Letter from the Editor
The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication is an entirely online, digital research encyclopedia that will ultimately cover the large and diverse scholarly world of Communication research. Its essays will be based on the latest, most impactful research written by the most respected scholars within the discipline. This encyclopedia builds upon and will join a distinguished tradition at Oxford University Press of publishing authoritative reference works in fields such as Linguistics, American History, Sociology, and Religion.
The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication will be developed for researchers, teachers, and students interested in all facets of the study of communication. Conceived as a scholarly alternative to Wikipedia, it will be a dynamic and constantly evolving research tool that aims to fill the demand for high-quality, up-to-date scholarly reference materials online. It will combine the high standards of Oxford scholarly publishing with the flexibility of a digital environment.
One unique factor of this online encyclopedia will be an emphasis on research and its focus on the needs of researchers. Essays will examine the evolution and/or structure of research programs and their dynamics; the questions, tensions, and puzzles that drive research; and the interaction between theory and empirics. The aim is to engage readers and stimulate research by discussing motivations, unresolved questions, and possible directions of new research. The website will be attractive and intuitive, facilitating multiple paths for the researcher to find related material, whether within the ORE, in OUP’s ecosystem, or directly linking to cited sources.
It is my intent to make the ORE of Communication a focal point for both scholarly knowledge dissemination and scholarly conversation. To that end, an Advisory board of highly respected and influential Communication researchers from throughout the world has been assembled and has initiated a taxonomy of close to 20 research categories that will serve as our foundation.
We are in the midst of the greatest shift in the publishing environment since the advent of the printing press. The exciting possibilities afforded by this shift to online, electronic publishing as a rapid, dynamic format will help the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication play a significant role in shaping the future of the field of Communication.
Jon F. Nussbaum
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and Human Development and Family Studies
The Pennsylvania State University