Communication Science & Biology Interest Group 

Conference Call for Papers


Allison Eden, Chair & Planner

Department of Communication, 

Michigan State University


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 open, 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: The Communication Science and Biology Interest Group welcomes the submission of full papers, abstracts, pre-registered and 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. Although the interest group does feature 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 scientific rationale, present empirical 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. All accepted submissions will be paneled as high-density panels with no more than 8 presentations per panel. 

The interest group offers the following submission formats for the ICA 2020 conference: 

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

Abstracts: Brief research reports of 500 words or less will be considered. Figures, tables and references do not count toward the 500 word limit. Abstracts should contain at least a preliminary data analysis with the expectation of presenting complete results at the time of the conference. Abstracts are not eligible for top paper awards.

Preregistered studies: CSAB accepts preregistered study plans as papers. These are studies that have been preregistered (on open preregistration platforms like the Open Science Framework or AsPredicted) but where the study has not yet been done, analyses not completed, or the full paper has not been written up yet, but will be by the time of the conference. The review of these pre-registration thus puts a premium on the idea, theory, and methodology of a study (so its design, measurement, analysis), regardless of the actual results. This option will include a space to paste in the URL of the preregistration during submission.

Innovative Presentation Formats: The interest group welcomes suggestions for innovative presentation formats from ICA members which may include panel discussions for controversial research topics, 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. 

Note: All submissions must conform to the page limit and be anonymized. Please select keywords that encompass both the topics (e.g., “Public Health”)  addressed and the methods (e.g., “fMRI”) used in your submission. Only full papers and pre-registered papers will be considered for paper awards. We encourage submitters to become a member of the Communication Science & Biology Interest Group, albeit membership is not required for submissions. Membership is required for student travel awards.

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).