts should be submitted electronically at
  • Only the corresponding author will receive e-mails, which are generated by the submission system. Be sure to whitelist
  • For questions about suitability of a manuscript for Human Factors, contact Editor-in-Chief Robert Radwin,
  • For problems or questions with submission, contact HFES Publication Manager, Katherine Levin, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. Tel.  (202) 367-1271
  • The average turnaround time from submission to first decision is 43 days
  • There is no cost to submit your work or to publish it, unless you choose the open access publication option should your work be accepted
  • The open access fee is $1,500
  • Human Factors accepts about 25% of submissions
  • In the October 2009 issue of the HFES Bulletin, Past Human Factors Editor Nancy J. Cooke offered 10 tips on the best ways to get an article published in the journal.
  • Inclusive language:  Please view guides for use of inclusive language from Sage Publishing and also APA

Double-Blind Review Option:  Authors may request a double-blind review (authors' identities are concealed from reviewers) in their cover letter. Authors must remove all information about authors' identities during manuscript submission (e.g., remove author names from title page) and response letters to reviewers, and should not include author biographies with the online submission. If the manuscript is accepted, author biographies may be uploaded with the final production draft.

Open Access Publication Option:  Upon final acceptance, authors may choose open access (OA) publication of their work by paying a fee of $1,500. OA papers are made available free of charge as soon as they are published online. If your work is accepted and you wish to opt for OA publication through SAGE Choice, please contact HFES Publication Manager Katherine Levin, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. Tel.  (202) 367-1271.

Manuscript Preparation:  Human Factors manuscripts should be prepared according to editorial style and ethical guidelines of the Seventh Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 750 First St., NE, Washington, DC 20002; 800/374-2721).

All text must be double-spaced with 1-inch margins, and must contain page numbers. Other formatting instructions for text, tables, figures, and references, are included in the Publication Manual.

Exceptions to the APA Publication Manual are as follows:

Use a structured abstract. Prepare a structured abstract of no more than 250 words, with information arranged under the following subheadings (include the subheadings in your abstract), with each subheading beginning on a new line. We recognize that these categories may be a bit awkward for review papers or papers that use nontraditional methodologies, such as modeling or naturalistic observation, but we encourage the authors to do their best to adapt to this structure.
  1. Objective
  2. Background
  3. Method
  4. Results
  5. Conclusion
  6. Application (non-theoretical works)—A statement that reflects the practical impact of this work to a broad audience.
View examples of structured abstracts at (empirical article and review article)

Footnotes are not permitted. Such notes should be incorporated into the text.

Add line numbering to the entire manuscript, starting with line 1 for the title of the submission. Line numbering aids the reviewers when commenting on the manuscript.

Place all figures and tables (with captions) within the manuscript where first mentioned in the text. If accepted, figures, tables, and captions will be placed at end of manuscript according to the APA Publication Manual. Guidelines for figures are explained on the SAGE Figure Guidelines page.

Recommendations for presenting data in text, tables, and figures are available in a Human Factors article, "Guidelines for Presenting Quantitative Data in HFES Publications" (Gillan, Wickens, Carswell, & Hollands, 1998). In addition, HFES recommends you follow the guidelines in these two free articles: "The Time Has Come for Redundant Coding in Print Publications” and "Applications of Color in Design for Color-Deficient Users."

Please indicate in your cover letter whether any of your figures must contain color. Authors may be responsible for paying the costs for color. HFES will notify the author of such costs.

Each manuscript should contain the following components, in the following order:

Title page, which contains:
  • Title (25 words maximum)
  • Each author's name and affiliation (institution, city, state, country) — OMIT IF REQUESTING A DOUBLE-BLIND REVIEW
  • Running head
  • Manuscript type
  • Exact word count of text (not including title page, abstract, biographies, and references)
  • Acknowledgments (including contact information for corresponding author). If applicable, list funding sources and other pertinent disclosures. If no such acknowledgments are present in the initial submission, HFES will assume that no disclosures are necessary.
Abstract page, which contains:
  • Structured abstract
  • Up to 5 keywords (exclude words that already appear in the title). View the current list of keywords. The importance of keywords to authors finding your article, and tips for choosing keywords, can be found at SAGE Publications.
  • Précis: a 50-word description (in 1–3 sentences) of the manuscript, which will appear in the Table of Contents below the title and authorship information
Main body of paper.

Please note that all manuscripts must contain an explicit and clear discussion of the study's practical implications. (If applicable, state explicit design recommendations or principles).

When reporting results, authors should follow the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Authors are strongly encouraged to include measures of effect size (e.g., partial eta-squared) and variability (e.g., standard of mean, confidence intervals), and include standard error bars on data plots, as applicable to the study.

Key points: A list of key points in bullet form, inserted prior to the References list

References (in APA style of hanging indent)

Biographies: For each author, indicate the current affiliation and highest degree obtained (field, year obtained, institution).

Authors are strongly encouraged to provide supplemental materials that would facilitate replication of the studies. Such materials would be available on-line at the journal's website. Examples include data, instructions, stimuli, algorithms, and questionnaires.

Permissions:  When quoting more than 150 words from another source, or using a table or figure from another source, it is necessary to obtain written permission from the copyright holder of that source. In the case of adaptations of tables and figures drawn from other sources, written permission must be obtained if more than 40% of the original material is used in the adapted table/figure. Following acceptance of your manuscript, submit permission letters to HFES when the final production-ready manuscript is ready for uploading.

Additional guidance about reprint/reuse permission may be found here.

