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About the journal

Editorial policy

Activités’ objective is to provide a space in which to gather, disseminate and discuss both the conceptualizations that make it possible to understand purposeful human activities and related methods and practices for analysis, intervention and design. To this end, Activités pursues the specific ambition of deepening the links between the production of knowledge on the one hand and the objectives of transformation in relation to “fields” or “situations” on the other. This may involve areas of research such as well-being and health at work, the efficiency, safety or reliability of production systems, the professionalization of actors, the design of artifacts and tools for everyday situations, or the design of work systems, including their organizational aspects, etc.

The journal encourages the examination, from a range of perspectives, of different theoretical and methodological frameworks that address purposeful human activities: an historical-cultural approach to the activity, situated approaches of cognition and action, approaches based on the analysis of practices. It also hopes to be a support for discussions on intervention approaches and design processes that contribute towards the transformation of activities, situations and work systems, and on theoretical and methodological progress in the analysis of work and purposeful human activities.

The journal accepts research based on the study of purposeful human activities in real situations, conducted within different disciplines: ergonomics and work psychology, professional didactics, linguistics, educational sciences, philosophy, engineering, design, sociology, management, etc.

The journal is thus open to articles that focus on:

  • The concept of activity, in its ontological (what is activity?) and epistemological (how to develop knowledge about activity?) dimensions.

  • On the articulations between knowledge and action, whether they appear in communities of practice, or in the activity of the analyst, or of the people whose activity is being analyzed.

  • On the methods (how to observe and analyze the activity, how to conduct processes of transformation processes, etc.) and on the conditions of their implementation.

  • On the knowledge obtained from activity and work analysis (the state of the working and living conditions, situation categories, etc.) or from the processes that contribute towards the transformation of the activities and work situations (development at work, project management, etc.).

  • On states of the art, whether methodological or theoretical, summarizing a range of works on a given issue.

The journal and its categories

Activités is a bi-annual (April and October) open access electronic journal, founded in 2003 (first put online in April 2004), and whose editorial policy was approved at the General Assembly of the Société d’Ergonomie de Langue Française (SELF – French language ergonomics society) in 2001. It is published with financial support from SELF.

Activités was created as a space in which to gather, disseminate and discuss conceptualizations that make it possible to understand purposeful human activities and related methods for analysis, intervention and design. The journal is listed in PsycINFO, Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ), Ergonomics Abstract and EBSCO. It is an endorsed journal of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA).

Following submission in compliance with the on-site guidelines, articles are examined by the editorial committee. If they correspond to editorial policy, they are then submitted for a double-blind assessment by at least two reviewers who give their opinion on the quality of the text, and where necessary suggest modifications.

Articles are published in French, but may also be published in an English version in the same issue as the French article.

Activités publishes several types of article, in different categories.


This refers to original scientific articles that present the results of research or interventions, or of review articles of a methodological or theoretical nature, and which take stock of a specific issue. These articles must contain approximately between 6,000 and 12,000 words, including bibliography.


These are collections of a number of articles on the same theme, resulting either from a collective work, or from an event, unpublished articles of which have been selected for their qualities. Persons wishing to coordinate a dossier must send their proposals to, and state (i) the theme of the dossier, (ii) the likely number of articles, (iii) a schedule.

“Point of view and debate”

The “point of view and debate” category covers argued viewpoints expressed by a person or group of persons regarding a scientific controversy or topical issue, without the document providing what might be expected of a scientific article. These texts are examined by the journal’s editorial committee, who will decide whether or not to accept them for publication. Such texts contain approximately between 3,000 and 4,200 words.

“Analysis of a work”

These are texts that analyze a seminal article or a work (a set of texts or works by the same author, or from the same school of thought), and which contribute to the journal’s editorial policy. Analyses are not submitted for review. These articles must contain approximately 2,500 characters per page and be no more than ten pages long.

“Thesis summaries and authorizations to direct research”

These are texts that present the main concepts used, the approach(es) and the main results achieved during a thesis or an “authorization to direct research”. These documents are not submitted for review but are carefully read by a member of the editorial committee. Thesis abstracts must be sufficiently developed for their adequacy to the editorial line to be assessed: they must be between 1,200 and 3,000 words. They must state the doctoral school, the members of the jury, and the date and place of thesis defense.

