Top paper with my graduate students @ AEJMC2019

Really pleased to receive two more top paper awards. This time at AEJMC 2019 in Toronto Canada for the paper “Mediation analysis in communication science: Examining the study of indirect effects in communication journals between 1996-2017”, which won Top Faculty Paper and Top Methods paper. Much credit also goes to my co-authors and graduate students under my supervision: Panfeng Hu (PhD) and Macau Mak (MPhil).
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Top paper award at ICA 2019

Really pleased to receive the Top Paper Award from the Intergroup Communication Interest Group at ICA 2019 Washington. The research was funded by a C-Grant from the Centre for Chinese Media and Comparative Communication Research, and it was my first research examining the effects of music on media perception.

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Social media & Misinformation grant

Very excited to be a co-investigator in the comparative project Visual Misinformation in Global Perspective: Platforms, Devices, and Users led by Cristian Vaccari at Loughborough University. Funded by Facebook Research under its Integrity Foundational research awards (US$150,000), the project will examine the role of platforms and users in the processing and dissemination of misinformation on social media.

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A busy conference season ahead …

Will be presenting a variety of papers this summer:

  • Digital communications and psychological well-being across different age groups: Examining the mediating roles of individual social capital and civic engagement @ ICA Conference in Prague.
  • Examining Social Media News Engagement in Six Asian Countries and The Roles of Political Social Networks and Efficacy (with colleagues Hsuan-ting Chen and Francis Lee) @ Social Media & Society Conference in Copenhagen.
  • Seniors and smartphones: An examination from a usage and symbolic perspective (with Cicy Tong) @ Social Media & Society Conference in Copenhagen.
  • Party identification and support for normative and non-normative political actions in Hong Kong: Examining the moderating roles of alternative media and social media news use @ CEDEM Asia 2018, Yokohama.
  • Invited panelist for Special Issue in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly: Social Media and Political Campaigning @ AEJMC Conference 2018, Washington, D. C..
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Reviewed my 100th journal manuscript!

Just found out that I have reviewed my 100th journal manuscript. Just for fun I looked back at all my past ‘recommendations’ and found the following:

  • 82 ‘Reject’
  • 18 ‘Revise & Resubmit’

Of the 18 R&R, 2 are still pending final decision from the journal editors. The rest look like this:

  • Accept after 1 revision: 6
  • Reject after 1 revision: 5
  • Accept after 2 revisions: 3
  • Accept after 4 revisions: 1
  • Reject after 4 revisions: 1


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Getting a poster ready for ICA 2017

Has been a while since my last conference poster. The next one in May 2017 gives me the chance to brush up on my Adobe InDesign skills! I have been known to take my posters quite seriously. After all, the poster not only presents my research to others, but also represents the brand of my School and university.  The least I could do is design a professional looking (though admittedly not aesthetically exciting) poster!

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First output from international collaboration

Very pleased to have my first output from a truly international collaborative effort accepted for the upcoming ICA 2017 conference in San Diego, with fellow researchers in the US and Germany: Self-construal, cultural values and everyday life with a smartphone: Intercultural differences in being permanently online and connected.

I also learned something new about APA Style. For referencing papers with eight or more authors one should list the “first six authors’ names, then insert three dots and add the last author’s name”. I am author number 7 out of 9. So I guess I will simply be known as “” if the paper ever gets cited.

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Concurrent submissions to conferences and journals

One of the norms of manuscript writing and paper submission I came across as a graduate student was the general process of submitting a manuscript to a conference, presenting it to an audience (assuming it is accepted), get substantive feedback, revise the manuscript into a ‘better’ version, and then submit it to a journal. This seemed a very logical sequence to me at the time. However, it became apparent from my early and current conference attendances that this is not the case.

The catalyst for my realization was one presentation I attended where a well-known communications scholar presented a work and the last PPT slide included a journal reference to the presented work that was “in press” with a well known journal. My initial thought was: Aren’t we not supposed to submit published work to conferences? I guess this depends on whether “in press” is the same as “published”. But nowadays “in press” articles are usually published as “online first” articles as the manuscript is held in the queue/line for an issue number. Interestingly, ICA and AEJMC seem to have different policies about this judging from the most recent CFPs:

ICA 2017 CfP
“Publication or presentation history: If material in your presentation has been published, presented, or accepted for publication or presentation, this must be disclosed in your paper or proposal and may be ineligible, depending on the Division/Interest Group”

AEJMC 2016 CfP
“Papers accepted for the AEJMC Conference should not have been presented to other conferences or published in scholarly or trade journals prior to presentation at the conference.”

AEJMC is quite specific though it is not clear whether “published” also includes “online first” versions. ICA appears more strict given that even “accepted” manuscripts need to be disclosed, though leaves the ultimate decision to the Divisions.  In any case, I can understand the logic of concurrent submissions. For example, the ICA submission deadline is usually early November and the acceptance/reject results are announced in January. Then the work is presented in mid-May at the conference. Assuming feedback is collected and the manuscript is revised then it can be ready to submit to a journal in June. Basically this adds up to around 8 months even before the manuscript goes through the whole journal review process which can take up to a year — assuming that the first journal it is submitted to eventually accepts the manuscript! For early scholars and graduate students in particular, where there is extra pressure to get work published, the timeline may be simply too long. Added to this is the common acknowledgement that the quality of conference paper reviews are generally quite poor. Therefore, it is understandable that people would forgo whatever benefits/feedback one may get from the conference for a quicker manuscript decision from a journal.

In my case, I generally follow the ‘ideal’ path in situations where the Division/Interest Group I submit to includes a Respondent, such as the Political Communications Division at AEJMC which does a great job of arranging senior scholars to give comments on the accepted papers at the conferences. These are great opportunities to pick their brains and get some additional ideas and insights, which can help improve the manuscript. In other cases,  I do submit both to conference and journal at the same time — not exactly but maybe a few days/a week apart. The assumption is that the 8 month time period can be used “in parallel” for the journal reviewing process. Given that two rounds of reviews and final decisions take much longer than 8 months the chances of the journal article being published or even “in press” at the same time as the conference presentation is very remote. The only possibility of such a scenario is if the journal review process has already been underway for a while before the same manuscript is sent to a conference. Things get interesting of course if the conference paper gets rejected because this adds to the timeline if the manuscript is to be sent to a later conference. Though I have not been in such a situation and I would personally never submit a paper to a conference if it is already far into the journal review process (e.g. revise and resubmit).

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