Open Scholarship
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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.

ICA has adopted the term Open Scholarship in recognition of the epistemological and methodological diveristy in our field. This section of the website is provided to address ICA's initiatives with open scholarship, and to provide information on open science in general.

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Claes de Vreese
ICA President 2020-21
Chair of ICA Open Access and Open Scholarship Task Force

ICA Perspectives on Open Scholarship

Open science practices have been the subject of much debate in many fields, including communication. These debates were showcased most recently at the 2020 International Communication Association virtual conference. ICA YouTube channel

Communication scholars engaged in lively discussion on conceptual, procedural, and ethical aspects. Conceptually, communication scholars discussed, for example, whether open science standards of reproducibility and replicability may be at odds with certain types of qualitative scholarship; procedurally, some problematized the additional labor associated with manuscript preparation and review; and from an ethical point of view, some suggested open science practices to be colonial in that they privilege academic voices over the subaltern voices of researched subjects. Indeed, debates over the appropriateness of the “open science” label led ICA to adopt a more inclusive “open scholarship” in recognition of the epistemological and methodological diversity in our field. Proponents of open science practices suggest that transparency will help ensure robustness in communication scholarship, and opponents argue that these practices privilege some forms of scholarship while diminishing others. What is important is that the field of Communication, and ICA as a premier Association, continue the dialogue about Open Scholarship going forward. This is both beneficial to the field and a necessity to have a response to exogenous calls from e.g., funders to how this is dealt with in our field.

An Agenda for Open Science in Communication

Published in Journal of Communication 13 March 2020

Abstract: In the last 10 years, many canonical findings in the social sciences appear unreliable. This so-called “replication crisis” has spurred calls for open science practices, which aim to increase the reproducibility, replicability, and generalizability of findings. Communication research is subject to many of the same challenges that have caused low replicability in other fields. As a result, we propose an agenda for adopting open science practices in Communication, which includes the following seven suggestions: (1) publish materials, data, and code; (2) preregister studies and submit registered reports; (3) conduct replications; (4) collaborate; (5) foster open science skills; (6) implement Transparency and Openness Promotion Guidelines; and (7) incentivize open science practices. Although in our agenda we focus mostly on quantitative research, we also reflect on open science practices relevant to qualitative research. We conclude by discussing potential objections and concerns associated with open science practices.

ICA Open Scholarship Member Survey

As one of the largest scholarly associations in the communication field, we are interested in understanding how ICA members perceive what have been broadly referred to as “open scholarship practices." In a brief survey we asked members a series of open-ended and other types of questions about their perceptions of, knowledge of, and experience with various open scholarship practices.

By surveying ICA members, we hope to better understand how communication scholars understand and engage with open scholarship, as well as any criticisms or concerns of the practices. Results are forthcoming and will be shared with all members.

Open Science Badges at ICA

ICA supports Open Science Badges to acknowledge open science practices. These voluntary badges are offered for those who would like to share data and materials and preregister research, and signal to the reader that the content has been made available in a persistent location. These badges will feature in the published article as well as on the website. When submitting a manuscript, authors should indicate the desired badge, and include a completed Open Science Badge application form and eligibility will be confirmed upon acceptance. During the paper submission process, authors can also mark their desired badges. These badges will appear in the conference print program.

The three badges are as follows:

  • Open Materials Badge: This badge acknowledges authors who deposit research materials in an Open Access repository; for example, the Open Science Framework (for other repositories please consult the Registry of Research Data Repositories). Open materials criteria can be found on the OSF - open materials badge criteria page, and a link should be given in the submitted paper with a link to the deposited materials.
  • Open Data Badge: This badge acknowledges authors who deposit their data in an Open Access repository (either an entire dataset or part of it, or a transformed dataset, as long as an independent researcher can reproduce the reported results). Criteria can be found on the OSF - open data badge criteria page, and a link to the deposited data should be included in the paper.
  • Preregistered Badge: This badge acknowledges preregistered research in an institutional registration system (e.g. Open Science Framework). Registration should predate the intervention, and the design and analysis plan should correspond directly to the design and analysis. Full disclosure of results is needed in accordance with the preregistered plan. More information can be found on the OSF - preregistered badge page.

Please note that for all three badges, manuscripts should contain a link to data, materials, or preregistered research in the Open Science Framework or other recognized repository.

Frequently Asked Questions about Open Access

Find answers to frequently asked questions regarding open access policies, charges, and funder policies at Oxford University Press.

