Communication Institute for Online Scholarship
Communication Institute for Online Scholarship

ComAbstractsVisual Communication Concept ExplorerAbout the CIOSElectronic Journal of CommunicationComVista
About the CIOS
Organizational Mission
Individual Membership
Institutional Membership
Librarian Information
Officers and Staff
Frequently Asked Questions

This information is intended for librarians considering CIOS services for subscription.

The CIOS is a not-for-profit academic organization whose goal is to support research and education in communications-related disciplines (human communication studies, speech communication, rhetoric, journalism, mass communication, etc.) and to provide support for research and development of new technologies relevant to this mission. Our goal is to provide leading services as inexpensively and broadly as possible. To this end we provide more categories of service than for-profit vendors who focus only on profit-generating activities and we provide several levels of subscription so that we have something to offer subscribers of different circumstances.

Because our primary interest is in the support of scholarship and education in our discipline, CIOS has a long track record of adding value and innovation. CIOS began services in 1986, almost 10 years before the world wide web came into being. CIOS is the publisher of "The Electronic Journal of Communication" the first peer-reviewed online scholarly journal ever created in the social sciences. And the CIOS is creator of ComIndex, the communications field's first electronic bibliographic index to the field's literature; of the Visual Communication Concept Explorer, a next-generation visual research tool for students and scholars researching in CIOS databases; ComVista, a database that identifies the discipline's leading research centers, departments, and scholars and can guide students seeking to locate schools for graduate study; ComAbstracts, the discipline's best focused and most consistently deep abstracts database; ComAnalytics, a database for peer analysis of productivity of individual scholars and academic departments of communication; ComContents, which provides interactive tables of contents for thousands of issues of scholarly journals in communication; and of ComUpdate, a unique system that allows scholars and students of communication to stay abreast of new developments in the field. Uniquely, all of these databases operate at the census level including all faculty, all departments, and all of the field's core literature, in most cases back to the first issue of each journal. CIOS is winner of the "Prize for Excellence in Information Services" awarded by the International Communication Association's Council of Communication Libraries.

(Click here for additional detail about each database and the interrelationships among them.)
We offer three kinds of subscriptions: (1) subscriptions for individual scholars or students, who join as individuals and who have passwords for access, (2) a very inexpensive campus-wide subscription called an "institutional affiliation" that provides all our services except for access to the ComAbstracts, ComAnalytics, ComUpdate, ComContents, and ComVista databases, and (3) a bundle that provides all of the services we offer and ComAbstracts access but not including ComAnalytics access. ComAnalytics can be optionally added to a ComAbstracts package and is available separately for offices of institutional research and other administrative offices concerned with tracking departmental and faculty productivity and disciplinary performance. Institutional subscriptions use IP recognition for access regulation.

Librarians are frequently interested in the following questions:

Where can we find more information about ComAbstracts?
We have published a brochure that describes our services, centering on information differentiating the ComAbstracts database. Click here for the brochure. For coverage information, please click here .

Do you keep usage data?
Yes. Usage data for total accesses are tracked and can be reviewed at any time by qualified librarians.

What is your history of price increases?
Typically the CIOS has increased prices in the neighborhood of 2 percent per year. According to data from the Association of Research Libraries, in the period 1986 to 1996, the for-profit publishing sector hit US libraries with price increases totaling more than 260 percent.

Can we access from off campus?
Yes. You can provide off campus access via a secure library proxy server.

Are passwords required?
No. All campus-wide subscriptions are enabled using IP recognition. No passwords are required.

Can we indicate stacks locations for ComAbstracts records?
Yes. Our services are open-URL enabled so that our databases can interact with your catalog and full text resources directly if you have an open-URL server (SFX-type, or a different brand).

Do you offer trial access?
Yes. Typically trials are provided for four to six weeks.

How can we get a price quotation?
Request a quotation by email to . Include your approximate full time enrollment figure if you are interested in ComAbstracts access.

Does the CIOS provide discounts for consortial subscription?
Yes. We serve academic library consortia and provide discounted pricing.

Does the CIOS provide discounted subscription for universities in developing nations?
Yes. Depending on economic conditions the CIOS may provide discounted subscription or free subscription.

Write to for more information.