To Submit a Manuscript
All TOCHI submissions are managed through the Manuscript Central system. You will need to create an account with that system in order to submit. Click the button below to visit Manuscript Central, create an account, and submit your paper.
We strongly suggest that you read all of the material on this page before submitting.
Is TOCHI the Right Place to Publish Your Work?
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) is committed to being the premiere archival journal in the field. We therefore welcome a broad range of submissions of original work. If you have original results that convey something important and are relevant to HCI, we want to read your manuscript.
If you are not familiar with the journal, read the TOCHI Charter.
You are also welcome to examine our Current and Past Issues.
The journal publishes only original and significant research papers, and especially likes to see more systems-focused, long-term, or integrative contributions to human-computer interaction. We also publish individual studies, methodologies, and techniques if we deem the contributions to be substantial enough.
TOCHI will consider carefully argued, cited, and supported research essays (e.g. to raise an important perspective on emerging issues in the field) but rarely publishes survey papers unless they offer a major original contribution. TOCHI also considers proposals for Special Issues.
Published manuscripts are typically 20-60 pages — with few exceptions on either side of that range — in the “Small Standard Format” used by most ACM Transactions journals. We prefer to receive submissions in this format, as we find it helps reviewers to view the material more seriously as a potential contribution, but this is not required.
Please note that simultaneous submissions are not allowed. Your work must not, wholly or in part, be under consideration at other venues (conference, journals, book chapters, etc.) at the time of submission to TOCHI.
Submissions should cite relevant HCI work and show the relationship of the new contributions to prior research. Don’t just list related papers but make clear how and why your results build on them and offer distinct increments of knowledge. Potentially relevant papers are published at CHI and related conferences such as CSCW, UIST, and Mobile HCI, as well as journals including TOCHI itself and HCI, IJHCS, and IwC, among many others. TOCHI welcomes interdisciplinary papers that draw links to other literatures, but papers that do not also richly cite HCI research either have overlooked relevant work, belong in a different journal, or should carefully position the contributions for a general HCI audience by carefully justifying and motivating their relevance.
If you are still uncertain, submit your paper. We are glad to assess complete manuscripts for TOCHI; our editorial board will quickly decline any works that are not suitable for the journal, typically within a few days.
But please do not query: the Editor-in-Chief will not offer feedback on abstracts, partial submissions, or ideas — it is only possible (or even fair) to assess a contribution based on the entire manuscript, and for that you must submit the paper to TOCHI.
Use of Quick Rejects, Querying, and an Overview of our Decision Process
All manuscripts are initially assessed by the Editor-in-Chief and the Information Director.
Papers that clear this first hurdle are passed up to the editorial board. Otherwise we issue Quick Rejects, often within a few days.
Our average response time is about 50 days but this distribution is highly bi-modal (i.e. responses typically go out very soon, or after a few months).
90-day Turn-Around. We strive to make all decisions within 90 days. However, due to factors beyond our control (such as tardy external reviews), some decisions will take longer. Manuscripts submitted during the winter holidays, summer break, and especially during the CHI conference reviewing process (late September through about mid-November) may experience a longer turn-around because so many experts in the field become swamped with reviews.
Querying. If your manuscript has been with TOCHI for longer than 90 days, feel free to query at firstname.lastname@example.org for an update on its status; such author inquiries are often a helpful inducement for reviewers to complete their work on an over-due manuscript.
Quick Rejects. The TOCHI editorial board will issue a Quick Reject whenever a paper:
- does not appear to offer a good fit for the broad and general readership of TOCHI;
- would be better served by a more specialized ACM Transactions-level journal such as Transactions on Accessible Computing [TACCESS] or Transactions on Applied Perception [TAP], for example — submissions on these topics are considered but must have very strong contributions of interest to a general HCI audience, not just a more specialized audience;
- or if we deem that the contribution is not substantial enough (or presented clearly and convincingly enough) to find likely success with external reviewers.
Please note that such decisions are aimed at efficiency for everyone involved — there is certainly no dishonor associated with them, and they have the major benefit of returning control of the manuscript to the authors almost immediately. And quick rejections often still come with a thoughtful letter from the editorial board explaining why we felt that the paper was not a good fit for TOCHI. This information may help authors to find a more suitable publishing venue — sooner, before deadlines are missed — or it may provide helpful advice with an eye towards revising the paper for future submissions elsewhere.
