CMM: Special issue on computational methods

CT&M’s journal Communication Methods and Measures invites submissions for a special issue on computational methods. Here is the full call for papers:

For this special issue, we invite submissions that further the understanding, development and application of computational methods in communication research. Computational methods include (but are not limited to) methods such as text analysis, topic modeling, social/semantic network analysis, online experiments, machine learning, and agent-based modeling and simulations. Computational Methods can be used to build theory about, quantify, analyze, and visualize communication structures and processes. Computational methods can be applied to “big data” and social media data, but can also be used to analyse historical archives (e.g. newspaper archives, proceedings) or to provide a more sophisticated understanding of “small data”.

In particular, we welcome submissions on:

  • Innovative ways to use computational methods for communication research;
  • Evaluation and validation of computational approaches to studying communication research;
  • Application of computational methods to answer substantive communication research questions;
  • Reflections on the role of computational methods in communication research and their link with theory;

The special issue may also include a “teacher’s corner” article with brief descriptions of useful software packages and tools for studying communication. Authors interested in this format are encouraged to contact special issue co-editor Wouter van Atteveldt prior to submission.

The deadline for submission for consideration is July 1, 2017. Submitters should include a statement in the cover letter that the manuscript is being submitted for the special issue on Computational Methods. Articles will be peer reviewed and a decision rendered within 60 days, with a target publication date of March 2018. Instructions for authors and a description of the online submission process can be found on the journal’s home page at

Questions about this special issue can be directed to Wouter van Atteveldt or Winson Peng, Guest Editors, at and

CT&M fall 2016 newsletter

In addition to our paper call for the 2017 conference, we also have news from our fall newsletter, CT&M CONCEPTS.

Here are some key features in this edition:

  • Information about the 2016 CT&M top papers
  • A review of the division’s progress over the last year by division head Jörg Matthes
  • The call for applications for the 2017 Barrow Minority Scholarship
  • Initial details about CT&M’s teaching and professional freedom and responsibility (PF&R) panels at the 2017 AEJMC conference

Download the fall CONCEPTS here.

CT&M call for papers for 2017 conference

The CT&M Division of AEJMC invites submissions of original research papers that advance the literature in mass communication theory, research methods, or both. CT&M welcomes both conceptual and empirical papers and is open to all methodological approaches, quantitative and qualitative.

Paper Competitions:

CT&M sponsors four paper competitions. Papers can be submitted to the open-call competition or the student paper competition. Any paper can also be considered for the theory paper competition or the method paper competition. CT&M strongly encourages submissions by students. Winners of the Chaffee-McLeod Award for Top Student Paper will be awarded $250; two additional top student papers will also receive cash prizes. To be considered for the student paper competition, all authors must be students, and the author(s) must type “Student Paper Competition” in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of text.  In addition to the open-call and student competitions, CT&M recognizes the top theoretical and methodological submissions to the division each year. A theory paper may extend what is known about the current workings of a theory by including a data analysis section, or strictly extend the current theory literature without including data.  A method paper may discuss, develop, or apply measurement, statistical approaches, sampling techniques, or field methods that demonstrate research method innovation.

Papers submitted to the theory and methods paper competitions will also be considered for awards in the open-call and student competitions, as applicable. To be considered for the theory paper competition, the author(s) must type “Theory Paper Competition” in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of text; to be considered for the method paper competition, the author(s) must type “Methods Paper Competition” in the upper right-hand corner on the first of text. Winners of all awards will be recognized in the conference program and at the 2017 CT&M members’ meeting in Chicago.


Please limit papers to no more than 25 pages (double-spaced) in length, excluding tables and references. Papers should follow APA style, have 1-inch margins, and use 12 point Times New Roman font. Please limit papers to a total of 35 pages total (including text, tables, and references). Please refer to the AEJMC general paper call for this year’s online submission guidelines. Please make sure there is no identifying information in the body of the paper or in the document properties. Co-authors cannot be added after a paper has been reviewed. At least one author of an accepted faculty paper must attend the conference to present the paper. If student authors cannot be present, they must make arrangements for the paper to be presented by someone else. Failure to be present or provide a presenter for any paper will result in a one-year ban on the review of papers for all of the authors involved. Authors of accepted papers are required to forward papers to discussants prior to the conference.

