A New Era for Communication Booknotes Quarterly


Communication Booknotes Quarterly, the field’s annotative bibliographic nonpareil since 1969, has changed editorial hands for the first time.  Forty-five volumes later, founding editor Christopher Sterling (emeritus professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University) has passed the baton to Weiwu Zhang. Dr. Zhang, who describes himself as a ping pong fanatic and political news junkie, is Associate Professor of Public Relations at the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University. He has ambitious plans for CBQ that include continuing in the tradition of its scholarly predecessor by providing topical review bibliographic essays as well as brief annotated reviews of new books from all corners of the discipline, a proven formula for decades. But look for some changes, too, as laid out in the issue’s New Editor Note. There will be greater focus on social/emerging media, which Dr. Zhang believes has transformed not only the media landscape but communication research. There will also be increased emphasis on interpersonal communication and organizational communication,  as opposed to just media communication, which will obviously remain central. To draw new readers, CBQ will feature reviews “in the interface between communication and related disciplines in political science, marketing, sociology, and psychology.” Many reviews will be longer than the usual blurb-length we’re used to (his thinking is long form reviews count more toward tenure and promotion, thus attract junior faculty reviewers) and more electronic publications and books published in foreign languages will be selected for review.

Communication librarians have always looked forward to the navy blue arrival of CBQ (those of us who still glimpse the paper!) and I will continue to do so with the added anticipation that new editorship ushers in (no matter how top-flight the previous). Nor is it time yet to pine for Dr. Sterling’s deft reviews–he’s still reviewing. In fact, I counted 32 entries in the latest issue!

Do check out CBQ 46:1 for Dr. Zhang’s debut Topical Review Essay: Social Media in Communication. And cheers to that sturdy workhorse library staple of old, the annotated bibliography–still alive and kicking in the 21st Century.