Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions




Sections - Divisions and Interest Groups


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General Questions

What is ICA?

The International Communication Association is the largest international academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching, and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. See the welcome message from the President and for ICA's mission statement. More about ICA's history is provided on this website.

What does ICA do?

ICA's activities fall into three main categories:
1. Annual conference of some 2000 academics in the field of communication from around the world, along with occasional regional conferences.
2. Publication of a series of high quality journals and related publications, both broad-ranging and specialized.
3. Supports the research activities of its members. This includes a prestigious series of annual awards, representation to professional, funding and policy agencies, enabling collaboration, dissemination and publicity, and facilitating the activities of its many divisions and interest groups.

How does ICA work?

ICA is a member organisation run by a Board of Directors in accordance with its Bylaws. Its formal organizational structure can be seen here.

The Board of Directors consists of the President, President-Elect, President-Elect Select, Immediate Past President, the Chairpersons of Divisions enrolling 200 active members in the previous year, two Student Board Members-at-Large, and five Regional Board Members-at-Large.

A subcommittee of the Board of Directors consisting of the President, President-Elect, President Elect-Select, Immediate Past President, Past President, Finance Chair and the Executive Director is formed as the Executive Committee. The Executive Director serves as a nonvoting member of the Executive Committee and the Board, and also manages the ICA Office in Washington.

ICA maintains a series of standing and awards committees to conduct its business in relation to membership, internationalisation, publications, liaison with other agencies, etc, annual awards, and ad hoc task forces.

Where is the ICA office and how can I contact ICA?

ICA welcomes queries from academics, students, policy-makers, the press, and others. General contact information is as follows:

International Communication Association
1500 21st Street NW
Washington, DC  20036 USA
Ofc:  (01)202- 955-1444
Fax:  (01)202- 955-1448

For specific staff contact details, click here.

Who does what at the ICA office?

ICA has six paid staff positions:

Executive Director
The Executive Director is the direct link between the association's staff and its Board of Directors (Officers). He is an ex-officio member of the Board and provides counsel to the Board in matters of non-profit law and association best practices. His primary purpose is to see to it that all functions of the Board and association staff are carried out for the good of the association. The Executive Director combines data-based risk analyses and personal experience to make decisions affecting the organization. He also serves as the Treasurer of the organization and compiles the organization's annual budget and sees to it that all financial matters are appropriately handled. The Executive Director also researches possible locations for ICA's annual conferences and presents them to the Board of Directors for study and final site selection.

As well, the Executive Director is the primary decision-maker for all operational functions of the staff office, seeing to it that staff-assigned duties are carried out in an efficient manner. Responsibilities also include facilities management of the organization's property.

Member Services Director
The Director of Member Services is primarily responsible for all aspects of membership development, including recruitment and retention of members; website and database development, especially when pertaining to member benefits and member access to information that will facilitate research development. The Member Services Director also oversees operations in membership database records upkeep, dues processing, and conference registration. That being the ultimate goal, he is the primary contact with ICA's web support and database providers guiding the design and development of new web and database services. Finally, the Director of Member Services also provides backup and technical support to the Board of Directors.

Communications Director
Fields all media requests and is the point person for all public outreach; Including press releases, public lectures, social media and publisher relations.

In the absence of the Executive Director, the Communication Director represents ICA at co-sponsored events such as regional conferences, and as an exhibitor at affiliated organizations' conferences. The Communication Director also provides backup and technical support to the Board of Directors.

Publications Manager
The Publications Manager administers and edits all ICA journals, newsletters, conference programs and other printed conference material, candidate and election statements, and other written and published matter.

Member Services Associate
The Member Services Associate is the first liaison between ICA members and the Association and its responsibilities lie in the areas of membership data processing. This includes updating member records, processing new and renewing membership applications, processing dues payments and conference registrations. This position is also responsible for managing the Association's accounts receivables and the newsletter ads.

Executive Assistant
The Executive Assitant is responsibile for the day-to-day operations of ICA; assists staff with conference planning, membership services, website management, and is also Accounts Payable.

How can I get involved with ICA?

Members are active in ICA in various ways, most commonly through their division or interest group membership (- informal queries to section chairs are always welcome). Some are appointed to the various committees and task forces (constituted on an annual basis by the incoming President). Many undertake reviewing for the annual conference and/or journals (- simply inform the section chair or editor of your willingness to undertake reviewing).

