2016 Information, Communication, & Society (iCS) – Journal Special Issue

Information, Communication, & Society Journal

2015 Social Media & Society Special Issue

Editors: Anatoliy Gruzd, Jenna Jacobson, Philip Mai, and Barry Wellman

Theme:  Understanding Communities in an Age of Social Media

Abstract: Understanding communities and communication in communities lies at the heart of much social science research that explores human behavior. With the rise of the Internet and social media, the notion, theory and practice of “communities” have been expanded far beyond communities that take place in the same physical location. Within the last ten years of scholarship, the growing acceptance in shifting the language from virtual/real to online/offline communities indicates that the communities formed using computer-mediated communication are just as important and in need of scholarly research as the “real” communities. In this special issue of Information, Communication, & Society; we ask what does it mean to manage, belong, and build a community online for members, moderators, and stakeholders. By analyzing specific online communities and online users, we can begin to understand how the purpose, the platform, the size, and various other factors of online networks influence the practices.

With the number of published peer-reviewed articles on online communities peaking in 2004-2005 (pre-social media era), the time is ripe to revisit the question of what do we mean by online communities in an age of social media. Although the technologies and everyday use of technologies have changed drastically in the past ten years, there are a host of continuities and similarities from early communities. Social media researchers have countless new tools to capture, measure, and visualize data from online communities, but has the notion of online communities really changed since it was first introduced?


  • November 16, 2015 – Submissions due (by invitation based on the top papers presented at the 2015 International Conference on Social Media & Society)
  • Winter 2016 – Reviews due
  • Spring 2016 – Camera ready papers due

Submission instructions:

  • Emailed directly to the invited authors

Review Process:

  • All invited submissions will be peer reviewed (double blind)