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General Questions



What is ICA?

The International Communication Association is the largest international academic association that aims to advance the scholarly study of human communication by encouraging and facilitating excellence in academic research worldwide. For more information, see the welcome message from the President and ICA's mission statement. You can also read more about ICA's history.


What does ICA do?

ICA's activities fall into three main categories:

1. Holds an annual conference of some 2600+ academics in the field of communication from around the world, along with smaller regional conferences.

2. Publishes a number of high quality journals and related publications, both broad-ranging and specialized.

3. Supports the research activities of its members. This includes a prestigious series of annual awards; representation to professional, funding and policy agencies; enabling collaboration, dissemination and publicity for the field; and facilitating the activities of its many divisions and interest groups.


How does ICA work?

ICA is a membership organisation run by a Board of Directors in accordance with its Bylaws. Click here to view the formal organizational structure.


The Board of Directors consists of the President, President-Elect, President-Elect Select, Immediate Past President, Past President, General Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Director, the Chairperson of each of 30+ Divisions and Interest Groups, two Board Student & Early Career Representatives, and three Board Members-at-Large.


A subcommittee of the Board of Directors consisting of the President, President-Elect, President Elect-Select, Immediate Past President, Past President, General Secretary, Treasurer, and Executive Director is formed as the Executive Committee. The Executive Director serves as a nonvoting, ex-officio member of the Executive Committee and the Board, and also manages the ICA Office in Washington including its staff.


ICA maintains a series of standing committees and task forces to conduct its business in relation to membership, internationalisation, publications, liaison with other agencies, etc, annual awards, and ad hoc task forces.


Where is the ICA office and how can I contact ICA?

ICA welcomes queries from academics, students, policy-makers, the press, and others. General contact information is as follows:


International Communication Association

1500 21st Street NW

Washington, DC  20036 USA

Phone:  (01)202.955-1444

Fax:  (01)202.955.1448


For specific staff contact details, click here.


Who does what at the ICA office?

ICA has six paid staff positions:


Executive Director

The Executive Director is the direct link between the association's staff and its Board of Directors (Officers). She is an ex-officio member of the Board and provides counsel to the Board in matters of non-profit law and association best practices. Her primary purpose is to see to it that all functions of the Board and association staff are carried out for the good of the association. The Executive Director combines data-based risk analyses and personal experience to make decisions affecting the organization. She also compiles the organization's annual budget for review by the Executive Committee and Board. The Executive Director also researches possible locations for ICA's annual conferences and presents them to the Board of Directors for study and final site selection. As well, the Executive Director is the primary decision-maker for all operational functions of the staff office, seeing to it that staff-assigned duties are carried out in an efficient manner. Responsibilities also include facilities management of the organization's property, human resources decisions, and the operationalization of decisions made byt the Board of Directors.


Associate Executive Director

In the absence of the Executive Director, the AED represents ICA at co-sponsored events such as regional conferences, and as an exhibitor at affiliated organizations' conferences. The AED also fields all media requests and is the point person for all public outreach, including press releases, public lectures, social media and publisher relations, and is in charge of strategy for the association’s publications. The AED also provides backup and technical support to the Board of Directors, including preparing the minutes of meetings.


Senior Manager of Governance

The Senior Manager of Governance is primarily responsible for all areas affecting the management of ICA’s governance processes, including but not limited to overseeing committee and task force management and appointments processes, working closely with the Division and Interest Group Mentoring and Coordination Committee, and managing Division and Interest Group administration including elections, maintenance of individuals’ membership in those groups, and strategizing when a group needs to be sunset or elevated. 


Conference Services Manager/Office Manager

This role is responsible for implementation of the day-to-day operations of ICA, including serving as the primary contact for vendor relations/building management. She assists the Executive Director with conference logistics, handles website management/editing, is the primary support and technical administrator for planners and reviewers for the conference submission process, and handles the Accounts Payable function.


Assistant Manager of Member Services

The first liaison between ICA members and the Association, this role’s responsibilities lie in the areas of membership data processing. This includes updating member records, processing new and renewing membership applications, processing dues payments and conference registrations. This position is also responsible for managing the Association's accounts receivables and newsletter advertising.


How can I get involved with ICA?