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Does ICA rent or sell membership address information?

Yes. Our mailing labels are available for ONE TIME use only.  We do not include email addresses on membership labels.  Labels are available electronically or pressure sensitive labels.

Select the Advertise link and select the "address label order form" from the main page.

Is advertising available through ICA?

There are two ways to advertise: You can advertise on ICAHDQ.ORG, or in the ICA Newsletter, for more info Click here.

Learn about advertising and exhibit opportunities at our annual conferences by following this link.

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How does ICA facilitate communication among members?

The easiest way for a members to communicate to each other is through the online member search functions, Find a Colleague. Once a member has logged in to the ICA Members Only section, they can access Find a Colleague through the link provided in the list under the title, Directories. Search functions include looking up by first or last name, a member's section, geographic location, their keywords, research areas, and any combination of each criteria. Each ICA member creates a profile providing information others may opt to search for. For example, if a member indicates that he or she is willing to be a conference paper reviewer, someone looking for reviewers can locate the member by performing a search for that criteria.

Conferences also provide a venue for members to visit and catch up with each other. The association-wide annual conference usually takes place at the end of May or in June when held in a location outside North America. Regional conferences also provide the opportunity to meet with other members. Regional conferences take place throughout the year in various parts of the world.

With the advent of social networks, ICA is creating other internet opportunities for members and non-members to communicate. The ICA Forums is a members only internet area where they can post questions and comments regarding just about anything! Each ICA section (division or interest group) has a site dedicated to the members of that section. As well, there is a Research Collaboration Forum available to all ICA members. The Forums can be accessed through a drop-down list on the lower right side of the MyICA members' homepage, above their list of sections.

Also, ICA is establishing its presence in common social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to name a few. In this manner, it hopes to make itself available to the world at-large providing the space for dialogue.

What fields or specialties are included in ICA?

Members can join one or more sections of the organization, depending on their interests. At present, there are 26 Divisions (sections comprising at least 200 members) and 5 Interest Groups. Together, these cover many areas of specialty within the field of communication, broadly defined. These change on occasion, reflecting the interest of members and developments within the field.

Who are the members of ICA?

As of 2014, ICA has over 4,500 individual members. Most are academics or doctoral students though some are from professions related in one way or another to the field of communication research. Members are drawn from across the social sciences and humanities, as befits the multidisciplinary nature of the field.

Members come from 85 countries worldwide, though approximately 59% are in the United States, 22% from Europe, 11% in Asia, 4% in non-US Americas, and 3% in Africa and Oceania. ICA is seeking to further internationalize its membership, and welcomes new members from around the world.

Why should I join ICA?

ICA is an international association for scholars interested in the study of all aspects of human communication. We are dedicated to promoting research and bringing the results of that research to bear on problems and issues of society. As a dynamic and growing organization, ICA encourages its members to become involved in its activities.

The many benefits offered to individual, institutional and association members are outlined here, along with information on how to join and on the membership fees (including reduced rates for students and for faculty from United Nations B and C countries here).

How do I become a member and what are the various membership types?

ICA membership is simple and easy.  Simply select the "Join Us" link under the Membership Box on the ICA's homepage.  Select the "click to Join ICA" option.  You are then given a list of membership types that best suit your situation.

Membership Types
Professional Level

All before PhD is awarded

Employment Exception Membership
Includes PhDs who are no longer students and do not have a permanent position but may be putting together a living wage by teaching part time in several universities during the same academic year, those who are only on a visiting appointment for one year but have no future employment at that or any other university or organization, those who are on a fixed term contract for less than 3 years such as research associates or research fellows, as well as other part time arrangements both within and outside academe. **Individuals must apply to receive this membership category.**

Includes complimentary conference registration

Includes unlimited divisions and free registration for ICA's annual conference

Special Membership Types

Available to Associations and offers it's members a discounted ICA Conference rate but not full membership benefits.

Available to Departments, Colleges and Universities

Membership includes a primary member and a secondary for a reduced price

Each membership type is that is available online is also available as a printed application if you prefer.  

Who are the ICA Fellows and what is their role?

