Study: Women are changing communication

July 11, 2007

A U.S. study suggests the academic discipline of communication -- once dominated by men at the university level -- is now the dominion of women.

University of Missouri-Columbia researchers examined the number of females publishing communication articles in four major academic journals during a 70-year period.

Professor Michael Kramer, chairman of the university's Department of Communication, and colleagues said their study is important because it highlights the demands of research productivity, which influences promotion and tenure decisions in communication departments nationwide. It also provides a microcosm of how academe standards change over a long period of time.

The researchers included Associate Professor Jon Hess and Professor emeritus Loren Reid. Reid, who is now 102, began publishing in communication journals in the 1930s.

Among other things, the study found that from the 1930s to the 1960s, there weren't many female authors. During the 70s and 80s there was a slight increase, and that trend continued during the 90s. Around 2000, articles by women authors began outnumbering those by men.

The research appears in the June/July issue of The Review of Communication.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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