The Ebb and Flow of Communication Research: Seven Decades of Publication Trends and Research Priorities

Nathan Walter*, Michael J. Cody, Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

An analysis of all published research articles in the Journal of Communication (N = 1574) revealed a slow progression toward openness and diversity of thought, interrupted by temporal slowdowns and declines. Among the recorded gaps is the overwhelmingly small representation of voices outside the United States. The assumption of interdisciplinarity is also questioned, as primary journal contributors were limited to a small set of sub-disciplines. The results also reveal a dominance of the (post-)positivistic paradigm and quantitative methods. While the relative proportion of atheoretical research is decreasing, there is also a remarkable slowdown in new theory development. Finally, with a steep decline in federal funding, communication scholars are becoming more reliant on universities, public organizations, and private donors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-440
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Keywords

  • Journal of Communication
  • Method
  • Paradigm
  • Theory
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Ebb and Flow of Communication Research: Seven Decades of Publication Trends and Research Priorities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this