September 2013

Council of Communication Associations (CCA) September 16, 2013

National Communication Association 1765 N Street, NW | Washington, DC 20036 Washington, DC 20036

Present: Fred Blevens (AJHA); Jim Dubinsky (ABC); Elizabeth Toth (AEJMC); Barry Umansky, Heather Birks, Mary Schaffer, and Greg Newton (BEA); Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz (CID); Wendy Fernando, JP Gutierrez (ICA); Trevor Parry-Giles and Nancy Kidd (NCA); Concetta Seminara (Taylor-Francis)

Organizations with no representation: BCCA, ASJMC

0930-1000: Administrative Concerns

  • ∗  Meeting called to order at 0930 by Fred Blevens, Chair, CCA
  • ∗  Introductions; we learned about Jeanne Dixon, who owned the NCA building.
  • ∗  Agenda reviewed and approved.
  • ∗  Minutes from March 2013 reviewed and accepted.
  • ∗  Financial Report –Heather Birks offered an overview; explained about taxes, paying

    for Jim Testa’s visit in March, and for InterCultural Dialogue website. Overall, we are

    in fine financial shape

  • ∗  JP Gutierrez asked about new members; as new business, this issue was tabled to

    this afternoon.

    1000-1200: CCA and its organizations’ journals

    Discussed Impact Factors, Journal Quality, and Communication Journals: A Report for the Council of Communication Associations by Trevor Parry-Giles, NCA. Trevor led discussion.

  • ∗  Background: Brief discussion of an earlier report by Charles Self (goal to get more Comm journals listed in ISI, which has been successful). Problem – humanities journals discriminated against.
  • ∗  Key Points (Summary):

o Citation Indexing to Journal Impact Factors to Journal Quality
o Used Shepherd Citation (Law Index) as model
o Confusion about what Thomson Reuters offers (Citation Index – which is an

index of citations)
o Journal Citation Reports (56 categories for Social Sciences); this is where

impact factors
o Testa suggesting including Humanities journals in Arts and Humanities

Citation Index
o Calculate : total # citations to article in given year; add to another year;

divide by total number of articles published
o See slides in report on Calculating Impact Factors

CCA Minutes (Sep 2013) 2

o Thomson Reuters (Median /aggregate impact factors) Comm does actually well

o History/cultural studies do not do scholarship in same ways as those in social sciences

o Concerns about impact factors:
! Measure citations, not quality or impact
! Improperly used
! Contribute to defining the discipline
! May be subject to manipulation
! May result from variety of forces unrelated to citations

o Communication was not defined as humanities would have counted 20 years vs. five; would have counted books five to one

o AlternativeMetrics
! SCImago Journal Ranking – Elsevier’s Scopus database
! Google Scholar Metrics – couldn’t get beyond top 20 journals ! Microsoft Academic Search
! Harzing’s Listing

Recommendations in report
o CCA and its member associations should pursue extensive educational and

outreach initiatives to educate members, administrators, and other interested parties about the nature and quality of the journal impact factor as a measure of journal quality, research quality, or research influence.

o CCA and its member associations should disseminate information and data about the manner of data collection for impact factors, should monitor the uses and misuses of impact factors, and should closely assess the relative and longitudinal status of individual journal impact factors for sponsored publications.

o CCA and its member associations should guard against the misuse of journal impact factors and make public examples of such misuse when they occur.

o CCA and its member associations should work closely with their publishing partners to offer readers and audiences the fullest possible assessment of research and journal quality and influence through the dissemination of alternative metrics of same.

o CCA and its member associations should reconstitute its ISI Task force to consider the full range of methods to assess journal and research impact and quality, freeing the task force from its exclusive focus on the ISI/Thomson- Reuters system.

Discussion of Report

  • ∗  Wendy reported hearing from colleagues in SE Asia, who depend on impact

    factors; also hearing from colleagues in France, who seldom paid attention.

    Hears that people want a single metric (quick/dirty assessment)

  • ∗  Nancy – focus on resisting the notion of single metric
  • ∗  Focus on publications about ISI problems could help
  • ∗  Trevor: lots of narratives about Chinese scholars who get bonus to publish in ISI-

    ranked journal.