Manuscript Types and Length Limits (based on Microsoft Word's word-count feature)

Research Article:
Research articles represent the most common type of contribution to Human Factors. These articles report previously unpublished original research that is experimental (field or laboratory based), methodological, or theoretical in nature. These articles report a single experiment or concept that is fully developed and includes a statistical analysis (when appropriate). This mechanism is not appropriate for the reporting of preliminary or pilot data. Research article submissions are limited to 4,500 words, excluding the abstract, key points, tables, and references. Figures and tables are encouraged to enhance information transfer and effective communication.​

Extended Multi-Phase Study:
Multi-phase studies report on a sequence or series of closely related original studies that are best discussed collectively instead of through multiple original articles. Research approaches encompassed in such a series of studies could include more than one experiment or a mixture of experiments, observational studies, modeling, surveys, ethnographic studies, and so on. The series must have a theoretical underpinning that makes its inclusion in the same report a logical progression. This mechanism is not appropriate for single-experiment or single-model reporting, nor is it an appropriate mechanism for reporting pilot study results along with a single experiment. Each component (experiment) of the sequence of studies must be able to be statistically evaluated independently. Multi-experiment series are limited to 4,500 words plus 3,000 words for each experiment (or model) beyond the first experiment, excluding the abstract, key points, tables, and references. (Thus, a two-experiment series should not exceed 7,500 words, a three-experiment series should not exceed 10,500 words, etc.) Figures and tables are encouraged when they can enhance information transfer and effective communication.

Invited Review Article:
Review articles present a synthesis of previously published work on a specific topic of interest to the human factors/ergonomics community. These articles are intended to scientifically analyze a body of literature and synthesize the information in an original manner. Review articles must provide an original perspective on the literature, not merely a summary but an extension of knowledge on a topic. Integrative literature reviews based on various methods (narrative, systematic, meta-analytic) are encouraged. Review articles are typically solicited by invitation. Those interested in submitting a review article should contact Reviews Associate Editor Robert Radwin prior to submission.

Replication Study:
Authors who wish to reproduce prior research studies are invited to submit a proposal to submit a replication study. This is a two-stage process. Initial submissions should be a brief (1–2-page) summary of the study to be replicated and include the following information:
  • Name and author(s) of the study that has been selected for replication. The study can have been published in any reputable journal, and is not confined to Human Factors
  • Why the study is worthy of replication. The reasons should be one or more of the following:
  • The study forms the basis of an important theory, model, intervention or other significant finding in the HFES literature
    • The study is controversial in some way
    • The study is highly cited or often viewed (please provide numbers)
    • Who will do the replication, and whether the researchers will be from a single lab or multiple labs (multiple labs encouraged)
    • Whether the original author will be included in the research group (encouraged)
    • Anticipated number of participants and power calculations/expectations (large numbers of participants encouraged)
This should be submitted directly to Replications Associate Editor.

If the initial proposal is accepted, authors will be invited to submit a more lengthy and detailed proposal including details of the methodology and statistical analysis to be used. Further details on what will be required will be provided on acceptance of the outline proposal. If these are accepted after preliminary peer review, the accepted documents will be pre-registered in open access (the Open Science Framework) and authors will be invited to carry out their replication in the manner indicated.

The journal intends publishing the resultant articles provided that the research follows all agreed protocols (as retained in the OSF documents) and meets the usual high standards of clarity and exposition expected by the journal. All articles will be subject to peer review in the usual way, notwithstanding the purpose of the article, which is to attempt replication of a previously published study.

Special Issue/Section Articles. Papers for consideration in a special section or issue should be submitted to Editor-in-Chief Robert Radwin. View the guidelines for special issues/sections.

Manuscripts Based on Proceedings Papers

FAQ: Publication of Accepted Work in the Proceedings

Q.  May I publish the research in my HFES Annual Meeting Proceedings paper in Human Factors and the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making?

A.  Suitably revised papers printed in the HFES Annual Meeting Proceedings may be submitted for consideration in Human Factors and the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making.

Q. What does "suitably revised" mean?
A. Human Factors and the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making publish original, previously unpublished work that represents theoretical and practical advances. Papers published in these journals must adhere to the ethical guidelines regarding duplicate publication as described in the code of conduct of the American Psychological Association (the Publication Manual of the APA has a detailed discussion).

Although duplicate publication of data is generally prohibited (in part because of issues raised for meta-analyses), the ethical standards allow for some exceptions when the data that were previously published are presented in a different way that represents a significant advance of theory or practice, and there is proper acknowledgement that the data were previously published elsewhere. Solely adding length to a proceedings paper typically is not sufficient to warrant publication in the journals. The key consideration is whether the publication represents a significant advance beyond what has been published previously, such as introducing new data or reanalyzing or reframing previous data in light of current theory and practice. Authors who are uncertain about whether their paper is suitably revised may contact the journal's editor in chief.

Q. For the HFES Proceedings, can I publish a summary of the Annual Meeting proposal I submitted for review?

A. Yes. Once a proposal for a conference presentation is accepted for the HFES Annual Meeting, authors have the option to publish a five page proceedings paper, or up to a one-page abstract of the proposal (view an example). Regardless of the eventual publication option chosen by the authors, a full proposal must be submitted for consideration by the peer reviewers recruited by Technical Program Chairs so that they have sufficient information to determine the quality of the work for presentation at the HFES Annual Meeting. These strategies may help mitigate future concerns about duplicate publication in Human Factors and the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making.