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Social Robots in Therapy: Focusing on Autonomy and Ethical Challenges

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Pablo Gómez Esteban (lead GE), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Daniel Hernández García, Plymouth University, UK
Hee Rin Lee, UC San Diego, USA
Pauline Chevalier, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Paul Baxter, University of Lincoln, UK
Cindy L. Bethel, Mississippi State University, USA


This Special Issue in Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics is open to all the authors interested in the topic. However, in a great part it is devoted to the publication of high-quality research papers presented during the 1st Workshop on Social Robots in Therapy: Focusing on Autonomy and Ethical Challenges, held in Chicago, USA, 5 March 2018, in conjunction with the 13th ACM / IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2018).

The authors are requested to submit their full papers to the special issue complying the general scope of the journal. The submitted papers will undergo peer review process before they can be accepted. Notification of acceptance will be communicated as we progress with the review process

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • shared or full autonomy in robots in therapy
  • adaptive mechanisms for robot used in therapy
  • engagement in therapeutic human-robot interaction
  • ethical systems and challenges for robots in therapy
  • identified user needs at home and in-patient care facilities
  • acceptance studies on social robots used in therapy 
  • patient-centered HRI studies
  • long-term therapeutic interaction studies
  • clinical validation of robot-assisted therapies


Before submission authors should carefully read the Instruction for Authors:
Manuscripts can be written in TeX, LaTeX (strongly recommended) - the journal’s LATEX template. Please note that we do not accept papers in Plain TEX format. Text files can be also submitted as standard DOCUMENT (.DOC) which is acceptable if the submission in LATEX is not possible. For an initial submission, the authors are strongly advised to upload their entire manuscript, including tables and figures, as a single PDF file.

All submissions to the Special Issue must be made electronically via online submission system Editorial Manager:
All manuscripts will undergo the standard peer-review procedure (single blind, at least two independent reviewers). When entering your submission via online submission system please choose the article type “SI on Social Robots in Therapy”.

Since we decided to open the Special Issue also to external authors (not only workshop participants), the new deadline for submission is 28th February 2019. Individual papers will be reviewed and published online on an ongoing basis.

Contributors to the Special Issue will benefit from:

  • indexation in SCOPUS
  • NO submission and publication FEES
  • fair and constructive peer review provided by experts in the field
  • no space constraints
  • convenient, web-based paper submission and tracking system – Editorial Manager
  • free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions
  • quick online publication upon completing the publishing process (continuous publication model)
  • better visibility due to Open Access
  • long-term preservation of the content (articles archived in Portico)
  • extensive post-publication promotion for selected papers

We are looking forward to your submission!
In case of any questions please contact Dr. Justyna Żuk, Managing Editor (Justyna.Zuk@degruyter.com).