Communication Science & Biology Interest Group 


Emily Falk, Planner
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania
3620 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Mission: The Communication Science and Biology Interest Group promotes scientific research with relevance for the study of communication, broadly defined, including biological perspectives such as psychophysiology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral genetics, animal studies, and evolutionary psychology. Members of the Interest Group value a focus on communication systems and processes, and strive for rigorous and replicable research. The Interest Group encourages collaboration among scholars of diverse backgrounds to build a richer understanding of shared research questions and methods in the study of human communication. Empirical studies follow primarily a quantitative approach and employ both experimental and observational research designs. In addition to programmatic research leading to novel findings, explorative research, data sharing, and direct replication studies are highly encouraged; null-findings are honored, if the research is based on a rigorous investigation.

Submissions: Accordingly, the Communication Science and Biology Interest Group welcomes the submission of full papers, abstracts, extended abstracts, posters, elevator sessions, problem solving sessions and other innovative presentation formats on a broad range of topics crossing the traditional boundaries of interpersonal, organizational, technological, mediated and mass communication and their sub-areas. While the interest group is focused on work grounded in biological perspectives (theoretically or empirically), submissions may or may not include biological data. The most important criteria is that submissions provide a rationale, data, and follow a rigorous scientific approach as outlined in the interest group’s mission above. Exclusively theoretical or methodical contributions are also invited, but can only be submitted as full papers. The interest group offers the following submission formats:

Full Papers: Complete research articles within the ICA limit of 25 pages double-spaced (excluding references and tables) will be considered. Solely theoretical or methodical articles must be full papers.

Extended Abstracts: Brief research reports of 5 pages double-spaced (excluding references and tables) will be considered. Extended abstracts must contain at least a preliminary data analysis with the expectation of presenting the complete results at the time of the conference. Extended abstracts that only contain research ideas without data are not appropriate for submissions.

Abstracts: Brief research reports of 500 words or less will be considered. Abstracts should contain at least a preliminary data analysis with the expectation of presenting complete results at the time of the conference. 
Posters: A complete poster with rationale, methods, data, results, and illustrations can be submitted for review. If accepted, poster submissions will be programmed in the interest group’s poster or high-density sessions.

Research Elevator/ Escalator Session: These sessions are designed to workshop research that is in progress, with the goal of making it more competitive for journal publication and/or presentation.  Submissions should include an abstract or extended abstract (see details above for formatting of an abstract or extended abstract) that can be reviewed by potential mentors.  If your abstract is selected for mentorship, you will be expected to send the most recent version of your paper to your mentor 6 weeks prior to the conference so that s/he has sufficient time to review your piece. During the conference, time will be set aside specifically for the research escalator sessions. Submitters will present their project to the entire audience (no slides) in a short 2-minute presentation. Then, submitters will meet with their mentors in one-on-one mentorship meetings to discuss their feedback on the manuscript (audience members are welcome and encouraged to attend these conversations as well). To get a feel for these sessions, check out the video online made by the CAM division - Anyone can submit an abstract for the CSaB Research Escalator sessions; however, we especially encourage graduate students, junior faculty, and/or people inexperienced with the journal publishing process to submit to this session. Note: On the first page of the abstract, please make a note: CONSIDER FOR RESEARCH ESCALATOR SESSION.

Problem Solving Sessions: We will organize “problem solving sessions” in which a team of interdisciplinary experts from different career stages are teamed up to address and come up with solutions for specific questions (e.g., ranging from theoretical to applied).  If you would like to participate in a problem solving session, please submit an abstract with a brief summary of your research area, career stage and core expertise.  Submitters may also propose candidate “burning questions” for consideration.  “Burning questions” will be developed and selected based on their potential for significant impact.  This is a great opportunity for junior scholars to network with senior scholars and for senior scholars to learn about new ideas and for researchers at all stages to share insight and practical knowledge related to cutting edge concepts and methods.  Note: On the first page of the abstract, please make a note: CONSIDER FOR PROBLEM SOLVING SESSION.

Innovative Presentation Formats: The interest group welcomes suggestions for innovative presentation formats from ICA members which may include panel discussions for controversial research topics, research elevators, data blitz sessions, etc. Proposals should include a rationale for the panel (400-word maximum), as well as abstracts of each participant’s contribution (150-word maximum for each presenter). Reviewers will be asked to give weight to proposals that feature an innovative format and a topic that invites diverse perspectives with the potential of exchanging opposing scientific arguments.

Presentations at the Conference: All accepted submissions will be programmed in high-density panels or poster sessions. Innovative presentation formats will be provided with a special slot in the program that allows for critical and constructive discussions among a larger number of presenters and audience.

Note: All submissions must conform to the page limit and be anonymized.  We also encourage submitters to become a member of the Communication Science & Biology Interest Group, albeit membership is not required for submissions.

Reviewers: Become a reviewer!  In addition to serving the scholarly community, we will provide “top reviewer” awards to top reviewers who provide in depth, constructive feedback. Awards may include conference fee waiver and/or small grants for travel related expenses. To be eligible, please become a reviewer.  Within ICA’s paper management system (where you submit papers) you will find a link labeled “Volunteer to be a Reviewer”. Please click on this link and fill in your information. Under “qualification”, please let us know your areas of expertise and check the keywords that best describe your interests. We will use this important information (especially the keywords) for matching submissions with reviewer interests as best as we can. Thank you for your support of our interest group and its mission!

Review Criteria: Reviewers are instructed to evaluate each submission on the following six criteria (using a 5-point rating scale): (1) The submission is interesting; (2) the submission demonstrates methodological rigor; (3) the submission advances our understanding of communication systems and processes; (4) the submission is innovative or provides a rigorous direct replication; (5) the submission will attract a large audience (including myself).