Guide for Authors

Author Submission Checklist

Submission is within the purview of Human Computation’s topics (see Categorization)
Submission is appropriately formatted (see Submission Formatting)
Submission falls within length guidelines for its type (see Length Guidelines)
Submission includes all required sections (see Structural Guidelines)
Submission is prepared for blind review (see Blind Review Guidelines)
Submission has been copyedited (see Copyedit Guidelines)
Author agrees to copyright notice (see Copyright)

Submission Categorization

When submitting a manuscript, authors must specify both a submission type and topic.  These are elaborated below.

Submission Types

Human Computation accepts the following submission types.

  • Research - Original scholarly research in the field of human computation, including empirical analysis, mathematical modeling, and theoretical advances. Research articles should be substantive, detailed, and rigorous. They might discuss existing works (and should be exhaustively cited), but their primary purpose is to advance novel ideas in the field of human computation. The majority of articles published by the journal fall into this category.
  • SurveyA paper that summarizes and organizes recent research results in a manner that integrates and adds understanding to work in the field or sub-area of interest. A survey article emphasizes the classification of existing work, developing a perspective on the area, and evaluating trends.
  • Review - Includes reviews of already published books, anthologies, or monographs in the field of human computation. This should generally be shorter than research articles, and constitute an original critical examination of a particular already published work (either in Human Computation or elsewhere). They should include a general discussion of the concepts of the work being reviewed, as well as high-quality critical evaluation.
  • Opinion - Opinion pieces are intended to allows authors to present topics for discussion (e.g., related to common themes or methodologies) or calls for research on a particular topic. These pieces are shorter, but must be self-contained and discuss technical details surrounding the topic presented.
  • Brief - Shorter papers introducing new data, ideas, or concepts which may be of interest to other researchers working in the field of human computation. If a new dataset or tool is being presented, analysis and commentary should be minimal and concise.

Submission Topics

To expedite the review process, authors are asked to indicate basic facts about their manuscript, including the specification of a submission topic.  Submitted manuscripts can generally be categorized as belonging to one or more of these topics (please see the journal's home page for the topic list), which must be specified at the time of submission.

Authors should include both author keywords and editorial keywords on the title page of their article. The author keywords help provide readers with accurate indexing terms for the article. The editorial keywords provide a consistent set of shared keywords, and facilitate the search for appropriate reviewers. The editorial keywords (see journal home page) correspond to submission topics and represent focal areas of interest to the editorial board.  However, submissions that are consistent with the mission of Human Computation but not easily classified according to these topics are also welcomed.

These specifications are designed to help the executive editor decide the most appropriate section editor to review the submission. Authors are asked to select the topics that best match the submission. Submissions that span multiple topics are welcomed and encouraged.

Document Guidelines

The following guidelines pertain to the form of the submission.

Formatting Guidelines

All initial submissions should be made in PDF format.

All final submissionsshould be uploaded in one of the following formats, and include all source files:

All submissions should observe the following formatting guidelines:

  • Font: 11 point, Times New Roman
  • Spacing: 1 line spacing, with a space before new paragraphs
  • Margins: 1 inch
  • Section numbering:Please number all main sections using standard numerals. Significant subsections should be given decimal numbers.
    1. Methodology
        1.1 Novel Challenges Encountered
  • Notes: Footnotes, rather than endnotes should be used. Substantive discussion should be reserved for the body text rather than notes, and digressive notes should be kept to a minimum. Simple citations should be given in the body rather than in notes (see below).
  • Citation:Please use standard APA citation guidelines for in-line citation, providing the author, publication year, and page ranges (if applicable) in parenthetical notation.
    (Lawhead, 2012, pp. 2-7)
  • References: Please use standard APA guidelines for works cited. Please limit entries to works actually cited in the text. When submitting your manuscript, you also will be asked to provide a plaintext version of your citations.
  • Figures/Tables:Please center all figures and tables on the page, and provide a numerical label underneath the figure.
    Fig. 1

Length Guidelines

Length guidelines vary by submission category and are measured disregarding spaces. All length guidelines are calculated including captions, footnotes, and the abstract. References are not included in the article length calculation.

  • Research submissions should be between 4,000 and 9,000 words in length
  • Survey submissions should be between 4,000 and 9,000 words in length
  • Review submissions should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words in length
  • Opinion submissions should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words in length
  • Briefs submissions should be between 1,000 and 3,000 words in length

If a submission is significantly over these recommended lengths, we ask that authors include a brief justification statement for reviewers at the top of the article.

Structural Guidelines

All submissions should include the following, in order:

  • Author Contact Information: Author contact information, including author’s name, email address, phone number, and institutional affiliation (if any), should be provided through the online submission system and *not* included as part of the manuscript.
  • Title Page:: Title of the submission should be included on a separate page, and include the submission date. Please remove any information that could identify the author
  • Abstract: 100-400 words
  • Body Text: Length of the body text is dependant on the type of article (see Length Guidelines).
    Example sections for a Research submission
    Introduction, Background, [Main Contribution Section], Study Design, Results, Discussion, Future Work, Conclusion
    Example sections for a Survey submission
    Background, [Main Contribution Sections], Discussion, Conclusion
    Example sections for a Opinion submission
    Related Work, [Main Contribution Sections], Conclusion
    Example sections for a Commentary submission
    Disscussed Work, [Main Contribution Section]
    Example sections for a Brief submission
    Goals, Related Work, [Main Contribution Section], Future Work, Conclusion
  • Acknowledgments: List acknowledgments and funding sources, if any.
  • References: References to work also cited in the text, in APA format. There is no preset limit on the length of the included references.

Blind Review Guidelines

Updated Policy (as of March 2016): Reviews are blind to authors but not to reviewers.  Following two years of implementing a policy of double-blind review, it seems that the author and editorial burden associated with "cleansing" materials is too great and the effective concealment of author identity is untenable.  Thus, the journal's current policy is for authors to leave their information intact on submitted manuscripts.

Copyedit Guidelines

As a nonprofit, grass roots journal, HCj relies on authors to provide their own copyediting for  accepted manuscripts.  It is recommended that authors enlist the help of a colleague unfamiliar with the manuscript or use an outside service to copyedit manuscripts before final submission.  Please keep in mind that HCj serves a multidisciplinary readership that is educated but may not have specific training in your field.  For example, if you are writing about medical research, you must assume the reader is unfamiliar with medical jargon and understands biology only at the high school level.  In addition, please follow these general guidelines:

  • ensure the abstract concisely and accurately reflects the key activites and conclusions reported
  • check for errors in spelling and grammar
  • decompose long complex sentences into multiple shorter sentences
  • define all domain-specific jargon, acronynms, and abbreviations on first use
  • avoid unconventional word usage that may be conventional only within a domain
  • ensure referential integrity between citations and references
  • avoid errors of fact
  • avoid excessive use of pronouns, especially when they create anaphoric ambiguity. 
  • support all nonobvious assertions with relevant citations

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

Response Time

Human Computation’s editorial process is designed to ensure a balance between rigor, transparency, and timeliness. We strive to notify authors of our final decisions within 6-8 weeks of submission, and authors can always view the current status of their submissions via the journal’s web interface.


Appendix A - Author Tutorial on how to "Resubmit for Review"