And we always welcome new submissions. Please do try us again with a different manuscript.
There is no hard upper page limit for TOCHI submissions or published articles. Average submissions are between 25-35 pages, and it is not uncommon for published papers to reach 40-60 pages. TOCHI occasionally considers even longer papers, but we will not review book-length manuscripts or theses. As a rule-of-thumb, if your manuscript reaches about 70-75 pages (including references) you need to seriously consider shortening it or moving certain details (study materials, tables of detailed results, source materials, etc.) into appendices.
Also note that while TOCHI has no minimum page length, papers below about 20 pages rarely have enough depth to make a substantial contribution.
Manuscripts that lack sufficient contribution — particularly if very long or very short — may be quick-rejected by the editors without full review, as noted above.
Use of Statistics
When reporting statistics, sufficient information, such as degrees of freedom, should be presented such that the reader can corroborate the analysis. For more recommendations and examples, see the “Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association” (APA Manual).
Prior Publication Policy
ACM journal articles are normally original papers which have not been published elsewhere. Widely disseminated conference proceedings and newsletters are a form of publication, although they may not be archival. Publication or republication of a (perhaps revised) paper which has been widely disseminated is permitted only if the Editor judges that (a) the revision contains significant amplification or clarification of the original material or (b) there is a significant additional benefit to be gained from journal publication.
Authors are required to submit a statement describing the relationship of their TOCHI submission to their own most closely related prior papers (or concurrently submitted papers). This description should clearly state the unique contribution of the current submission relative to the authors’ prior publications, or, if the paper has no relation whatsoever to prior papers, the statement should clearly say that. The author statement should be included with the submitted paper; it can appear directly after the other back matter such as references and appendices.
Please read and be aware of ACM’s policies on these issues:
- ACM policy on prior publication and simultaneous submission
- ACM policy on plagiarism, including self-plagiarism
Prior Submission Policy
We recognize that occasionally submissions to TOCHI are revised versions of papers that have been considered elsewhere. As long as the paper is not currently being reviewed in any other venue, you are welcome to submit your paper to TOCHI. However, sometimes TOCHI reviewers were the same individuals that reviewed an earlier version of your paper. And in any case, reviewers are a scarce resource, and it is important for the health of our research community to use that resource efficiently and with respect. So, we ask that on a voluntary basis, you include with your submission information about reviews of prior versions of the current submission that you think will help the reviewers make an informed and efficient decision. For example, this could take the form of including the original reviews and venue name. Or, you could summarize what you think were the key concerns and how you refined the paper in response to those concerns.
Guidance on Fair Use of Third-Party Material
ACM has published Fair Use Guidelines for authors whose manuscripts include third-party material. Please read them here: http://www.acm.org/publications/guidance-for-authors-on-fair-use
ACM Policy on Author Representations
ACM has a new Author Representations Policy, which may be found at: http://www.acm.org/publications/policies/author_representations.
Preparing Your Manuscript For Submission
Authors must submit manuscripts in PDF format. In order to create a PDF document, you will need access to Adobe Acrobat. We strongly recommend that you use the “press quality” or equivalent setting when creating a PDF version of your submission, which will ensure that the images embedded in your document are of the maximum resolution possible.
The use of the ACM format is not required for the initial submission, however we encourage authors to examine the ACM format to facilitate the conversion that will be necessary upon acceptance. More information can be found in the instructions for submitting a manuscript following acceptance below. It may also be useful to examine previous issues of TOCHI to see examples of writing, article organization, and citation style.
Before submitting a manuscript, please use a spelling checker and correct errors in punctuation, grammar, figure and table numbering, and so forth. The appearance of carelessness can prejudice reviewers.
Figures and Tables in Submitted Papers: Please place all of your figures, tables and their captions in-line in your document at the approximate location where you expect them to appear in the final version. Submissions using out-dated formats that place tables, figures, and/or captions at the end of the document (presumably for typesetting purposes) will be returned to their authors.
Statement of previous research: To assist in the review of your paper, we suggest that your paper contain a statement describing your previous activity relevant to this submission. Please see our policies on prior publication and submission above. If you choose to, please submit the statement in your cover letter or at the end of your document that covers both of these aspects of your submission.