Members are active in ICA in various ways, most commonly through their division or interest group membership (informal queries to section chairs are always welcome). Some are appointed to the various committees and task forces (constituted on an annual basis by the incoming President). Many undertake reviewing for the annual conference and/or journals (simply inform the section chair or editor of your willingness to serve as a reviewer).


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Does ICA rent or sell membership address information?

Yes. Our mailing labels are available for ONE TIME use only.  We do not include email addresses on membership labels.  Labels are available electronically or pressure sensitive labels.

Select the Advertise link and select the "address label order form" from the main page.


Is advertising available through ICA?

There are two ways to advertise: You can advertise on icahdq.org, or in the ICA Newsletter. For more info Click here. Learn about advertising and exhibit opportunities at our annual conferences by following this link.





How does ICA facilitate communication among members?

The easiest way for members to communicate with each other is through the online Member Search function. Once a member has logged in, they can access Member Search Under Resources. Search functions include looking up by first or last name, a member's section, geographic location, their keywords, research areas, and any combination of each criterion. Each ICA member creates a profile providing information others may opt to search for. For example, if a member indicates that he or she is willing to be a conference paper reviewer, someone looking for reviewers can locate the member by performing a search for that criteria.


Conferences also provide a venue for members to visit and catch up with each other. The association-wide annual conference usually takes place at the end of May or in June when held in a location outside North America. Regional conferences also provide the opportunity to meet with other members. Regional conferences take place throughout the year in various parts of the world.


ICA has a presence on social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as well. Breaking news regarding submissions, the conference, journal CFPs, etc are all disseminated through several platforms.  



What fields or specialties are included in ICA?

Members can join one or more sections of the organization, depending on their interests. At present, there are 32 sections (divisions or interest groups). Together, these cover many areas of specialty within the field of communication, broadly defined. These change on occasion, reflecting the interest of members and developments within the field.



Who are the members of ICA?

As of December 2016, ICA has over 4,500 individual members. Most are academics or doctoral students though some are from professions related in one way or another to the field of communication research. Members are drawn from across the social sciences and humanities, as befits the multidisciplinary nature of the field.


Members come from 85 countries worldwide, though approximately 59% are in the United States, 22% from Europe, 11% in Asia, 4% in non-US Americas, and 3% in Africa and Oceania. ICA is seeking to further internationalize its membership, and welcomes new members from around the world.

Why should I join ICA?

ICA is an international association for scholars interested in the study of all aspects of human and mediated communication. We are dedicated to promoting research and bringing the results of that research to bear on problems and issues of society. As a dynamic and growing organization, ICA encourages its members to become involved in its activities.


The many benefits offered to individual, institutional and association members are outlined here, along with information on how to join and on membership fees (including reduced rates for students and for faculty from United Nations B and C countries based on the World Bank’s indicators of Gross National Income here).


How do I become a member and what are the various membership types?

ICA membership is simple and easy.  Simply select the "Join/Renew" link on the ICA's homepage. You are then given a list of membership types that best suit your situation.


Membership Types


Professional Level



All before PhD is awarded


Employment Exception Membership

Includes PhDs who are:

·       no longer students but do not yet have a permanent position but may be putting together a living wage by teaching part time in several universities during the same academic year,

·       only on a visiting appointment for one year but have no future employment at that or any other university or organization,

·       on a fixed term contract for less than 3 years such as research associates or research fellows,

·       on other part time arrangements both within and outside academe.

**Individuals must apply to use this membership category.**



Includes complimentary conference registration



Includes unlimited divisions and free registration for ICA's annual conference


Special Membership Types




Available to Associations and offers it's members a discounted ICA Conference rate but not full membership benefits.



Available to Departments, Colleges and Universities



Membership includes a primary member and a secondary for a reduced price


Each membership type is that is available online is also available as a printed application if you prefer.  




What does ICA membership include?

    Opportunities to network with colleagues who share your teaching and research interests worldwide

    Subscriptions to six professional journals

    -Communication, Culture, and Critique

    -Communication Theory

    -Human Communication Research -Journal of Communication -Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (online), and The Annals of the International Communication Association (formerly Communication Yearbook)

    Access to all previously published journals online dating back to the first issue of the Journal of Communication in 1951!