  • ∗  Wendy: looked at SSCI and rejection rates for tenure (in past)
  • ∗  Some concern about “Hegemony of ISI” in tenure and promotion processes

CCA Minutes (Sep 2013) 3

  • ∗  Fred — chaired P&T (10 cases)
  • ∗  Barry: “gaming the system” – is there a fear that Trevor underrates that issue?
  • ∗  Concetta: peer review? Exclusion? Metrics?
  • ∗  Jim suggests white paper signed (focusing on recommendations 2 and 4 above)
  • ∗  Trevor highlights SF Declaration about scientists resisting impact factor’s


  • ∗  Q: Where to publish a white paper? Who will read? A: Chronicle for Higher

    Education / Inside Higher Education

    o Wendy F– back page of Chronicle; Higher Ed

    o Wendy L-H: Publish journal article – too

  • ∗  Nancy – relying only on ISI is problematic

    o Things you can do (before ISI came about + others such as alt metrics)

    o Google Search – ISI criticism

  • ∗  Elizabeth: NRC study (and push back) – main criticism from U Chicago’s


  • ∗  Trevor – American Council of Learned Societies discussion?
  • ∗  Question about historians – not really an issue, but to media historians who are

    in social sciences the IF is huge

  • ∗  Survey at National Constitution Center – Trevor is Roger Sherman
  • ∗  Key is to help people see what ISI measures and its value
  • ∗  Educational piece — Comm adding voice to existing chorus
  • ∗  Elizabeth – self-study ask for citation index
  • ∗  Wendy – CCA has a weight far greater than the individual organizations
  • ∗  Trevor – alt. metrics are difficult to decipher
  • ∗  Nancy – need to find group of people focusing on research quality. Tom Feely

    (Buffalo), Tim Stephens, Michael Beatty were suggested.

  • ∗  Set of Comm Assoc – speaking to our people and how this affects us
  • ∗  Darcy Document – a start for Humanities focus (Linda Putnam, Linda Steiner)

o Proposal for a separate classification for Humanities Communication in Arts and Humanities Index – a warrant from Testa/interest

o Another Committee? Task force?
o ISI is not bad; does not always serve those of us in our discipline
o Nancy suggests that we should use the current expertise
o Fred – disseminate to administrators (use white paper that Trevor and

colleagues will draft by January)****ACTION ITEM

  • ∗  Wendy points out importance of case studies of inappropriate uses of impact


  • ∗  Jim asked about alternative ways for publishers to focus on metrics (#read/ #

    downloads and patterns)

  • ∗  Concetta and Trevor support; so does Wendy
  • ∗  Citation analysis – does it matter when they and why they cite you?

    Action Items

    Report Accepted with many thanks to Trevor and NCA

CCA Minutes (Sep 2013) 4

∗ Elizabeth moves action plan with understanding that NCA will lead this work considering the following components with one deadline:
o Research piece
o Opinion piece

o Declaration / White paper (by January)
o Direct email/mail to chairs/administrators

12:00 to 1:15. Lunch & Organization Update

BEA (Greg, Mary, Heather)

  • ∗  Convention about 175 submissions/ paper deadline 1 Dec
  • ∗  Invested in new online submission site for creative competition (Festival for

    Creative Arts) – 1200 entries to upload media and submission/judging

  • ∗  Working with NAB to daylong news director workshop (big names—think


  • ∗  Chips, Dips, and Dorks –Heather’s podcast on iTunes and FB
  • ∗  Greg and Mary attended World Journalism Conference along with many other

    BEA members (350 delegates from 57 different countries) – people from every discipline in media. Belgium (80% of people have college degrees) / South Africa – only 2% have college degrees (Meckland in Belgium); perhaps CCA present at this event?