(Members, see also Bylaws, Article V)
Click here for a list of the ICA Fellows

SELECTION CRITERIA: Fellow status in the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION is primarily a recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication. The primary consideration for nomination to Fellow status is a documented record of scholarly achievement.

Secondary consideration is given to such criteria as service to the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION and socially or professionally significant service to other publics such as business, government, education, etc.

NOMINATION PROCEDURES: At least six months prior to the date of the Annual Conference ICA members are invited to submit their nominations to the Fellow Nominating Committee (FNC). Any member of the Association or any collective group of members may submit nominations to the Chairperson of the FNC.
           - A nominee must be an ICA member 
           - Nominations should be submitted formally by letter. A typical nomination letter details the reasons that the candidate should be elected ICA Fellow, a copy of the nominee's curriculum vitae, at least two (but not more than four) additional letters of recommendation from leading scholars in the field, and any other materials that help demonstrate significant scholarly contributions to the field of communication and/or the International Communication Association.

Nominations and supporting documents must be received by the Chair of the FNC at least four months prior to the date of the Annual Conference at which election is proposed.

Jennifer Le
1500 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

What does membership include?

What do the tiers mean?

ICA has a triple-tiered dues structure following the UN model for A, B, and C countries, based on the World Bank's indicators of Gross National Income. You will need to know which tier your country is in, in order to determine your dues. Residents of B-tier countries pay 75% of the A-tier price and residents of C-tier countries pay 50% of the A-tier price.

Why are institutional memberships $250 with the same benefits as a regular member?

Universities that do not pay or reimburse for individual faculty association memberships may take advantage of the Institutional membership as a group membership. Faculty to be associated with the membership are listed on the application. The department is billed for all members on one invoice. The department is billed $195 above the initial $250 for each additional associate. Each associate is treated as a full member of ICA with individual privileges and their own unique member ID # and password. All receive their own journals and also gain access to the members only section and all of the past journals, etc. just as a Regular ICA member can. They also get the reduced rate for our annual conference.

Why do I have to renew in September if I just paid in May?

In an effort to reduce costs, the ICA Board of Directors voted in 2001 to establish a single membership renewal date, rather than 12 monthly, anniversary-based renewal dates. The new membership year starts 1 October of each year. A member joining at any other time of the year, gets the full benefits and resources that were afforded to members who joined earlier in the year. The Board felt it would be unfair to those members who paid full-rate at the start of the dues year if we pro-rated dues for newer members and then offered the same benefits. In other words, because a total year's worth of membership benefits is available to new and renewing members, ICA bills the full rate throughout the dues year.

One example of on-going member benefits is the online journals. Even if joining mid-year, members can still access all the past issues (30 years worth!) of the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, and Communication Theory. The journals are searchable by author, title of article or key words. Let us know if you have questions about how to access the journals.

How do I change/update my membership profile?

To change your profile you must be logged into the member's only area of the website. Once logged in select "Update my Profile" under MyICA Account Manager.  This will give you the option to update and change any information.

Why can't I access the Member's Only Section with my ID and password?

There could be several reasons why you are unable to gain access to the member's only area.  If your membership is inactive it will no longer allow you access to the member's only section.  If you believe that your membership is current and active and you are still unable to gain access, please email membership at

If you are a paper submitters you do not have access to the member's only area of the website. Paper submitter's are given the opportunity create and ID and password in order to submit a paper for ICA's annual conference. The ID and password that is created for paper submission only gives you access to the paper submission site.  In order to have access to the member's only area you would need to apply for membership.

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How do I obtain ICA Conference information?

Participation in ICA's conferences is open to everyone, members and nonmembers. Forthcoming conferences, including ICAs major annual conference, along with planned regional and co-sponsored conferences, are listed on our conference information pages on this web site. Non members are welcome to participate in these conferences.

Students welcome!
ICA welcomes graduate students as members and conference participants. Students pay a reduced membership fee and conference registration fee. There is also an annual travel fund to support student participation in the annual conference. Since all submissions to ICA's conferences and journals are reviewed blind, acceptance decisions are made on the basis of merit not professional status.  The Student Affairs Committee, chaired and run by students themselves, serves the needs and interests of student members and recommends and promotes policy and activities to enhance student involvement in ICA. The chair(s) of this committee can be contacted here.

What does the conference fee include?

