ICA 2020 - Calls for Papers
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Conference Theme Call for Papers

Virtual Conference | 21-25 May 2020

Click to Read PDF Version of Theme Call for Papers

Note: Conference theme submissions may be full papers, extended abstracts (2,000 words max, excluding references), or panel session proposals (including proposals for roundtable discussions). Panel proposal are not required to but may optionally include abstracts of individual panel papers (150 words max each) in addition to the 400-word panel rationale and 75-word summary.

The ICA 2020 conference theme aims to facilitate and deepen the conversation about Open Science in the field of communication. The international movement towards Open Science touches on many aspects of our research practices, and discussing the implications will enable and contribute to a conversation in the ICA and our field more broadly about Open Science. This is an inclusive conversation from which our entire field can benefit.

As a concept, Open Science is oriented toward advancing scholarship through transparency, wide-ranging collaboration, and a focus on the creation of public goods. It is about sharing knowledge about our research process, being up front about research ideas, transparent and thoughtful about analyzing our materials, and ensuring that, when possible, data and instruments are available for future scholars to learn from and to challenge. We need an open conversation about what the Open Science movement implies for the diverse field of communication research. This conversation should serve to further increase both the quality of our research and the transparency of the research process. As is the case with Open Access, quality and transparency will help us to build better communication research with a broader appeal.

Open communication science is not a one-size-fits-all. But how can we develop best practices and share experiences in creating an ‘Open Communication Science’ space for all scholars? These are conversations that we should have as communication scholars, at our home universities, with our funders, and also within the ICA.

With the theme of Open Communication, we encourage research and panels that cut across research domains and practices. We invite researchers to look beyond divisional and sub-disciplinary boundaries and also bring in perspectives from adjacent disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. In particular, we also encourage submissions that focus on digital communication, the lockdown of platforms, and the interesting tensions between data science and open science practices.

With the Open Communication conference theme, we encourage scholars to address key questions that relate to collaboration in and the accessibility of our work, such as:

  • What are good open science practices and how can they be adopted in our discipline?
  • What does open science imply for the norms and values that underlie our research work?
  • How do we develop an inclusive open science culture that is respectful of epistemological differences?
  • How do we square developments towards data science, algorithms, and artificial intelligence with open science principles and practices?
  • How can open science enable the communication field to be inspired by, and inspire, adjacent fields?
  • How do we educate both emerging and established communication scholars about open science?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of different actors (universities, funders, associations, research groups, journals, individual researchers)?

Submission guidelines for the ICA 2020 theme category:

  • All submissions must focus on the topic of Open Communication;
  • Work that debates, advances, or practices open science principles in communication can be submitted as papers so as to allow the theme chair to create panels that discuss and/or showcase open science practices;
  • Panels for the theme should be cross-divisional (having broad appeal across all units of ICA),
  • Innovative (and interactive) and educational formats are encouraged.
  • Submissions to theme sessions must follow all general guidelines put forward by ICA. Proposals for papers and panels on the conference theme are invited from all sectors of the field, and will be evaluated competitively by anonymous reviewers selected by the theme chair. Submissions deemed to fit only the interests of one division or interest group rather than the conference as a whole will be forwarded to that group for consideration. Papers or panels submitted to the theme must not be submitted simultaneously for consideration to any division or interest group.

    Panel proposals on the conference theme must include a 400-word rationale explaining how the panel fits the conference theme plus a separate 75-word summary of the description to appear in the conference program.

    General Proposals

    As always: papers, posters, and panels that apply to general communication topics not having to do with theme are also welcome. These are organized within the 32 ICA divisions and interest groups’ Calls for Papers, the submission guidelines for which will be enumerated on the ICA website in August.

    All panel submissions (general and theme) should:

  • include contributions from at least two different countries,
  • feature gender balance, and
  • include not more than one contributor from a single faculty, department or school;

  • For other questions related to the 2020 conference theme, please contact the Conference Theme Chair.

    Conference Theme Chair
    Eike Mark Rinke
    U of Leeds

    Conference Program Chair
    Claes de Vreese
    U of Amsterdam

    General Guidelines for All Submissions

    ALL Divisions and Interest Groups will accept only online submissions for the conference. Specific questions regarding a Division or Interest Group program should be directed to the program planner for that Division or Interest Group.

