The CIOS publishes interrelated
census-level databases that provide many different views on the
communication field's scholarship, people, and academic departments.
Although academic disciplines can be described many ways, it is possible
to say that the communication discipline consists of a large number of
professionals (scholars, teachers, researchers, professors,
practitioners) who work with (teach, research, study, collate) a set of
phenomena (events, ideas, information) all with a focus on communication
(human communication studies, rhetoric, journalism, language in use,
mass media, communication technologies, etc.). CIOS databases provide
views of and allow you to drill in to each of these aspects of the discipline -- the field's core
concepts, its literature, its people, and its departments.
Starting from the core, the Visual Communication Concept Explorer (VCCE -- green layer above) uses statistical studies of the field's journals and books to isolate and show the interconnections between core concepts. The VCCE shows what concepts have been at the center of the field, what other concepts they connect to, the rough relative strength of those connections and their historical depth. The VCCE can also display authorship networks -- who has published with whom in the field. ComAbstracts and ComIndex Online (the orange layer above) both provide comprehensive coverage of the field's book and journal literature with historical depth to 1915. All of the field's core literature is covered without exceeding the boundaries of the field. ComIndex is a subset of ComAbstracts that does not include article abstracts or keywording. ComAbstracts also includes other advanced search features including two levels of keywording and links to the CIOS's comprehensive tables of contents feature. ComUpdate and ComContents are two other interfaces to the field's literature. ComUpdate provides an easy and effective means for users to stay up to date with their areas of research interest and ComContents provides access to tables of contents for all the journals covered in the database.
At the other end of the set of databases - the red layer - are those that relate the concepts, articles, and books produced by the field to its members and the departments and universities in which they work. ComVista provides an uptodate and comprehensive directory of all university departments and programs within North America that are devoted to communication or journalism studies. ComVista also catalogs all the full time faculty at all of these institutions -- more than 10,000 scholars and teachers. ComVista can locate any faculty member, and can locate the scholars and academic departments that lead the discipline in more than 100 areas of study. ComVista can assist those interested in finding top programs of study, disciplinary experts, or the current contact information for particular scholars.
The ComAnalytics database provides metrics for assessing the relative productivity of all publishing faculty at North American communication and jouranlism programs. This database is of primary value for those tracking career progress of faculty, those interested in norms for research productivity in the field, those interested in detailed analysis of the productivity and disciplinary standing of particular scholars or academic departments, and for those seeking baseline data or appropriate external reviewers for university promotion and tenure review.
CIOS is winner of the "Prize for Excellence in Information
Services" awarded by the International Communication Association's
Council of Communication Libraries.