The conference fee includes a conference program and conference materials (ie, mobile app, name badge, badge holder, etc).  It also includes access to all sessions, plenaries, business meetings, non divisional and divisional receptions.  It does not include pre-conferences, hotel accommodations or travel expenses.

When is the paper submission deadline?

The deadline for paper submission is always 1 November, unless that falls on a weekend in which case it is the following Monday at 23:00 GMT. For the 2015 Conference, the paper deadline is Monday, 3 November at 23:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

How can I upload a new version of my paper?

For presenters who have had papers accepted the paper site is made available 1 April to 30 April of each year to upload revisions.

When can I access conference papers to read before the conference? And do I have to attend the conference in order to access papers afterwards?

Papers are made available beginning the first week of May to all who have registered for the conference. A special access code is distributed to registrants via email and through the conference program. Papers are only available for a 60-day period after conference. This is done so that researchers wishing to publish the same paper in another journal can still do so. Some publishers consider a period longer than 60 days as having been published thereby disqualifying said paper from being published again.

How do I get a letter of invitation?

A request form for a letter of invitation to attend or present research at an ICA conference is made available on the conference web site on 15 January  of each year, the same day that conference pre-registration site is opened.

Why am I not getting emails about my paper status?

In some cases, university SPAM filters block emails coming from a broadcast engine.  You will need to work with your university's IT department (the system administrator) to have them allow access for email coming from the " domain."  ICA members can always go to their Message Center on the MyICA page (the members only homepage) to view emails sent to them from ICA. The same is true for emails about a submitted paper. In this instance, however, the Message Center is found at the paper management site, NOT the ICA members only site.

Does ICA use a peer review process?

Yes, ICA uses peer review for both journals and conference submissions.  The journals have roughly an 11% acceptance rate and the conference has about a 45% acceptance rate.

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Sections - Divisions and Interest Groups

How are divisions and interest groups established and can they be changed?

As stated in the bylaws, a group of 30 or more active members of the association may petition the Executive Director to establish an Interest Group. Interest groups recently established include Sports Communication (2014). An interest group appoints its own officers, is allocated conference sessions, and is represented in the Board of Directors, but does not have voting rights.

An interest group enrolling 200 or more members of ICA for at least two consecutive years may apply to become a division. For example, Journalism Studies applied to be an interest group in 2004, rapidly gained membership, and acquired divisional status in 2005. A division appoints its own offices, is allocated conference sessions, and has voting status on the Board of Directors.

If interest groups or divisions lose members, their status may be revoked, as stated in the bylaws.

How do I join a division or interest group?

Members can join divisions or interest groups by logging in to the Members Only section of the ICA web site.  Once logged in, select the "Add/Change My Sections" link under the MyICA Links section.  Complete the form and submit.

Is there a fee to join a division or interest group?

There is a fee to join certain divisions or interest groups. Each fee is different pertaining to a specific division or interest group. These fees help the division during conference time to fund any group activities such as receptions or awards.

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Where is ICA's formal basis specified?

ICA's bylaws are the key governance document. They specify:

How often does the Board of Directors meet and what does it do?

The Board of Directors meets twice each year, in January through teleconference and physically at the annual conference mid-year. Anyone is able to attend and view the proceedings but may not participate with the decision processes.

The Board sets policy, oversees the fiscal health of the organization, and ensures that the ICA's functions fall within the scope of the organization's Mission Statement.

What is the role of the President?

According to the ICA Bylaws, SECTION 7. DUTIES OF OFFICERS.

The President shall preside at all business meetings of the Association, its Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. In addition the President shall create and appoint such temporary committees as deemed necessary; receive and analyze the annual reports of the officers and committees of the Association preceding the Annual Conference; submit an annual report of the status, program and needs of the Association; actively promote the Association's public relations; represent the Association at meetings of other educational and professional organizations when possible; and generally perform those duties usually associated with this office. (b) The President-Elect shall assume the responsibility for planning the Annual Conference program and any additional programs sponsored by the Association at meetings of other organizations, with the assistance of the chairpersons of the Divisions. The President-Elect shall also assist the President when requested, and assume the duties of the President in the event of the latter's absence, disability, or request.

When and how do ICA elections for officers take place?