CT&M Summer 2016 Newsletter

The summer edition of CT&M CONCEPTS can now be viewed here!

Here are some highlights from this edition:

  • A FULL 3-page program of ALL CT&M-related research sessions, panels and events at AEJMC’s conference this month
  • Information about top papers submitted to CT&M for the conference
  • An announcement of the winner of the Barrow Minority Scholarship award
  • Members’ favorite things in communication
  • Previews of the professional freedom and responsibility (PF&R) and teaching panels for AEJMC’s conference
  • An explanation of how CT&M membership can benefit graduate students

Download the newsletter here.

Favorite comm things

To celebrate CT&M’s 50th anniversary as a division at AEJMC, we want to hear about your favorite communication-related theories, methodologies, concepts, etc. Feel free to list your favorite communication-related published papers, books, and even popular-culture movies, books, and TV series that address communication-related themes and issues. You may post a comment to this Facebook post with your favorites listed. Yes, you can post more than one. Or, you can email Kristen Landreville at with your favorites. The CT&M Summer Newsletter will include a list of our members’ favorite things in communication!

Kristen’s picks are The Social Network and Spotlight. Can’t wait to see yours! Thanks for your participation.

CT&M top papers for AEJMC in August

Congratulations to all who had manuscripts accepted for presentation at AEJMC in Minneapolis in August! If you’re headed to the conference, you might want to check out CT&M’s top papers. Here are the abstracts for our open call and student paper competitions.

Open call winners:

A Meta-Analysis of News Media’s Agenda-Setting Effects, 1972-2015 • Yunjuan Luo; Hansel Burley, Texas Tech University; Alexander Moe, Texas Tech University; Mingxiao Sui • This project involved exploring the agenda-setting hypothesis across a range of studies using rigorous meta-analytic approaches. The researchers drew upon empirical agenda-setting studies published from 1972 to 2015, and 67 studies that met the inclusion criteria for analysis produced a moderate grand mean effect size of .487. A multiple regression analysis revealed significant predictors, most notably was the predictor that classified the basis for the study correlation as either the number of content categories or the number of participants. A multiple regression of a subgroup using text analysis produced homogeneity (non-significance). The mean for these studies was .51. This is an indication of consistency in findings across agenda setting studies. Study limitations and suggestions for future research are also discussed in the article.

Agreement between Humans and Machines? — A Reliability Check among Computational Content Analysis Programs • Jacob Rohde, Boston University; Denis Wu • As data generated from social networking sites become larger, so does the need for computer aids in content analysis research. This paper outlines the growing methodology of supervised machine learning in respect to document topics classification and sentiment analysis. A series of tweets were collected, coded by humans, and subsequently fed into a selection of six different popular computer applications: Aylien, DiscoverText, MeaningCloud, Semantria, Sentiment 140, and SentiStrength. Reliability results between the human and machine coders are presented in a matrix in terms of Krippendorff’s Alpha and percentage agreement. Ultimately, this paper illuminates that, while computer-aided coding may lessen the burden and accelerate for researchers in coding social media content, the results of utilizing these programs indicate low reliability for analyzing political content.

Evaluating a sexual health text message service using short message service (SMS) surveys with adolescents • Jessica Willoughby; Kelly L’Engle, University of San Francisco; Kennon Jackson; Jared Brickman • Two-way mHealth interventions allow for feedback solicitation from participants. This study explores the use of a text-message survey to assess demographics and program feedback from users of an adolescent sexual health text message question-and-answer service. The text message survey achieved a 43.9% response rate. When compared to respondents who used the service and completed an online in-school questionnaire, text survey respondents were more likely to be female and older. They also reported higher service satisfaction.