Submitting an article

Texts submitted to the journal must respect the ethical charter (see Ethical Charter) and the authors must accept the conditions of Activités journal’s Publishing Agreement (see Publishing Agreement).

Every article will be published in French. It is also possible to submit an English version of the article. Both versions will be published in the same issue.

Email address for article submission

Manuscripts must be sent to:

No article will be reviewed if it is not sent to the journal at this address.

In sending an article to the Activités journal, authors are confirming that they have read and accepted the “Activités Publishing Agreement”.


Submitted articles must comply with the rules set out below, and to them alone. Their purpose is:

  • To align with the formal publishing rules of international journals,

  • To facilitate the computer processing of files for their on-line publication.

No paper document will be processed by the Activités journal.

We draw particular attention to the translation of the title, the abstract, the keywords, the legends and captions, and to the quality of the abstract and keywords.

Computer files

The articles are to be submitted for review in a readable Microsoft Word or Open Office version (there is no point in providing a pdf version of the document).

If the text includes figures and/or tables and/or protocol excerpts, they are to be inserted into the text.

Figures and tables must be inserted into the text as images. Each table or figure is to be provided without its title in a separate document in a standard computer format (PDF, JPEG, PNG, etc.).

Authors are asked to pay especial attention to the revision mode and to the insertion of remarks. All traces of revision and remarks must be removed.

Translation of titles, abstracts, keywords, legends and captions

The article must include a translation into French:

  • of its title

  • of the abstract

  • of the keywords

  • of the legends (of figures, tables and protocol excerpts).

The translations must be checked by a translator. If this is not possible, the editorial board must be explicitly notified.

Title of the article

The article must include:

  • A title. If the title is longer than 40 characters, the article must also have a short title.

  • A translation into English of the title (short and/or long where necessary).

Author contact details

The article must include:

  • The authors’ First and Second names, in lower case.

  • Their professional contact details: organization, postal address and email address.


The article must include:

  • An abstract in French

  • An English version of the abstract.

It is vital that the abstract be of a high quality. An abstract is not an introduction to the article, nor is it a teaser (i.e. it is not there to create suspense, it must not end with a question mark, etc.).

The abstract must be:

  • Informative: it must set out the objectives of the article, the most significant results and the main concepts.

  • Exhaustive: it must present the sequence of ideas leading to the conclusion or discussion.

  • Concise (250 words maximum, ideally around 150).


The article must include:

  • Between 3 and 5 keywords

  • A translation of the keywords into English.

The purpose of the keywords is not to indicate the particularities of the article, but rather the area and field to which it belongs. The most pertinent keywords are:

  • The field of application or study (hospital, public works).

  • The objectives (training, intervention, formation, intervention, crossed self‑confrontation).

  • The types of problem (HMI, MSD).

  • The main concept(s) (proximal development zone, dialogism).

Paragraph headings and subheadings

Articles can contain up to 3 levels of heading. These levels may be numbered or unnumbered.

The body of the article

The body of the article may contain:

  • Bulleted lists

  • Numbered lists

  • Indented paragraphs to highlight extracts of analyses, long quotes, etc. Only one level of indentation is permitted.

Question marks, semicolons and colons must be preceded by a “nonbreaking space”.


The text should use just one typeface, with the exception of fonts needed for logical or mathematical symbols.

Quotation marks must be “typographical quotation marks”.

No underlining is permitted.

Characters in italics being difficult to read on a screen, they should be used sparingly. Indented paragraphs should be used for long quotes.


The article may contain footnotes, but given the constraints of reading a text on a screen, they must be used sparingly.


Where the article includes one or more tables, these must:

  • Be referenced in the body of the text (for example: see table n°X).

  • Be accompanied by a legend in French.

  • Be accompanied by a translation of the legend in English.

Like the text as a whole, tables are to be presented in “portrait” mode, so please limit the number and width of the columns so that the tables are readable in A4 format.

Each table is to be inserted into the text in image form AND ALSO provided without its title in a separate document in a standard computer format (PDF, JPEG, PNG, etc.).