    The following guidelines apply to ALL submissions, including theme sessions and proposals by affiliate organizations. NOT FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES MAY DISQUALIFY YOUR SUBMISSION FROM REVIEW.


    Deadline: All submissions must be completed online no later than 1 November (12:00 PM EST ICA headquarters time zone). To avoid technical problems, early submission is strongly encouraged. The conference submission website will go online around 4 September. To reach the conference website, go to the ICA homepage at http://www.icahdq.org and follow the link for Paper Submission Website.

    Eligibility: You do not need to be an ICA member to submit a paper or proposal for the conference. Simply go to the paper submission site and you will be prompted to create a new profile, if you do not already have one. Our paper submission system is no longer tied to our membership database. When creating your new profile, please consider carefully the keywords that identify your area of expertise - or scroll down to continue to the submission site.

    E-mail address: Each conference participant must use one and only one e-mail address for all submissions. If you are an ICA member, this should be the same e-mail address you have entered into the ICA membership database. You should consider this your unique identification for all ICA purposes.

    Exclusive submissions: Each paper/proposal may be submitted to only one Division or Interest Group, OR to the theme sessions. Submission of the same paper/proposal to more than one section is not permitted, and will disqualify the paper for presentation. You are welcome, however, to submit different papers or proposals to the same or different sections.

    Categories of Submissions: Several categories of submissions may be accepted, depending on the submission guidelines of the specific Division or Interest Group. NOT FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES MAY DISQUALIFY YOUR SUBMISSION FROM REVIEW.

    Full Papers   8,000 words maximum, not including tables and references, unless Division or Interest Group guidelines state otherwise. (Where ICA guidelines and Division or Interest Group guidelines differ, the Division or Interest Group guidelines will prevail.)
    Extended Abstracts   A few Divisions and Interest Groups accept either full papers or extended abstracts. Consult the Division’s or Interest Group’s submission guidelines in this Call for Papers for specific information. 
    Interactive Paper (Poster) Presentations   Most Divisions and Interest Groups accept poster presentations. A poster presentation is a paper you would like considered for presentation at an interactive poster session. Some research lends itself well to this style of presentation. If your poster presentation is accepted, you will be expected to prepare a poster display of your research for presentation at the conference. Your presentation may be accepted as a poster display even though you submitted for a paper session. If your submission is accepted as a poster, you will be expected to prepare a poster display of your research for presentation at the conference. Poster sessions have plenary status at ICA conferences. 
    Panel Session Proposals   Most Divisions and Interest Groups and the theme sessions accept proposals for organized panel sessions.

    Division and Interest Group program planners will assemble all accepted submissions into sessions and assign them to the format (paper session or poster session) that provides the most coherent scholarly program.

    Registering for the Conference

    Submission of your paper or proposal does NOT enroll you as an ICA member or automatically register you for the conference itself. If your paper or proposal is accepted for presentation at the annual conference, you will be notified in mid-January and must then register for the conference and pay the conference fee. An online membership application is always available on the ICA homepage. Online registration for the conference will me made available online in January.

    Everyone planning to attend the conference must complete the registration process. 

    Submitting a paper, extended abstract, or interactive poster presentation


    Preparing the file: Before submitting, consult the guidelines in the Call for Papers and have your paper or extended abstract ready to upload as a single document (maximum length 8,000 words, not including tables and references, unless Division or Interest Group guidelines state otherwise). All online submissions must be in PDF format. All tables, graphs, and pictures associated with your submission must be included with the main text in a single document.

    Author identification: Names must be removed for blind reviews of submissions. Before uploading your paper, remove all author identification from the document including any file properties. (For example, in MS Word, in the “File” menu, select “Properties,” delete any identifying information, click “OK,” and save the document.) NOT FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES MAY DISQUALIFY YOUR SUBMISSION FROM REVIEW.

    Additional information: Title (15-word limit), author(s), a 75-word description, and other information (e.g., student authorship, special requests) must be entered online when you submit your paper, poster, or extended abstract. To begin the submission process, visit the conference page on the ICA website, register as a submitter, select the Division or Interest Group and type of submission, enter all required information, click “Continue,” AND follow the instructions to upload your document. You must upload a paper, poster, or extended abstract in order to complete the submission process.

