An Update from Science Communication

Science Communication: Linking Theory and Practice has been unofficially affiliated with AEJMC’s ComSHER Division and its predecessor, the Science Communication Interest Group, since the journal’s beginning in 1979. I am pleased to be able to report that the past year has been a really good one for us. As reported earlier in the summer, our two-year impact factor rose to 1.820 this past year, up 20% from 2014 and putting us in 14th place out of the 79 ranked communication journals. Our acceptance rate remained roughly steady at 18% for 2015, with the three prior years ranging between 15 and 17%. We received 150 manuscripts in 2015, 127 of which were research articles.

Almost all of these submissions received an initial decision within three months. We pride ourselves on providing timely, meaningful, and usually quite detailed feedback to our authors.

In hand at the moment: our October 2016 issue, which nicely illustrates the range of things we publish: An article on the strategies used by a Dutch food author to establish scientific credibility for his claims; an analysis of media coverage of the 2014 West Virginia Elk River chemical spill; an experiment comparing text-based and interactive presentations about NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope; and an article on how “green narratives” create affective responses that have implications for both environmental risk perception and policy. We also include two commentaries, one on informal science learning for older adults and one on “one scientist’s struggle” to become a better writer.

If you are not familiar with SC, you can learn more at scx.sagepub.com – and you can even order a free sample issue there, in case your university does not subscribe. You’ll spot a number of familiar ComSHER names both among our editorial board members and our authors, and you can browse the contents and abstracts for all of our issues there – even if your library does not subscribe.

In addition to refereed research articles, which fill about 80 to 90% of the space in our six annual issues, we also publish roughly one or two commentary articles per issue. These are non-refereed opinion pieces commenting on trends in the field, describing innovative and successful programs, or analyzing issues and opportunities in science communication theory and scholarship.

We publish in the full range of ComSHER disciplines, including submissions with qualitative, quantitative, or rhetorical methods – as well as, occasionally, analytical or historical ones.

Looking for something to write about for us? Although we do not normally publish review articles (other than occasional meta-analyses), the editorial board has recently expressed some interest in our considering reviews that present the history of our field. We are now much too large and diverse for a single article to cover this well; the few existing review articles that cover our entire broad history are now increasingly outdated. So there is room for more than one project here. If you are interested in creating such an article, identify the aspect of the field that you know best and discuss it with me directly at editorscicom@gmail.com. One thing I can practically guarantee: If your submission is successful, it will probably earn a lot of citations.

Following up on our successful special issue on Visual Communication in the Digital Age (Mary Nucci, guest editor), published in February 2015, we have issued a call for papers for a new special issue on Science Communication and Broad Societal Change. You can find the full call at the ComSHER website. Search “call for papers” to go directly to the appropriate section or use this link: http://aejmc.us/comsher/2016/06/15/cfp-science-communication-linking-theory-and-practice/

The submission deadline for the special issue is November 1, 2016. Late papers for the issue may be considered on a space-available basis; contact me at the email above for status.

Susanna Priest, Editor-in-Chief