Call for Papers

Authors are invited to submit manuscripts addressing various aspects of quantitative and qualitative usability studies that have a strong generalization value to other practitioners working with any human-interactive product.

The Journal of Usability Studies does not charge fees to authors or reviewers for publishing or reviewing submissions. All articles are available online and as downloadable PDFs free of charge.

Topics can include (but are not limited to):

  • Usability studies whose empirical findings will be of interest to the general readership of the journal (for more guidance, see Review Criteria)
  • Comparative studies between usability methods, approaches, methods, and techniques for planning and conducting usability tests
  • Newly defined and tested usability metrics
  • Data analysis approaches
  • Academic research that has strong practical and applicable implications to design and testing
  • Critical or thought/discussion papers challenging and questioning practices and proposing innovative ideas and approaches
  • Reporting the design and implementation of teaching or training approaches
  • Descriptions and discussions of automated, computerized tools for usability data collection and testing
  • The empirical development and implementation of usability standards and guidelines

‘Usability studies’ can include:

  • Experiments
  • Laboratory studies
  • Field studies
  • Contextual inquiries
  • Ethnographic studies
  • Remote testing
  • Expert or heuristic evaluations
  • Model-based evaluations
  • Other techniques

Submission Guidelines and Review Criteria

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts should be submitted in a Microsoft Word file using the JUS template (.docx file.)

Guidelines for authors planning to submit a manuscript are contained in the Author Guidelines (.docx file.)

To submit a manuscript or contact the editors in chief, send an email to: jus@uxpa.org.

Prior Publications

Sometimes we are asked if we accept submissions that were previously published, for example, short papers published in the proceedings of a professional conference. Most journals (JUS included) prohibit duplicate publication of data and writing because it can complicate copyright and can improperly influence meta-analyses.

An exception to this are cases in which the submission acknowledges that the data were previously published but in the new submission the data are analyzed or presented in a different way that significantly advances theory or practice. Simply making a longer version of a shorter paper is not enough to justify republication.

If this applies to you, please let us know when you submit your work which parts were previously published, what is new, and why the new parts justify publication in the journal.

Review Process

  1. Submission received by the editor(s) in chief.
  2. Acknowledgment is sent to the corresponding author within one week.
  3. Editor(s) in chief review submission to determine if it meets submission requirements.
  4. If the submission does not pass the pre-review, the editor will inform the corresponding author regarding next steps, which could be (a) the manuscript is not suitable for publication in the journal (e.g., fatal flaw in experimental design; too narrow a topic) or (b) the manuscript would be suitable for review upon making one or more required changes (e.g., adding the Tips section).
  5. Once the submission has passed the pre-review, the manuscript is assigned to three editorial board members for blind reviews.
  6. Review and acceptance/rejection recommendation is sent to the editor within six weeks.
  7. The corresponding author may receive the review outcome as one of the following recommendations: Accepted as is; Accepted after minor revision; Accepted conditional upon a major revision; or rejected.
  8. If submission requires revision, the authors will be expected to submit the revised manuscript within a month after receiving the review outcome.
  9. A final acceptance/rejection decision will be made no later than one month after reception of revised manuscript.

Review Criteria

Reviewers will review papers according to the following criteria:

Main Article Categories

Empirical or analytical study, Methods and Techniques

Does it present a well-defined evaluation/testing method? Does it present a valid evaluation/testing method? Does it present a method other practitioners can use? Is there a clear description of the measures and their validity? Does it present appropriate quantitative or qualitative data? Does it have appropriate descriptive statistics or analysis? Do the findings have a generalization value to other studies or designs? Is there a clear discussion of the practical implications? Is there a clear discussion concerning the impact on the user or the product? Is there a clear discussion for future, follow-up work? Is there a clear discussion of the take-aways for other practitioners? Is there a reference or further readings list that is pertinent to the information reported and is relevant for practitioners?

Special note about publishing usability studies: Even though we are the Journal of Usability Studies (JUS), we rarely publish the results of standard usability studies because those results are so rarely generalizable and thus are rarely of interest beyond a very narrow readership. There has to be some other aspect of the study that makes it interesting to our broad readership. If you have conducted a well-designed standard usability study and are looking for a place to publish it, we recommend trying a conference or journal where the readers have an interest in the type of product or system that you evaluated (e.g., usability of library websites).

Education and Training

Does it present a clear, valid, well-defined usability training method? Has the training method been validated empirically? Is there a clear discussion on when the method is appropriate? Does it include relevant examples?

Ethics

Does it present an ethics problem that has a generalization value? Does it present a clear a solution or an approach to address the problem?

Opinions and Replies

Does it present opinions that practitioners can apply in their work? Is it an appropriate reply/response to a paper published in JUS? Can the reply be useful to practitioners?

Logic/Organization

Is the objective statement clear? Is there a logical flow to the information presentation? Is there a clear progression of ideas building on a central theme? Is there a clear transition between paragraphs and ideas? Is there an effective use of transition statements and linking statements?

Structure

Is the written submission well-structured? Does the intro state a clear purpose? Is the rest of the paper linked clearly to the intro? Does the body include the test evidence to support the main claims and objectives? Are there clear conclusion summaries, integration of findings?

Writing style

Is the submission free of spelling/grammar mistakes? Is the submission free of inconsistencies in tense and person? Does the submission follow the required format and style? Are all sources, citations, and acknowledgments complete?