(a) The President-Elect and Board Members-at-Large positions of the Board of Directors shall be chosen by written preferential ballot by the Active Members of the Association. (b) Active Members may nominate other Active Members for Board positions by two methods: (1) through a Nominating Committee appointed by the incoming ICA President; or (2) by submitting a written petition containing signatures of at least 5% of the Active Members of the Association. (c) ICA's incoming President shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least three but no more than five Active Members. The Committee members shall be appointed approximately 120 days prior to the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee shall present its list of nominees to the Board of Directors at its annual meeting. The list shall include the names of at least two nominees for each open position. (d) Write-in nominations may be presented until 30 days following presentation of the Nominating Committee's report to the Board of Directors. (e) Within 45 days following the close of all nominations, the ICA Headquarters staff shall prepare a ballot, which shall be sent to each Active Member. (f) Balloting shall close 45 days after being distributed to the membership by the Headquarters office. Ballots may be held by mail or by electronic means. The Executive Director shall certify results of the balloting to the ICA President, who shall cooperate with the ICA Headquarters staff in announcing results to the membership through an appropriate and timely medium.

Where can I find the Board agenda and minutes?

Access for ICA members only, click here.

How do ICA's finances work?

According to ARTICLE X Finances of the ICA Bylaws:

SECTION 1. Annual dues of all classes of membership shall be set by the Board of Directors in accordance with the Association's financial needs. Upon the petition of ten percent of the Active Members, however, the Board of Directors must submit to the Active Members for their approval by mail or electronic ballot any decision to change the dues structure. A simple majority of those responding within 30 days shall then decide the issue.

SECTION 2. The Executive Director (Treasurer) shall receive dues and other payments, keep accounts, authorize outgoing checks, and render reports as provided in Article IV, Section 7 above.

SECTION 3. The financial accounts for the Executive Director (Treasurer) shall be audited annually by a certified public accountant and reviewed by the Finance Committee.

SECTION 4. Unless otherwise stipulated, funds received by the Association shall be handled and deposited by the Executive Director (Treasurer) in an appropriate financial institution approved by the Board of Directors.

SECTION 5. By affirmative vote of a simple majority of voting members of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (Treasurer) shall invest stated amounts of the funds of the Association as directed from time to time.

SECTION 6. All revenue derived from dues, assessments, sale of publications, grants or any other source shall be used entirely for the work of the Association. Such funds shall be expended in accordance with Association purposes consistent with its budget, or with the special terms of a grant or bequest consistent with Association purposes. Funds from division budgets may be given as cash awards for scholarly paper competition. No part of the incomes of the Association shall be paid to any member as a share or dividend; but officers, committee members and employees may be reimbursed for necessary expenses related to their duties; and employees may be paid wages and salaries as authorized by the Board of Directors.

SECTION 7. The Board of Directors shall present to the Association at its Annual Business Meeting the budget adopted for the next fiscal year.

SECTION 8. No member or group of members shall commit the funds or other assets and resources of the Association in any way except as stipulated in these Bylaws.

SECTION 9. The Association may receive grants for special purposes, which are consistent with the Association's objectives, and may deposit and expend these funds according to terms specified by the grantor and accepted by the Association's Board of Directors. According to the terms of such grants and the recommendation of the Board of Directors, such grants may or may not become a part of the budget approved by the Association. If they are not part of the budget, a disbursing agent and conditions for disbursement shall be especially established by the Board of Directors in terms agreeable to the granting agency. Such funds shall be kept inviolate for the purposes for which granted, and received with a special accounting. They may be accepted with the agreement to preserve and use them for as many years in the future as is reasonable and desirable.

SECTION 10. DISPOSAL OF ASSETS. (a) In the event the Association is dissolved, the Board of Directors shall remain in existence for not more than 12 months to terminate the affairs of the Association in accordance with the provisions of this section. (b) After payment of debts and obligations, the Board of Directors shall transfer the net assets of the Association to an organization having similar goals to ICA.

(c) Should the authorized transfer of funds not have been completed by the end of the twelfth month after dissolution of the Association, the Executive Committee of the Association shall have authority to complete the provisions of this section.

SECTION 11. No member or group of members shall use the name of the Association or its logo in any activity without the prior written permission of the Executive Director acting with the advice and consent of the Board of Directors.

Does ICA have a code of ethics?

Yes. ICA's code of ethics may be viewed here

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