    Book series discounts

    -Communication in the Public Interest - Wiley

    -ICA  Handbook series - Routledge

    -The International Encyclopedia of Communication – Wiley  

    Annual conferences at member rates with special hotel rates.

    Access to membership in 32 sections (divisions and interest groups) and their related websites

    Member-only section of the ICA website for the latest information, online access to ICA journals, the ICA membership directory, and the latest newsletters

    Access to the ICA Newsletter, published 10 times per year which includes job listings, association and member news and calls for papers

    Communication Yearbook at a members-only discount

    Publishers' discounts on certain journals and books

    Membership discount in the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (CIOS) (What is CIOS?)

    ICA's web site which contains the latest information and allows for on-line registration for conferences and membership renewals




What do the tiers mean?

ICA has a triple-tiered dues structure following the UN model for A, B, and C countries, based on the World Bank's indicators of Gross National Income. You will need to know which tier your country is in, in order to determine your dues. Residents of B-tier countries pay 75% of the A-tier price and residents of C-tier countries pay 50% of the A-tier price.



Why are institutional memberships $250 with the same benefits as a regular member?

Universities that do not pay or reimburse for individual faculty association memberships may take advantage of the Institutional membership as a group membership. Faculty to be associated with the membership are listed on the application. The department is billed for all members on one invoice. The department is billed $195 above the initial $250 for each additional associate. Each associate is treated as a full member of ICA with individual privileges and their own unique member ID # and password. All receive their own journals and also gain access to the members only section and all of the past journals, etc. just as a Regular ICA member can. They also get the reduced rate for our annual conference.

Why do I have to renew in September if I just paid in May?

In an effort to reduce costs, the ICA Board of Directors voted in 2001 to establish a single membership renewal date, rather than 12 monthly, anniversary-based renewal dates. The new membership year starts 1 October of each year. A member joining at any other time of the year, gets the full benefits and resources that were afforded to members who joined earlier in the year. The Board felt it would be unfair to those members who paid full-rate at the start of the dues year if we pro-rated dues for newer members and then offered the same benefits. In other words, because a total year's worth of membership benefits is available to new and renewing members, ICA bills the full rate throughout the dues year.


One example of on-going member benefits is the online journals. Even if joining mid-year, members can still access all the past issues (30 years worth!) of the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, and Communication Theory. The journals are searchable by author, title of article or key words. Let us know if you have questions about how to access the journals.

How do I change/update my membership profile?

To change your profile you must be logged into the member's only area of the website. Once logged in select Manage Profile.  This will give you the option to update and change any information.


Why can't I access the Member's Only Section with my ID and password?

There could be several reasons why you are unable to gain access to the member's only area.  If your membership is inactive it will no longer allow you access to the member's only section. If you believe that your membership is current and active and you are still unable to gain access, please email membership at membership@icahdq.org.


If you are a paper submitter you do not have access to the member's only area of the website. Paper submitters are given the opportunity to create and ID and password in order to submit a paper for ICA's annual conference. The ID and password that is created for paper submission only gives you access to the paper submission site.  In order to have access to the members-only area you would need to apply for membership.


Who are the ICA Fellows and what is their role?

(Members: for more information see also Bylaws, Article V)

Click here for a list of the ICA Fellows


Fellow status in the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION is primarily a recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication. The primary consideration for nomination to Fellow status is a documented record of scholarly achievement. Secondary consideration is given to such criteria as service to the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION and socially or professionally significant service to other publics such as business, government, education, etc.



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How do I obtain ICA Conference information?

Participation in ICA's conferences is open to everyone, members and nonmembers. Forthcoming conferences, including ICAs major annual conference, along with planned regional and co-sponsored conferences, are listed on our conference information pages on this web site. Nonmembers are welcome to participate in these conferences.


Students welcome!

ICA welcomes graduate students as members and conference participants. Students pay a reduced membership fee and conference registration fee. There is also an annual travel fund to support student participation in the annual conference. Since all submissions to ICA's conferences and journals are reviewed blind, acceptance decisions are made on the basis of merit not professional status.  The Student and Early-Career Scholars Committee, chaired and run by student and early-career scholars themselves, serves the needs and interests of student members and recommends and promotes policy and activities to enhance student involvement in ICA. The chair(s) of this committee can be contacted here.