Student competition winners:

Defying censorship: A framework for reactance and learning in the face of media controls • Golnoosh Behrouzian; Emma Fete; Aysenur Dal • Media censorship is a significant issue plaguing over 80 percent of the world’s population. This suppression of information can have damaging consequences for the public’s knowledge base and negatively impact the capability of citizens to make well-informed decisions, by withholding information or creating misperceptions, amongst other things. While most research addresses the implications of censorship from a more normative institutional level, we propose a novel theoretical framework looking at the individual-level effects of perceived censorship on political knowledge. Through the integration of psychological reactance as a mediating variable, we use data from a two-wave longitudinal survey, taken by Turkish citizens before the June 2015 general election, to conduct an exploratory study of the underlying psychological and communication processes that may motivate increased political learning. We find that those citizens who perceive a threat to their media freedom are more likely to experience psychological reactance, which heightens their level of political learning. Our results both challenge and expand on previous findings that suggest censorship broadly dampens political knowledge, since the boundary condition provided by psychological reactance suggests that higher levels of perceived censorship may, in fact, motivate higher achievement in knowledge. We discuss the implication of these findings as it relates to information-seeking strategies that may further clarify how individuals in repressed media environments manage their media freedom.

“The First Decision for My Child”: Mechanisms through which Parents of Children with and without Autism Decide on Their Children’s Vaccination • Juwon Hwang, University of Wisconsin – Madison • Based on O1-S-O2-R model, this study explores the mechanisms through which parents decide on their children’s vaccination. Analyzing nationally representative survey data, this study assumes that the evaluation of health information sources plays a critical role in parents’ benefit perception and decisions on their children’s vaccination. This study finds that print and interpersonal communication as stimuli are positively associated with parents’ benefit perception of their children’s vaccination whereas social media is negatively associated with it. In turn, benefit perception is significantly related to parents’ decisions on their children’s vaccination. However, there is no interaction effect of parents of children with autism (PCA) and the evaluation of health information sources on parents’ benefit perception and decisions on their children’s vaccination. The results seem to suggest that targeted messages addressing PCA’s concerns and to mitigate mistrust are needed.

Testing Intergenerational Transmission of News Content Preference: A South Korean Case • Minchul Kim, Indiana University • Understanding of how adolescents develop news preference is closely associated with understanding of how a democratic society works. This study tested the intergenerational transmission of news content preference between parents and adolescents. Specifically, our findings suggest that mothers’ news content preference, but not that of fathers’, had independent and lasting influences on adolescents’ news content preference. This implies that mothers may play a more direct role in the intergenerational transmission of news content preference than do fathers.

CT&M Spring 2016 Newsletter

The spring 2016 edition of CT&M CONCEPTS is available now!

Check it out for these featured items and more:

  • Advice for scholars from Jack McLeod
  • The CT&M program for the AEJMC conference in Minneapolis this fall
  • A call for papers for AEJMC 2016
  • A call for Barrow Minority Scholarship applications
  • A note from the 2015 winner of the Barrow Minority Scholarship

You can download the newsletter here.

CT&M Summer 2015 Newsletter

Just in time for the AEJMC 2015 conference, our CT&M Summer 2015 Newsletter is here.

Some highlights:

  • Celebrate CT&M’s 50th anniversary with us! Join us at the best-of-CT&M session from 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8. CT&M Lifetime Achievement award winner Jack McLeod will serve as discussant.
  • Jörg Matthes will serve as the next editor-in-chief of CMM. He is the current research chair of CT&M and current associate editor of CMM.
  • We are still waiting to hear the results of our bid for ISI listing. Please visit our business meeting (Sat. Aug. 8 @ 7 p.m.), immediately after the best-of-CT&M session, for the most recent news.
  • Our paper submissions increased from 79 papers in 2014 to 99 papers in 2015. There was a 50% acceptance rate in 2015, compared to 57% in 2014.
  • We will distribute awards for the top papers and Barrow Minority Scholarship award at the business meeting. Congrats to all of the winners!
  • There are two PF&R panels:
    1. The first panel, “Exploring Collaborative
      Opportunities for Accessing Data,” will
      explore methods for accessing data for political
      and public opinion research.
    2. The second panel, “The Unbearable Filteredness
      of Being Online: Customization and the Media
      We Consume,” will explore ethical, business, and
      research implications related to the customization
      of content enabled by machine-based customization,
      filtering, message tailoring, network
      structure, etc.
  • There are two teaching panels:
    1. Academia 2.0, when professors become public
      intellectuals: benefits and detriments
    2. Theories Redux: Which defy time? How do others
      hold in the face of new communication contexts?
  • Download the newsletter for a complete listing of award winners and the CT&M session schedule for the conference.