Communication Science & Biology Interest Group 

Conference Call for Papers

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



Vice Chair & Planner: Allison Eden,
Department of Communication,
Michigan State University.
404 Wilson Rd.,
East Lansing, MI 48824


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: Accordingly, the Communication Science and Biology Interest Group welcomes the submission of full papers, 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. Although 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. For ‘regular’ full paper submissions, please indicate if paper, or aspects of paper, was pre-registered. 

Extended Abstracts: Brief research reports of 500 words or less will be considered, though figures and tables do not count toward the 500 word limit and should be used to demonstrate the main findings. Abstracts should contain at least a preliminary data analysis with the expectation of presenting complete results at the time of the conference. 

NEW IN 2020: 

Preregistered studies: An opportunity to submit 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.

Alternate formats: 

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 (see details above for formatting of an 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 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. Research escalators will be scheduled based on available time slots. Note: On the first page of the abstract, please make a note: CONSIDER FOR RESEARCH ESCALATOR SESSION. 

Mentoring Sessions: We will organize “a mentoring session” in which interdisciplinary scholars from different career stages are teamed up to discuss questions relevant to their scholarship and/or professional development questions. If you would like to participate in a group discussion/ mentoring session, please submit a brief summary of your research area, career stage and core expertise. 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 as well as professional development. Mentoring submissions will be scheduled based on available time slots. Note: On the first page of the abstract, please make a note: CONSIDER FOR MENTORING 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. 

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 will be considered for the TOP PAPER awards (i.e., abstracts will not be considered for top papers). Preregistration of study design and hypotheses encouraged. Open data, open code, or other tenets of open science are strongly encouraged. 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).