Communication Institute for Online Scholarship
Communication Institute for Online Scholarship

 
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Additional information about the CIOS ComVista awards program

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Click a question (or just scroll down the page)

1. What institutions are included in the CIOS ComVista awards program?
2. What institutions are not included in the CIOS ComVista awards program?
3. How are Top Ten designations derived?
4. What is the basis for the research topics in the CIOS CIOS ComVista awards program?

1. What institutions are included in ComVista?

The ComVista database is based on a comprehensive web-based survey of four year North American institutions of higher education. To be included, the institution must have departments with a primary focus relevant to communication. More than 1,000 departments are represented in the ComVista database.

2. What institutions are not included in ComVista?

Some institutions may offer communication or journalism courses within a department that is not primarily devoted to the communication field. For example, a school in which the only communication courses are taught in a humanities department might not be included. Also, an institution must offer four year degree programs to be included in ComVista.

3. How are Top Ten designations derived?

A Top Ten designation is awarded when a department has faculty who have collectively published at least 3 articles on a subject and when the collective record of publication places the department in the top ten, allowing for tied ranks. The basis for the article counts is the CIOS's ComAbstracts database.

A department may lose a top ten designation due to changes in faculty. When a faculty member leaves, his or her record of research is no longer attributed to the institution. Although faculty listings in ComVista are refreshed regularly, it is always possible for a key scholar to have changed jobs or retired. It is important to contact institutions directly for current information.

4. What is the basis for the research topics in the CIOS ComVista awards program?

The CIOS has conducted extensive statistical studies of the frequencies of concepts appearing in the academic literature of the communication and journalism field. Concepts appearing with high frequency were identified and grouped, creating a master categorization of the field's research interests. Some geographic terms were added to the set. This classification has been applied to the literature covered in the ComAbstracts database as "Metaterms". This controlled vocabulary of master keywords is the basis for the research topics of the ComVista awards program.
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