Special Issue on “User-Centered management of natural resources“ 

Call for journal article submissions until July 31th 2022

Organization by Michael Koch (Universität der Bundewehr München), Christina Pakusch (Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg), Thomas Franke (Universität zu Lübeck), Jasminko Novak (Hochschule Stralsund)


Topics such as green IT, resource conservation, the use of smart technologies and the optimization of systems towards reduced resource consumption dominate the discussion on how informatics can contribute to sustainable development.

One common denominator in these fields domains is that they are about managing natural resources – energy, water, food, land – in a way that aligns with sustainable development goals. Using IT systems to help in this effort raises interesting questions on how to shape the human-computer interaction in these systems – how to visualize data or how to motivate (non-expert) users to do the right thing.

This is what we want to address in this special issue.

For example, the optimal interaction of users with energy systems is playing an increasingly central role in many application contexts. In electromobility, battery capacity and thus range is a valuable resource and driver behavior has a large impact on real-world energy efficiency. At the same time, people have partially inaccurate mental models of the energy dynamics in electric vehicles. The transformation in the mobility sector makes it inevitable that we learn to interact efficiently with energy. Which action-regulatory processes and psychological aspects play a central role in energy & range interaction? How can energy & range-related data be processed into useful information and visualized in an action-integrated way? 

Similar questions arise with the management of other natural resources like water and food. For example, as a (so far) ubiquitous resource most people have a wrong mental model of water: that of an unlimited, easily obtainable resource. This makes it difficult to communicate the impact of its consumption in everyday life and stimulate more sustainable consumption and management of water resources. Similarly, the specific impacts of different actions and choices in everyday life on energy and food consumption on an individual and societal level are often misjudged, overlooked or ignored by end-users.  Different approaches have explored how to stimulate consumption reduction through visualization and motivational interventions (e.g. consumption feedback, gamification, behavioral change support). But they have achieved mixed results and rarely demonstrated sustained long-term effects.

In the energy area, new solutions are needed that effectively support consumers and providers in aligning their consumption with local energy availability (e.g. facilitating self-sufficiency), especially for energy prosumers. Intelligent tools for energy forecasting and demand management need to be explainable and easily understandable for non-expert users, especially when they are based on AI models. To support local energy communities, novel solutions are needed  that combine intelligent technologies with community-based incentives and services for a sharing economy. Effective approaches in such areas require interactive intelligent systems that are easily comprehensible, transparent and trustworthy for different types of users.

A human-centered technology design of such resource systems is an important application area of human-computer interaction. Human-centered design, novel kinds of intelligent visualization tools and participatory processes can help address the key challenges. How can we make the results of complex computational models more transparent and better understandable for stakeholders from different domains with different levels of technical expertise and affinity for technology interaction? How can visualization make the results of complex models more accessible to the general public? How can human-centered design help reduce information asymmetries, facilitate trust and communication across sectors? What role can interactive intelligent interfaces play in facilitating cooperative solution seeking in such settings?

For this special issue we are asking for submissions that address (among others) …

  • (End-)user interface aspects related to the management of complex resources – like energy, water, food
  • Visualization in different forms can but does not have to be the main focus in these works.
  • User studies that contribute to the knowledge on how to best visualize resources to support optimal resource regulation behavior of users.
  • Methods, interactive tools and approaches for creating awareness and stimulating sustained behavior change for sustainable consumption and management of natural resources (e.g. water, energy, food)
  • Empirical studies and user-centered evaluations of behavioral change interventions for sustainability 
  • Human-centered intelligent systems for sustainable management of natural resources
  • Visualization tools and technologies for mapping, analyzing and managing the water-food-energy-environment nexus
  • Participatory design for cooperative decision-making and policy-making in sustainability management
  • Sustainability-related interactive applications, games and digital services in the private, public, and business domain

Accepted articles will be published in the Journal of Interactive Media (i-com). i-com is indexed by the major scientific indices. Scopus CiteScore has reached 1,7 for i-com articles in 2020.

Submission and Review Process

All submissions will undergo a blind peer review process. Each manuscript will be reviewed by three independent expert reviewers. Possible outcomes of the first round of reviews are: accept, revision, or reject. Authors of submissions that require revision will have one month to implement the required changes.

Anonymized manuscripts need to be submitted via ScholarOne. The anticipated length of papers for this special issue is about 7.000 – 10.000 words. The length of the manuscript should be proportional to its contribution. Templates for preparing submissions can be accessed below.

** To plan the review process, please send your abstract to michael.koch@unibw.de by July 31th, 2022 (optional).**


  • Submissions until July 31th, 2022
  • Review until beginning of September 2022 -> accept, revise, reject
  • Final versions of authors until 11.10.2022 (forward to production)
  • Release December 2022

Link to Submission System:


Link to Templates and Author Information: