Mapping research themes in communication: Semantic network analysis of papers from annual meetings of the international communication association, 2005-2011
Petrick, Joseph Anthony
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The aim of the present research is to map research themes in communication through an analysis of papers delivered at annual meetings of the International Communication Association (ICA) from 2005-2010. Although there has been research in the related field of semantic network analysis, communication science lacks the tradition of research mapping that has been developed in information science and scientometric literature. The literature of co-word mapping in the latter disciplines will be examined, including how such mapping techniques are applied to disciplines other than information science and scientomentrics. To demonstrate this approach, research themes in information science will be derived from bibliographic citation data processed using CATPAC software and visually represented in UCINET maps. Subsequent to a use of CATPAC to map research themes in information science, the software will be used to analyze research themes in successive annual meetings of the ICA to demonstrate the incidence and evolution of research themes in papers delivered at the meetings. The maps will be determined by subject descriptors applied to individual papers, as well as keyword concepts taken from titles and abstracts of papers. Finally, mere exposure theory will be examined in relation to word frequency analysis, and concepts latent in individual conference papers will be examined.