We note that this FAQ is compiled by Oxford University Press and not by ICA.

Availability of Data and Materials Statement

Where ethically feasible, ICA encourages authors to make all data on which the conclusions of the paper rely available to readers. Authors are required to include a Data Availability Statement in their article.

We suggest that data be presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files, or deposited in a public repository whenever possible. Information on general repositories for all data types, and a list of recommended repositories by subject area, is available here.

Data Availability Statement

The inclusion of a Data Availability Statement is a requirement for articles published in ICA journals. The statement may refer to original data generated in the course of the study or to third-party data analyzed in the article. The statement should describe and provide means of access, where possible, by linking to the data or providing the required unique identifier.

The Data Availability Statement should be included in the article under the heading ‘Data availability’. More information and example Data Availability Statements can be found here.

Statement: The journal encourages the public release of data but does not require it, but does require a data availability statement as part of the article.

ICA20: Open Communication

The ICA 2020 conference had as its theme Open Communication. This theme was chaired by Eike Rinke (Leeds U).

ICA YouTube channel

ICA2020 Theme description:

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.

What is Gold Open Access?

Articles and/or journals that are peer-reviewed, fully open and free to all, and typically funded by Article Processing Charges, rather than subscriptions. Gold open access articles include those articles published in fully open access journals, or hybrid journals, where individual articles published in traditional subscriptions journals are made open access. A paper published via Gold open access is free-to-view and reuse with attribution under a Creative Commons license.

What is Green Open Access?

A paper is published in a traditional subscription journal, with the final accepted version (pre-production or copyediting) deposited in a repository, making the article freely available. There may be an embargo period before the deposited article can be made available.

What is an Article Processing Charge (APC)?

The fee that the author pays in order to have their article made Open Access. Although open access publications are free to read and view, there are costs at every stage of the publication process, including but not limited to running peer-review systems, copyediting and typesetting, and hosting the article in perpetuity on dedicated servers. Many institutions and countries have mandates for publishing open access, as well as dedicated funding for open access. Typically, funders or institutions will cover the APC for the author.

What is Hybrid Open Access?

If an article is published in a traditional, subscription journal, the author can pay an APC to have their article made Open Access within the journal it is published in.

What are Creative Commons licenses?
  • Many Open Access journals and articles publish under a Creative Commons license, which allows for distribution and reuse with varying degrees of restrictions. ICA typically uses a CC BY license.
    • CC-BY Creative Commons Attribution License
      • The license permits others to use, reproduce, disseminate or display the article in any way, including for commercial purposes, so long as they credit the author for the original creation.

Are Open Access Journals Peer Reviewed?

ICA ensures that the same high standards of rigorous peer review are employed on our OA journals as are used on our subscription journals. This is upheld by the journals’ editors. Each journal has its peer review policy clearly outlined in its Submission Guidelines. Journals utilize a double-blind peer review process.

Does ICA have Open Access Journals?

Yes, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. All other ICA core Journals are hybrid journals.

Can articles in traditional journals be made open access?

Journal of Communication; Human Communication Research; Communication Theory; Communication, Culture, & Critique, Annals of the International Communication Association offer the option of publishing under either a standard license or an open access license. Should you wish to publish your article open access, you should select your choice of open access license in the online submission system after your article has been accepted for publication. You will need to pay an open access charge to publish under an open access license.

OUP has a growing number of Read and Publish agreements with institutions and consortia which provide funding for open access publishing. This means authors from participating institutions can publish open access, and the institution may pay the charge. Find out if your institution is participating.

For Annals, please visit the Taylor & Francis Author Services website.

Please email the open access ( team and we can arrange this for you.

Does Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication have an APC?

Although policy may change in the future, there are currently no APCs for JCMC.

Is article funding available?

Are waivers available for authors for Research4Life countries?
Yes, in general, publishers offer automatic waiving to authors from these countries. For more information, please visit:

Preprint policy

Authors retain the right to make an Author’s Original Version* (preprint) available through various channels, and this does not prevent submission to ICA journals. If accepted, the authors are required to update the status of any preprint, including your published paper’s DOI: This article has been accepted for publication in [Journal Title] Published by [Publisher].

*The Author’s Original Version (AOV) is the un-refereed author version of an article as submitted for publication in a journal. This is sometimes known as the “preprint” version. The author accepts full responsibility for this version of the article, and the content and layout is set out by the author.

Further reading