What does the conference fee include?

The conference fee includes the conference program and conference materials (ie, mobile app, name badge, badge holder, etc).  It also includes access to all sessions, plenaries, awards ceremonies, business meetings, non-divisional and divisional receptions, including the opening reception and the dance party, both favorites among attendees.  It does not include pre-conferences, hotel accommodations or travel expenses.



When is the paper submission deadline?

The deadline for paper submission is always 1 November, unless that falls on a weekend in which case it is the following Monday at 16:00 UTC.



How can I upload a new version of my paper?

For presenters who have had papers accepted the paper site is made available 1 April to 30 April of each year to upload revisions.



When can I access conference papers to read before the conference? And do I have to attend the conference in order to access papers afterwards?

Papers are made available beginning the first week of May to all who have registered for the conference. A special access code is distributed to registrants via email and through the conference program. Papers are only available for a 60-day period after conference. This is done so that researchers wishing to publish the same paper in another journal can still do so. Some publishers consider a period longer than 60 days as having been published thereby disqualifying said paper from being published again.



How do I get a letter of invitation?

A request form for a letter of invitation to attend or present research at an ICA conference is made available on the conference web site in mid-January of each year, the same day that conference pre-registration site is opened, the housing block opens at our headquarters hotel, and acceptance/rejection notifications are made.



Why am I not getting emails about my paper status?

In some cases, university SPAM filters block emails coming from a broadcast engine.  You will need to work with your university's IT department (the system administrator) to have them allow access for email coming from the "icahdq.org domain."  ICA members can always go to their Message Center on the MyICA page (the members only homepage) to view emails sent to them from ICA. The same is true for emails about a submitted paper. In this instance, however, the Message Center is found at the paper management site, NOT the ICA members only site.



Does ICA use a peer review process?

Yes, ICA uses peer review for both journals and conference submissions.  The journals have roughly an 11% acceptance rate and the conference has about a 44% acceptance rate.




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Sections - Divisions and Interest Groups



How are divisions and interest groups established and can they be changed?

As stated in the bylaws, a group 2% or more of the active members of the association may petition the Executive Director to establish an Interest Group. An interest group appoints its own officers, is allocated conference sessions, and is represented in the Board of Directors, but does not have voting rights.

An interest group reaching the size of 5% or more members of ICA for at least two consecutive years may apply to become a division. A division appoints its own offices, is allocated conference sessions, and has voting status on the Board of Directors via its Chair. If interest groups or divisions decrease in size, their status may be revoked, as stated in the bylaws.



How do I join a division or interest group?

Members can join divisions or interest groups by logging in to your profile. Once logged in, select the "Groups" link under the Community Links section. Complete the form and submit.


Is there a fee to join a division or interest group?

There is a fee to join divisions and interest groups. Most start at US$3, but over the years many have raised their dues slightly to cover certain expenses unique to their group. These fees help the division during conference time to fund any group activities such as receptions or awards.


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Where is ICA's formal basis specified?

ICA's bylaws are the key governance document. They specify:

    the purposes and rationale of the organization

    the categories of membership

    the election, terms of office and role of all ICA officers

    the role of the Executive Committee

    the meetings of the Board of Directors

    the appointment of the Fellows

    how to establish special interest groups and new divisions

    management of ICA finances

    the status of ICA publications


How often does the Board of Directors meet and what does it do?

The Board of Directors meets twice each year: the midyear Board Meeting is in January and the Annual Board Meeting occurs the day prior to the start of the Annual Conference. Anyone is able to attend and view the proceedings, but may not participate with the decision processes. The Board sets policy, oversees the fiscal health of the organization, and ensures that the ICA's functions fall within the scope of the organization's Mission Statement.



What is the role of the President?

Please refer to the ICA Bylaws, SECTION 7. DUTIES OF OFFICERS.



When and how do ICA elections for officers take place?

Please refer to SECTION 5. NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS of the ICA Bylaws


Where can I find the Board agenda and minutes?

Access for ICA members only, click here.



How do ICA's finances work?

Please refer to ARTICLE X: Finances of the ICA Bylaws.

Does ICA have a code of ethics?

Yes. ICA's code of ethics may be viewed here