The Communication Theory & Methodology division announced the inaugural winner of the Best Article of the Year Award at its annual meeting in St. Louis on August 12th.
The winning paper explains a new method for modeling the relationships between people—or things—that communicate in networks.
This award is new this year. Each year, a panel of scholars will recognize the single article published in the field’s leading methods publication during the previous year that contributed the most to the study of communication theory and methodology. The award, which includes an honorarium, is sponsored by both the CT&M division and the journal Communication Methods and Measures.
The winning paper was selected in a two-step process. First, editors of the journal narrowed down the list of articles. Journal Editor Andrew Hayes commented that “With four years of articles to go through for this first year, constructing the short list … was quite difficult. We had a hard time narrowing it down to the top 3 from our first short list of 10. There were so many good papers, each with strengths that distinguished them from other similarly strong papers.”
Then the CT&M awards committee selected the winner out of the papers nominated by the journal. Outgoing CT&M Division Chair Hernando Rojas said, “Recognizing the most sophisticated methodological work in the field is a central part of the Communication Theory & Methodology division’s mission. The difficulty of our task in selecting these articles is an important indicator of the increasing maturity of our field.”
The authors of the winning paper were recognized with a $250 prize and a certificate at the Division’s annual meeting on August 12th, 2011, at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in St. Louis. The winning paper’s title was “Exponential Random Graph (p*) Models as a Method for Social Network Analysis in Communication Research.” The article was written by Michelle Shumate and Edward T. Palazzolo and first appeared in Communication Methods and Measures in December 2010. It introduces communication researchers to a new class of methods and gives a primer on the how-to.
During this inaugural year of the Best Article Award, the division and the journal also awarded honorable mentions to a pair of articles first published in 2008. Klaus Krippendorff won for “Systematic and Random Disagreement and the Reliability of Nominal Data.” The other honorable mention went to a team of authors consisting of James D. Sargent, Keilah A. Worth, Michael Beach, Meg Gerrard and Todd F. Heatherton, for “Population-Based Assessment of Exposure to Risk Behaviors in Motion Pictures.”
Communication Theory & Methodology congratulates the authors of all three winning articles!