Where the article includes one or more figures, these must:

  • Be referenced in the body of the text (for example, see figure n°X).

  • Be accompanied by a legend in French.

  • Be accompanied by a translation of the legend in English.

Like the text as a whole, tables are to be presented in “portrait” mode. The dimensions of a figure are limited by the dimensions of the printing area (15 cm in width and 22 cm in height, so as to leave room for the title).

Each figure is to be inserted into the text in image form AND ALSO provided without its title in a separate document in a standard computer format (PDF, JPEG, PNG, etc.).

Protocol excerpts

Where the article includes one or more protocol excerpts (verbal protocols for example) these must:

  • Be referenced in the body of the text (see excerpt n°X).

  • Be accompanied by a legend in French.

  • Be accompanied by a translation of the legend in English.

Like the text as a whole, protocols are to be presented in “portrait” mode.


The document can include acknowledgements or additional information on the article which are to be placed between the body of the text and the bibliographic references.


The journal uses APA standards. ( “Bibliographical references” are to be referenced in the body of the text in the form of a “bibliographical note”, and grouped together in alphabetical order in the “bibliography”.

Bibliographical notes

Located within the body of the text, they must be presented in the form (authors, date).

  • One author: (Lahy, 1948)

  • Two authors: (Faverge, & Ombredane, 1964)

  • Three to six authors: (Quéinnec, Teiger, & de Terssac, 1992)

  • More than six authors: The first six authors are indicated followed by “et al”.

Inside brackets use the ampersand “&”, in the text, use “and”: “The study carried out by Wisner, Laville and Richard (1964) showed… ”

Special cases in the body of the text:

  • Several documents by the same author(s) in the same year: The date must be followed by a lower case letter.

  • Successive references to the same document: if the reference is the same as the IMMEDIATELY preceding reference, (ibid.) may be used; otherwise we repeat (author, date) followed by the abbreviation “op. cit”.

  • Several quotes: the quotes are separated by a semi-colon and classified in chronological order.

Bibliographical references

The bibliography is made up of all the bibliographical references grouped together at the end of the article, and classified in alphabetical order.

The bibliographical references are indicated by the author’s surname, followed by a comma and the initial of their first name:

  • Faverge, J.-M., & Ombredane, A.

  • Quéinnec, Y., Teiger, C., & Terssac, G. (de).

Where there are more than six authors, only the first six authors are listed, the last in the list is being followed by “et al”.

Standard formats for bibliographical references:

Author. (Date in brackets).
Book title in italics (ISBN). Publisher’s town: Publisher’s name. (Collection where appropriate)

Clot, Y. (1999). La fonction psychologique du travail. Paris: PUF. (Coll. Travail Humain).

Chapters and sections:
Author of the chapter. (Date in brackets). Title of the chapter. In Authors of the book.
Book title in italics (ISBN). Pagination of the chapter. Publisher’s town: Publisher’s name.

Cru, D. (1987). Collectives and professional work, on the notion of work collectives. In C. Dejours (Ed.) Plaisir et souffrance dans le travail. pp 43-49. Paris: AOCIP

Author. (Date in brackets). Title of article.
Title of journal in italics. Volume, (Number), Pagination of the article.

Gadbois, Ch. (1978). Les conditions de travail et leur forme d’emprise sur la vie hors travail. Cahier de Psychologie, 21, 245-268.

Thesis, dissertation, etc.:
Author. (Date in brackets). Title in italics. Type of diploma, university.

Bergamini, J.-F. (1995). Du virtuel au réel : quelques aspects de l’activité du chef de chantier. Mémoire de DEA d’Ergonomie, Paris : Laboratoire d’Ergonomie, CNAM.

Author. (Date in brackets). Title in italics. References of the report, Town: Institution.

Laville, A., Teiger, C., & Duraffourg, J. (1972). Conséquences du travail répétitif sous cadence sur la santé des travailleurs et les accidents. Rapport n 29, Paris : Laboratoire de Physiologie du Travail et d’Ergonomie, CNAM.

Electronic documents: place the electronic address of the document after the reference:

Leplat, J. (2002). De l’étude de cas à l’analyse de l’activité. Pistes, 4(2).

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