- First, the statement should describe the relationship of your TOCHI submission to your mostly closely related prior papers (or currently submitted papers). This description should clearly state the unique contribution of the current submission relative to the authors’ prior publications, or, if the paper has no relation whatsoever to prior papers, the statement should clearly say that.
- Second, the statement should note whether this paper has been previously submitted to a conference or journal. If the paper has been previously submitted, you should include information about the reaction of reviewers to the previous submission and describe any action that you took to address their concerns.
Supplemental Content for Review: Authors can now be concise AND thorough in a way not possible before: The ACM Digital Library will host ancillary material for a paper on its web site. This material, an online appendix that does not appear in the print journal, is linked to and accessed nicely from the online table of contents. This allows the best of both worlds: a concise presentation that is more likely to be read by general readers and students, and details (e.g., complete questionnaires, raw data, an annotated bibliography, or short animations) that are of interest mainly to others working in the area. Authors that wish to use this option should attach such material as an appendix to their submission, provide a readme.txt that describes the material and any requirements there may be for using it, and indicate in their cover letter that this material is intended to be ancillary material included in the digital library.
Language Services: ACM has partnered with American Journal Experts (AJE) to provide language editing (and translation) services to ACM authors. AJE has helped thousands of researchers around the world to present their research in polished English suitable for publication in journals such as those published by ACM. Editing is available for both Word and LaTeX files.
To take advantage of this partnership, visit http://www.aje.com/ and enter referral code ACM15 for a 15% discount off all AJE services. (Editing services are at author expense and do not guarantee publication of a paper.)
Please note that formatting assistance is provided at no charge to authors by Aptara, as specified on the author style guide page: http://www.acm.org/publications/submissions/
Submitting Your Manuscript
The ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) is now using the ACM ScholarOne Manuscript Central site to receive and process submissions. If you submit a non-PDF file that gets converted to PDF automatically on submission to the site, we suggest that you check the converted PDF file for errors.
When you submit you paper, please check that all authors of your paper are registered in ACM ScholarOne Manuscript Central site to be TOCHI reviewers. This is a requirement for submission. All authors who submit manuscripts to TOCHI are obligated to serve as referees in the review of other TOCHI submissions.
The Review Process
When we receive your manuscript and verify that it can be read and is within the scope of the journal, an Associate Editor will take responsibility for handling the review process. The Associate Editor will assign the article to 3-4 reviewers, study the reviews that are returned, and make an overall recommendation to the Editor. The contact author will be told the identity of the Associate Editor, but not the identities of the reviewers.
A manuscript submitted for the first time might be accepted or rejected, but most articles that are ultimately accepted will first receive a “Revise and Resubmit” recommendation. If this happens, it may be very worthwhile to persevere, revising the manuscript to fix problems and clarify misunderstandings. Resubmissions should be accompanied with a cover letter that explains in detail how the comments of the reviewers were addressed.
If your submission is accepted for publication in TOCHI, the following process will be used to get your paper into the publication pipeline:
- You will receive an acceptance notification from the Associate Editor or Editor-in-Chief. This will likely come with a set of final comments on your paper that you may wish to address in your camera-ready manuscript.
- TOCHI will notify you about conference presentation options. All accepted TOCHI papers have the opportunity to present at one of a few select SIGCHI conferences. Additional information about this can be found below.
- TOCHI will request materials from you. Shortly after receiving your acceptance notice, you will receive a second e-mail from the TOCHI Information Director alerting you that the Manuscript Central site is ready for you to upload your final document materials. This includes source files (in Word or Latex), PDFs of the source files, and high-resolution files (ideally EPS) for each of your figures. While there is no enforced deadline for uploading your final materials, please keep in mind that your paper cannot be assigned to an issue until the materials have been reviewed by the Information Director and ACM.
- Your paper will be checked by the Information Director and ACM. These checks are to ensure the material is suitable for the publisher and the verify that all copyright issues have been addressed. If third-party copyrighted material is found in your manuscript, then it will be necessary for you to obtain the appropriate permissions to use this information. If everything is good, then your materials will be sent directly to the publisher.
- The publisher will copy-edit and typeset your paper. A copy editor will mark up your paper for grammar, punctuation, and structure errors and apply ACM style conventions. The typesetter will then enter the copy editor’s changes into your source file and typeset the paper using ACM fonts and style sheets. After the paper is typeset, you will receive a PDF proof along with the copy editor’s marked-up version of your paper to check for errors introduced by the copy editor and/or typesetter. No other changes to the document will be allowed at this stage of final production, so it is important that your camera-ready files be prepared carefully.
