Print is dead. Long live print!
The decision by the CMA Board to move College Media Review to an online-only publication in 2011 was a difficult one. As with the publications we advise that are moving to online-first or online-only models, the combination of cost factors and the ability to serve readers with a more timely, converged distribution model weighed into the decision.
Thanks to the efforts of Associate Editor Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, Managing Editor Debbie Landis and Webmaster Bill Neville, the change in distribution method has not resulted in a drop off in quality. As evidenced by the many fine topical articles and an excellent, Nordin award-winning research article by Holly-Katharine Johnson in this edition, the journal continues to provide very useful and informative pieces.
But, the online-only model does have the potential to have a negative influence on college media research, a concern raised by both readers and contributors. With some administrators and promotion/tenure review committees discounting research published in online journals, it’s understandable that some authors—even CMA members—would choose to first submit their college media research to print journals instead of CMR.
Thankfully, the Board voted last year to support the print publication of a Research Annual that would include all of the scholarly research published over the course of the volume/school year. The Research Annual is being prepared for printing and will likely be distributed to CMA members in April. We hope the addition of this print volume will both encourage more submissions and result in more of our members reading the research articles.
The move to printing a Research Annual has led to another change, as well. Since its inception following Ken’s death in 2005, the Nordin Research Award has been given to the top research paper submitted in June and presented at the Fall College Media Convention. But, sometimes the best college media research of the year has been submitted instead to the AEJMC/CMA paper competition held a couple months before. Now that we have a Research Annual, it makes the most sense to award the Nordin plaque and prize to the top research article published in each Research Annual.
I encourage you all to conduct research and submit your work to the CMA fall and spring conferences and the CMA slot at the AEJMC convention. And, I look forward to seeing that work in both CMR editions and upcoming Research Annuals.