  • ∗  Presented IGNITE session (Heather and Elizabeth were there too)

    AEJMC (Elizabeth)

  • ∗  Initiative at WJC (above) – underwrote this one and underwrote prizes; journalism education. Just had annual conference in D.C.; 100th anniversary
  • ∗  Took opportunity to have Centennial campaign and achieved $300K goal – funding new initiatives. Paul Poindexter and Elizabeth fly to Santiago, Chile for a regional, bilingual conference (using UMD’s new program in interpretation/translation)
  • ∗  Not having midwinter meeting and chip auction to plan conference to choose time slots six-seven concurrent; 0830 to 5:30, breakfast/tours. 4000 members. Lose some advantages for building leaders without the in-person meeting

    NCA (Nancy)

  • ∗  Spectra – NCA at 100 – themed issue
  • ∗  See Inside Higher Ed’s response to Dean from a School of Comm
  • ∗  Public Program at Newseum for 50th anniversary of I Have a Dream speech:

    Katherine Squires, and two others + two journalists who had covered civil rights; broadcast via CSPAN’s History channel and still accessible. Roger Mudd still there.

  • ∗  Focusing on UG e-journal: on their website.
  • ∗  Hosted first UG seniors conference this past summer.
  • ∗  Blog – four or five months: Communication Matters (teaching/scholarship)

    o TrevorandBrad(twoassocdirectors)
    o 100 followers and many posts – get social media

CCA Minutes (Sep 2013) 5

o Find via
! Search bar and list of categories —

o Doctoral program guide – information resource
! 74 that specialize in communication; did not include

journalism/mass comm

Taylor&Francis (Concetta)

  • ∗  Went to AEJMC and coming to NCA
  • ∗  Fairmont Hotel – had an event to discuss open access with societies, libraries,

    consultants, etc.

    AJHA (Fred)

  • ∗  Publishing under Routledge
  • ∗  Meeting in New Orleans in 10 days
  • ∗  New teaching award

    ICA (JP)

  • ∗  Conference in London looks to have been a big success
  • ∗  2014 Conference in Seattle: paper submissions are open; Nov 4 is deadline
  • ∗  NEW Public events in Gender and Sport in DC—March 8 at GW/Chicago (really


  • ∗  LA – did topic on minorities and representation in film (Directors) was in May


  • ∗  Regional events in China in November / Brazil / Australia in 2014

    ABC (Jim)

  • ∗  Held mid-year meeting in Kyoto at ABC Asia-Pacific
  • ∗  Upcoming meeting in New Orleans (October 2013) with some new initiatives to

    encourage grad student attendance, support local organizations

  • ∗  Next year’s meetings will be in Dallas, Orlando, Modena (Italy), Shanghai (China),

    and Philadelphia

    1:15 to 2:15. Constitutions and Bylaws

  • ∗  Create a proxy form; Fred will revise the constitution and bylaws
  • ∗  Long discussion about the purpose of organization; decided that we believe each org shall be able to elect up to two representatives, one of whom will be a voting

    member. Thanked Fred for his effort.

    2:15 to 2:40. CID—Wendy’s Report

  • ∗  NCA set aside $5000 for micro grants; after peer review, 5 projects for international travel were funded
  • ∗  Wants to issue more micro grants; this option is open to all other organizations for their own members
  • ∗  Wants to remain as director, but needs to be reappointed as initial 3 year term has ended

CCA Minutes (Sep 2013) 6

  • ∗  Advisory Board members also have completed their terms – some want to be reappointed, others will step down—wants a few new members with international/grants experience
  • ∗  Social media presence for CID now includes Facebook and Twitter
  • ∗  650 followers to the website; 472 come from FB
  • ∗  Brought up possibility of adding a donations $$$ button to the website – one way

    to go would be Paypal: 4.9% and .40 transaction

  • ∗  Nancy suggested that there is a $10K fee for solicitation for donations
  • ∗  Put a Donate Button – is that solicitation?
  • ∗  Agree that all funds raised this way could go to microgrants
  • ∗  Ann moved / Elizabeth seconded to elect Wendy as Director for three years
  • ∗  Ann moves to investigate possibility of accepting donations to CID/Elizabeth

    seconded – Wendy to work with Nancy and others to check on legal requirements for donate button on website

    2:40 to 3:00. New Business

  • ∗  New Members
    o Should we recruit new members?
    o Exploring budget/dues?
    o AC Administrators? New
    o Rhetoric Society of America
    o State level associations / regional organizations o Capacity to participate
    o Prospects – why? What reason?
  • ∗  Elections: Greg Newton elected as Chair, Elizabeth Toth as Vice-Chair Greg / Wendy moved to adjourn at 3:05 pm.

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