- Your paper will appear. Papers appear on the ACM Digital Library as they are processed by the publisher. Your paper will also be assigned to an issue, and once this issue is completed then your paper will also appear in print. Issues appear 6 times a year on roughly 2 month intervals: February, April, June, August, October and December.
To help in the preparation of your final documents, please read the ACM Accepted Manuscript Preparation Guidelines.
Please also note that you must prepare your source files (text and bibliography) in LaTex or Word formatted in ACM style. Source files must be submitted, and no other other source file formats will be accepted by the publisher.
Note that you may submit additional electronic materials, such as benchmarks and source code, to be archived together with your paper in the digital library. In addition, you may use color graphics in the digital library. The print version will still be black and white, so please ensure your paper is easy to read in both formats.
To ensure proper indexing, classification, retrieval and dissemination, authors must include the following in the manuscript.
- Descriptive Title: A title that accurately and clearly tells what the paper is about is generally the best. Cute or clever titles will not fare as well with the search engines and filters of the foreseeable future.
- Author Names and Affiliations: Authors’ names should be given without titles or degrees along with the name and address of the organization for which the work was carried out. The author’s current address should be given in a footnote on the first page. Identify the contact author for co-authored work.
- Abstract: The abstract should be 150 to 200 words and consist of short, direct, and complete sentences. It should be informative enough to serve in some cases as a substitute for reading the paper itself. It should state the objectives of the work, summarize the results, and give the principle conclusions, but omit future plans and citations. Try to avoid starting with the words “This paper …”
- Computing Classification System: An important aspect of preparing your paper for publication by ACM Press is to provide the proper indexing and retrieval information from the ACM Computing Classification System (CCS). This is beneficial to you because accurate categorization provides the reader with quick content reference, facilitating the search for related literature, as well as searches for your work in ACM’s Digital Library and on other online resources. Please read the HOW TO CLASSIFY WORKS USING ACM’S COMPUTING CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM for instructions on how to classify your document using the 2012 ACM Computing Classification System and insert the index terms into your LaTeX or Microsoft Word source file.
- Citations: Please examine Current and Past Issues for examples of proper citation format.
Once your manuscript is published, we recommend that you use the ACM Author-Izer service. This service allows you to generate and post a link on your home page or institutional repository to your published article. This link will let any visitors to your personal bibliography pages download the definitive version of the articles for free from the ACM DL. These downloads will be recorded as part of your DL usage statistics. A detailed description of the service and instructions for its use may be found at: http://www.acm.org/publications/acm-author-izer-service.
Presentations at Conferences
All papers accepted to TOCHI have the opportunity to present their work at one of several participating SIGCHI conferences, including the annual CHI, CSCW, UIST and MobileHCI conferences. This allows journal paper authors to get greater exposure for their work, and allows people to take advantage of the greater continuity of the journal review process while still having their work presented at a prestigious conference.
Each paper will have the opportunity to present at only one conference within approximately a year of their paper being accepted. A list will be maintained on this web page of conferences that authors are eligible to present at, and authors will choose their preferred conference shortly after their paper is accepted. For conferences other than CHI, a liaison from the conference will evaluate the paper to judge whether it has a topical match to the conference. In the (hopefully rare) event that the liaison feels there is not a match, then the authors will still have an opportunity to present at the CHI conference.
Note that while papers are invited for presentation, authors may elect to forego presentation without penalty. Presentation is not required for your paper to be published by TOCHI.
If you are the author of a TOCHI paper that chooses to present at CHI, then you will receive an invitation e-mail in October or November of the year before the conference. Instructions will be provided in this e-mail explaining the process for presenting at CHI, and you will be required to submit some additional information for the CHI program through the Precision Conference system.
Conferences Accepting TOCHI Presentations
- CHI (deadline early December)
- CSCW (deadline mid-August)
- UIST (deadline mid-June)
- MobileHCI (deadline early April)
Note that the actual deadline by which your paper must be accepted in order to present at a given conference is generally a few days in advance of that conference’s program committee meeting, which varies from year to year. The deadlines listed above are based on typical program committee dates from the past few years, but may differ and are not under the control of TOCHI.