Lessons Learned from Publishing One Video-Format Article in an NCA Journal

April 13, 2023

Did you know that some NCA journals accept scholarship in video format? 

NCA’s Review of Communication has been accepting such submissions for the past few years and welcomes yours. Read on to learn more about what’s involved and how one group of authors overcame a series of challenges when they prepared their work for publication. 

NCA’s journal, Review of Communication, earlier this year continued its initiative of publishing scholarship in formats other than text when it published the video, “Phantasms in the Halls: A Future University is Possible (or) … a performative response to la paperson, Stefano Harney, Fred Moten, and Julietta Singh” by *Pavithra Prasad, Angela Labador, Ana Isabel Terminel Iberri, Drew Finney, Marco Dehnert & Lore/tta LeMaster,” in the fourth quarter 2022 issue. 

The 28-minute video was the fifth alternative format scholarship published by Review of Communication starting with the fourth quarter issue of 2020. A transcript of “Phantasms in the Halls” also was published in the digital version (Review of Communication is not published in print). 

Kathleen McConnell, editor of Review of Communication for 2020-22, said that the video format means that the work, as it includes the authors, is not anonymous. “Phantasms in the Hall” therefore was peer reviewed by the two guest editors of the “Dissettlement” themed issue (Michael A. Lechuga, University of New Mexico, and John M. Ackerman, University of Colorado Boulder) in which it appeared plus an anonymous reviewer. 

Co-author Lore LeMaster, an assistant professor of communication at Arizona State University, said the “Phantasms” video was originally part of regular programming in ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communications. “Because we were in quarantine, we elected to craft a performance that directly addressed the malaise of the moment and in conversation with some books we were reading. The performance was, as a result, an organic and emergent performance experiment that was first staged live and then recorded for eventual publication.” The team was later approached by the Review of Communication for the special issue. 

LeMaster explained in an email that the co-authors “found the review process insightful and especially useful. Due to the nature of our performance work, some elements could not be ‘revised’ (e.g., location-based filming etc.) but the structure could be – the reviews provided the grounds for the final version (or sequence perhaps) of the performance. Moreover, we had an opportunity to meet with the guest editors, who provided an in-depth discussion on their viewing of the performance and their insight generally. It was very helpful to dialogue through our performance choices rather than reading the review alone.” 

So, the co-authors made revisions based on the reviewers’ feedback. LeMaster said, “we ended up (1) deleting a sequence, which was fine because it was better accomplished with a ‘live’  or interactive mediated audience (e.g., breakout rooms were used via Zoom but we could not capture six breakout mini-performances for the final version) and (2) we were able to revise the script and re-perform the primary sequence of events as engaged without changing too much of the mediated elements choices e.g., bluescreen, images, etc. Generally, we had to remove and rethink some content and choices rather than revising them per se.” 

Despite not needing to worry about how to handle a video if the journal were printed, McConnell explained, “we had to work closely with T&F [NCA journals publisher Taylor & Francis] to make it all possible. At first, we were encouraged to embed links to the media files that would then live elsewhere online. We were concerned about the sustainability of that model. The work would be lost and the NCA archive compromised if anything happened to that external website. T&F agreed that it was best to house the files internally. However, media files are too big to circulate via ScholarOne (the submission software). We had authors send us a link to the file and we then provided reviewers the link.” At the same time, every decision and step needed to be coordinated with Taylor & Francis’s production staff, which recently was able to start embedding media files into PDF files to be completely portable. 

The Review of Communication previously published these four video and audio format works: 

Ready to give video publishing a try in an NCA journal?

NCA publishes 11 scholarly journals. In 2024, the Association will launch Communication and Race, it’s 12th  journal. Each journal has an editor who serves a three-year term and determines whether their publication accepts scholarship for review in formats other than text. Scholars, if you have an NCA journal in mind where you would like to publish work in video, audio, or other non-text formats, inquire with the editor(s) of the publication.  

* The lead author for "Phantasms in the Halls,” Pravithra Prasad, is on research leave from California State University, Northridge, and was unavailable for comment for this Spectra story.  

Dane S. Claussen, Ph.D., MBA, is NCA’s Director of Research, Publications, and Professional Advancement