NCA Inside & Out

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New Online Feature: Current Commentary

March 9, 2017

NCA is concerned that the baseline parameters of ethical communication are under attack. As the national organization dedicated to advancing the theory and practice of communication for the common good, our core values are at risk—the very mission of our organization has been called into question.

Because our convention falls but once a year, however, and because our peer-reviewed journals are published following rigorous procedures that ensure academic excellence but hamper expediency, we have no mechanism for delivering timely, peer-reviewed, information briefs and critical response papers. Such rapid-response documents will provide our members, our students, and the communities we serve with the communication-focused insights they require to make sense of what is happening in our democracy.

These rapid-response articles will provide NCA members, teachers, students, and service communities with short information briefs intended to help make sense of unfolding public events while also advancing both our core values and our public profile as an organization.

NCA currently runs Communication Currents, wherein we take articles already published in NCA’s journals and “translate” them into short, journalistic pieces that appeal to both academic and public audiences. We will now be expanding Communication Currents to include rapid-response information briefs, tagged as “Current Commentary.” The process is as follows:

  • A review board of scholars will engage in expedited peer review of articles of no more than 1,000 words. NCA’s President will serve as moderator and will make final editorial decisions in consultation with the review board.
  • Published contributions will follow a standard template and set of norms, including:
    • Each contribution must be focused on a timely communication question or issue with clear relevance to NCA’s mission.
    • Each contribution must include a reference section pointing readers to additional communication-based articles, thus directing users back to our scholarship.
    • Each contribution must include a reference section pointing readers to additional topic-related online sources where additional reliable, credible information can be located.
    • Each contribution must exhibit best communication practices, and comport with NCA’s Credo for Ethical Communication.
  • Following the peer review process outlined above, NCA will post newly accepted articles on the existing—and publically accessible—Communication Currents site. The goal is to populate the site with a large selection of user-friendly documents meant to enhance our ability to make sense of current events, to marshal the power of Communication scholarship, and to help craft a more visible role for NCA in public dialogues.

The contributions may also serve as first drafts of material that will evolve into published work, thus making this new process a laboratory for research in progress.

Please attach a list of three suggested Communication scholars who could talk with media about your selected topic with your submission.

Submissions should be sent to