    Submitting a panel session proposal


    Registering panelists: All panelists must agree in advance of submission to participate as panel presenters AND to register for the ICA conference. ICA does NOT provide registration waivers for members or for nonmembers participating in panels.

    Texts needed: If your panel session will include individual presentations, you (the session organizer) also need to obtain a title and 75-word abstract from each presenter before submitting. Also before submitting, you need to prepare a 400-word rationale for your panel proposal and a 75-word panel description for the conference program.

    Entering the panel: If you are the panel organizer, once you have the required information for each participant, you will then visit the website, submit the panel proposal, and enter all panel information. You will be able to enter the panel title, rationale, panel description, chair/discussant, presentation titles, abstracts, and any other required information by cutting and pasting the text from your word-processing program.

    Changing or deleting a submission

    Changing title or abstract: Up until the deadline of 1 November (12:00 PM EST ICA headquarters time zone) you may return to the conference website, select “View/Edit a previous submission,” click on the title of the submission you wish to change, and edit the information or delete the submission. Follow online instructions for editing submissions.

    Changing text: You can change a document, by re-uploading thus replacing the current pdf. To protect yourself from self-plagiarism, please note in your submission if you have submitted your paper to another conference or publication that has the possibility of being accepted prior to ICA’s conference acceptance. When in doubt, communicate with your group’s program chair.

    Changing Unit: You also CANNOT simply change the unit (Division or Interest Group) to which you submitted. If you need to send your submission to a different unit, you can do so in either of two ways: (1) Delete your submission and resubmit to a different unit, OR (2) e-mail your request to the Conference Program Chair, who can transfer your submission to a different unit.

    Ethical Considerations

    Authorship: Authors must give credit through references or notes to the original author of any idea or concept presented in the paper or proposal. This includes direct quotations and paraphrases.

    Publication or presentation history: If material in your presentation has been published, presented, or accepted for publication or presentation, this must be disclosed in your paper or proposal and may make your submission ineligible, depending on the Division/Interest Group.

    Conference attendance: If your panel, paper, or interactive display presentation is accepted for an ICA conference, you have a commitment to register for and attend the conference and perform your assigned role. All chairs and respondents also make this commitment. If extenuating circumstances prevent you from attending, you should find a substitute to perform your duties and notify the program chair and Division or Interest Group contact person.

    Self-Plagiarism (or duplicate publications): Self-plagiarism involves an author presenting earlier published material as original and new. Self-plagiarism is often not an issue, but it must be transparent and limited. A critical issue involved in self-plagiarism is the degree to which it is clear whether the author is drawing from earlier manuscripts/research. Covert self-plagiarism occurs when the author is not transparent when drawing from earlier manuscripts or research; this can constitute a serious ethical transgression.

    Types of covert self-plagiarism include:

    • Covert Duplicate Publication / Presentation – Submitting a paper to a journal or conference which had been previously published in a journal or conference proceedings.
    • Covert Redundant Publication – Occurs when some portion of previously published data is used again in a new publication with no indication that the data had been published earlier.
    • Covert text recycling – Reusing portions of previously published text in a new publication without a reference to the origin of the earlier published text.
    • Covert fragmented publication (salami strategy) – Occurs when a complex study is broken down into two or more components and each component is analyzed and published as a separate paper.

    For more information on ICA's Publication Policies, please follow this link.


    Click each unit name to read its call for papers.

    Activism, Communication and Social Justice Interest Group

    Children, Adolescents & the Media Division

    Communication & Technology Division

    Communication History Division

    Communication Law & Policy Division

    Communication Science and Biology Interest Group

    Computational Methods Interest Group

    Environmental Communication Division

    Ethnicity & Race in Communication Division

    Feminist Scholarship Division

    Game Studies Division

    Global Communication/Social Change Division

    Health Communication Division

    Human-Machine Communication Interest Group

    Information Systems Division

    Instructional and Developmental Communication Division

    Intercultural Communication Division

    Intergroup Communication Division

    Interpersonal Communication Division

    Journalism Studies Division

    Language & Social Interaction Division

    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Interest Group

    Mass Communication Division

    Media Industry Studies Interest Group

    Mobile Communication Interest Group

    Organizational Communication Division

    Philosophy, Theory and Critique Division

    Political Communication Division

    Popular Communication Division

    Public Diplomacy Interest Group

    Public Relations Division

    Sports Communication Interest Group

    Visual Communication Studies Division