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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Annals of the International Communication Association

For a Special Issue on
COVID-19, the Media, and Communication Scholarship: Adequate Concepts for the Crisis or a Crisis of Concepts?

Manuscript deadline
15 November 2021

Cover image - Annals of the International Communication Association

Special Issue Editor(s)

Florian Arendt, University of Vienna
[email protected]

Sebastian Scherr, Texas A&M
[email protected]

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COVID-19, the Media, and Communication Scholarship: Adequate Concepts for the Crisis or a Crisis of Concepts?

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is an immense global health threat, and the media and mediated communication continue to play a key role. Against this backdrop, this Special Issue takes the current crisis as an opportunity to reflect upon Key Concepts in Communication. It aims to feature works on the conceptual implications of the pandemic. Papers should assess whether the most prominent concepts in our discipline were, are, and will be helpful to tackle the challenges posed by COVID-19 and future crises. Intuitively, we might be inclined to answer this question with some vaunt. However, critical reflections are needed and seen as a means to advance Communication as a discipline.

We call for original submissions addressing questions such as:

  • What are pressing scientific questions related to concepts of our field that emerged during the pandemic from the perspective of sub-fields such as Political Communication, Journalism, Public Relations, Health Communication, Media Ethics, Children and the Media, Crisis Communication, Environmental Communication, or Media History? Which conceptual bottlenecks came to light?
  • What did we learn about the relevance of our field within academia, for the media, and for the public?
  • Based on conceptualizations of the role of the media for democracy, how do we evaluate the role communication scholars and practitioners played in public discourse? Do differences between countries exist?
  • How can our conceptual knowledge be practically and strategically used to positively contribute to public health (e.g., increasing vaccination uptake), society (e.g., trust in media) and democracy (e.g., trust in politics)?
  • More specifically, based on hotly discussed public issues, how does/can/should Communication contribute to the understanding of phenomena such as mis- or disinformation, conspiracy theories, fact-checking, populism, freedom of speech, data privacy, and algorithmically curated information environments? What role does/can/should Communication play: Descriptor, explainer, predictor, or agent of change with strong normative aims?
  • Do altered publication processes during the pandemic (e.g., fast-track reviews; publication of preprints) beneficially or detrimentally influence knowledge generation? What are the implications for the ‘replication crisis,’ questionable research practices, or the ‘open science’ paradigm?

Submission Instructions

Authors from around the globe are invited to submit theoretical-conceptual papers, empirical studies, state-of-the-discipline literature reviews and essays with a strong normative perspective. Manuscripts are to be submitted by the deadline on November 15, 2021, via e-mail to [email protected].

The submission guidelines can be accessed via https://bit.ly/2Splonb. We will perform a “fast-track review process” to ensure timely publication: After a first editorial review of the full papers, we will then send the ten best-ranked manuscripts for formal peer-review through the ICA Annals review system. The final publication will be in June 2022. Any questions concerning this call for papers may be directed to Dr. Florian Arendt ([email protected]) or Dr. Sebastian Scherr ([email protected]).

Instructions for Authors