Reviewing for a conference is not an easy task. You sign up when your schedule seems fairly open—it seems like a great idea at the time, doesn’t it?—but the actual work inevitably shows up in your inbox at precisely the worst, busiest time. You feel yourself pulled between needing to get reviews DONE and off your desk, and the responsibility of providing substantive and useful feedback to your colleagues. Perhaps you curse your months-ago self for having agreed to do such a thing.
We recognize this struggle, and understand why so many reviewers (at so many associations, not just ICA) often succumb to submitting only numerical ratings and leave off the qualitative commentary, just to cross the task off their lists. That qualitative commentary, though, is crucial to the improvement not only of papers who ultimately are rejected, but also to those who are accepted, so that they may come to conference months later with the best version of their work.
Beginning in 2017, in an effort to put an emphasis on qualitative reviewing for our conference in San Diego, ICA instituted a process whereby each division and interest group may nominate one “rock star reviewer,” defined as someone who may have taken on a high number of last-minute qualitative reviews when others failed to fulfil their obligations, and/or who has provided especially helpful, detailed, or astute commentary to submitters to help them truly improve their work. The Rock Star Reviewer is nominated by the planner from each division, and then all “rock stars” are entered into a randomized drawing to receive a complimentary conference registration.
This year’s rock star reviewer WINNER, chosen at random from all nominees to receive the complimentary main conference registration, is Christian Baden (Hebrew U of Jerusalem), nominated by the Political Communication Division. Christian will receive complimentary main conference registration for the 70th Annual ICA Conference in Gold Coast, Australia. Thank you, Christian!
Although they don’t all receive free registration, we also extend our gratitude to all of the other top reviewers submitted by each* division/interest group, as follows (in alpha order by Division/Interest Group name):
Drew Cingel (Children, Adolescents & the Media), Hai Liang (Communication and Technology), D. Travers Scott (Communication History), Tim Schatto-Ekrodt (Computational Methids), Melissa Click (Feminist Scholarship), Yu Hao Lee (Game Studies), Meghan Sobel Cohen (Global Communication & Social Change), Alica Binder (Health Communication), Sharon Ringel (Human-Machine Communication), Kevin Wise (Information Systems), Lisa Hurwitz (Instructional & Developmental), Blake Allen Hendrickson (Intercultural Communication), Liz Jones (Intergroup Communication), Jeff Hall (Interpersonal Communication), Jan Lauren Boyles (Journalism Studies), Emily Hofstetter (Language and Social Interaction), Jessica Rauchberg (LGBTQ Studies), Karen Patel (Media Industry Studies), Anja Stevic (Mobile Communication Studies), Shaun Anderson (Organizational Communication), Sahana Udupa (Philosophy, Theory & Critique), Christian Baden (Political Communication), Say Wah Lee (Popular Communication), Krishna Arunima (Public Relations), Andrew Billings (Sports Communication), and Kyser Lough (Visual Communication Studies). The theme rock star reviewer is German Neubaum.
*not all divisions and interest groups submit a name every year
Thank you to ALL of you who review each year for ICA. If you haven’t reviewed before, please consider reviewing next year for the conference in Denver, Colorado, USA. The success and quality of the ICA conference—and of individual submitters’ work—depends on rigorous review and guidance from colleagues and mentors.
We look forward to seeing you all in the beautiful Gold Coast!