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Human Factors Launches Replication Studies Initiative

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Human Factors Editor-in-Chief Patricia R. DeLucia has announced that the journal will invite replication studies and has appointed Judy Edworthy, PhD, a current member of the editorial board, to serve as Replications Associate Editor.

The replication initiative is in response to what some have considered a “replication crisis,” in which the findings of published studies have not been replicated in subsequent research. A Wikipedia entry on the replication crisis notes that “several factors have combined to put psychology at the center of controversy.” Given the strong foundation in psychological research and methods of much of the work published in Human Factors, inviting manuscripts that focus on replication and associated issues is a strategic move to bolster research rigor and reporting in the science of human factors.

Edworthy, a professor of applied psychology in the School of Psychology, Faculty of Health & Human Sciences, at Plymouth University in the UK, will collaborate with DeLucia on policies, procedures, and criteria. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of audible alarms and the science that underpins their design - an issue that itself depends on the replicability of basic findings that underpin the practice of auditory alarm design across many domains. Her work has influenced standards committees and best practice in transport, aviation, medicine, and space exploration.

I am delighted to be asked to serve as Replications Editor for Human Factors,” Edworthy said. “The issue of replication is important and complex and is not just about rigorous methods and statistical analysis techniques (which are, of course, essential) but also about being aware as a discipline of the extent to which findings are linked to one another, the extent to which replication may manifest itself in our work and how the passage of time affects the way we demonstrate and interpret our findings. I intend to pose some challenging questions about replication to authors and look forward to making a real contribution to both the journal and the practice of human factors and ergonomics.”

DeLucia said, “I am excited about Human Factors’ initiative on replications, which are vital to the scientific enterprise and essential to developing design recommendations.”

Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society publishes peer-reviewed scientific studies in human factors/ergonomics that present theoretical and practical advances concerning the relationship between people and technologies, tools, environments, and systems. Papers published in Human Factors leverage fundamental knowledge of human capabilities and limitations - and the basic understanding of cognitive, physical, behavioral, physiological, social, developmental, affective, and motivational aspects of human performance – to yield design principles; enhance training, selection, and communication; and ultimately improve human-system interfaces and sociotechnical systems that lead to safer and more effective outcomes.

‚ÄčThe Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world’s largest scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,500 members globally. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. “Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering.”