The recent publication of Communication Yearbook 40, the flagship reference annual for the field since 1977, marks the final volume of this longstanding series. For four decades the International Communication Association-sponsored annual has published state-of-the-discipline literature reviews and essays, as well as original research in handsome monograph format. It has hosted fourteen different editors over the years and Elisia Cohen, editor since CY37, including the sunset Volume 40, does a nice job in CY40‘s Epilogue tracing the history of the publication via these fourteen “eras” which bear the individual stamps of their editors. The evolution of the field in many ways mirrors that of CY as different editors over the years implemented changes in the peer review process and sought to internationalize representation of the field–including comparative perspectives and cross-cultural communication topics, as well as reviews of research in languages other than English.
According to Cohen, the Yearbook will actually be morphing into a journal, mentioned here in the Epilogue’s summation:
“Communication Yearbook published in its book format (although it has also transitioned to full digital e-book available during my editorship) has found itself challenged to be relevant to scholars and authors in the new “digital” era. Put simply, in this era the ICA and its scholars place a premium on the ability of authors to be discoverable, internationally accessible, with its research published in a timely manner. Numerous editors examined these issues in their reports to the ICA Board, and to address this historical but growing challenge, Francois Heinderyckx (University libre de Bruxelles) led the publications committee and the ICA Board to prepare for a transition of the series to a journal.
Given the need for an electronic manuscript submission system to support the next editor, and the demand for Communication Yearbook to have a global access, reach and scope, the ICA Publication Committee’s discussions to transition Communication Yearbook to an online journal format, with an annual print compendium for libraries, will preserve its history while providing an audience for ICA as international in scope as its members. In 2015, David Ewoldsen was selected by the ICA Board to leave the development of Communication Yearbook‘s successor publication. Although when I assumed the editorship I did not do so intending to be the last editor of the Communication Yearbook series, David Ewoldsen’s vision for the re-branded “Annals” of the International Communication Association will include the best of Communication Yearbook‘s tradition while extending its reach and impact in service the ICA membership.” –p. 474 Epilogue, CY40
Communication Yearbook 40 (along with the rest of the set beginning with Volume 1) is available here in the Annenberg Library. Pulling down old volumes is a good way to reminisce about the field or, for newbies, it’s a good way to bone up on how the field has emerged into its current state. As for the last volume, fifteen review pieces comprise its four thematic sections:
Part I: Media Framing, Structure, and Reception
Part II: Personal and Strategic Communication in Social Interactions
Part III: Place, Boundaries, and Exchange in Organizational Communication
Part IV: Emerging Issues in Communication Research
Cheers to Communication Yearbook and to what follows ahead of (not behind or inside of) its deep footprints!