How We Got Where We Are Now: 20 Years of Research Into Online Mass Communication: An Annotation

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Part 1, 1990-94: Describing the Elephant in the Dark Room

By Thomas H.P. Gould, Aobo Dong and Jacob A. Mauslein

WJMCR 31 (April 2011)

Journal Selection | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994

Why do we seek to annotate when professors worldwide can search most efficiently the web and electronic databases? Perhaps because the term “efficiently” used in the sentence above should be substituted with the term “quickly,” The efficiency—and embedded in this term, the accuracy—of information sought via online databases and search engines has never been more in doubt than it is today. Whether researchers are first-term undergraduates or first-year professors, the lure of Googling a subject (or even using Google Scholar) results in the thinnest, most useless information.1 The only redeeming quality of these search results is that they are generated quickly. And, perhaps even more troubling, these results often actually make their way into research papers, and tend to drive search engines to rank them even more highly. Such rankings are driven by popularity, not their inherent scholarship.

This increasingly inappropriate practice of Surface Web research also mocks the time-honored practice of shelf scanning: the practice of looking for one book in the stacks, then looking at other volumes to the left and right on the same shelf. The list of online results from a search engine falsely suggests that what is below one citation is another, relevant citation. What is perhaps more troubling is that we have an entire generation of students and new researchers who don’t have any firsthand knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System or what it means, how it was created, or the “magic” of books being labeled with an odd alphanumeric code. These scholarly neophytes are only slightly more aware of the URL associated with an online source, much less a much older method of creating a degree of affinity among researchers and the topic they research. It’s strictly a “hit-or-miss” practice that on more than one occasion has resulted in bewildered students suggesting they could find no scholarly research related to advertising and children. If it is not in the top ten of a Google search result, it does not exist (for them). Perhaps even more disturbing, if the research topic does appear in the first ten, the sources are granted special status as the “best” results.

Be that as it may, we are not presenting in this work a solution to the impending woes of the world of academic research. Our endeavor is only to a catalogue in this collection all of the research conducted between 1990 and the end of 2009 focused on online mass communication subjects. We tread with reference to the annotators that have preceded us, appreciative of the work those researchers have done in this area. We understand going into this that we might have included more journals, or excluded others. We further accept that our method of labeling the research methods and theories applied might have been more refined or more exhaustive. We ask only that the humble reader consider the overall effort to bring a sense of order to the vast and often wild world of mass communication research. We may not have found every relevant tree in this forest, but we have gathered, catalogued, and categorized all we could find. And, we earnestly invite those who have strong beliefs that a particular journal was not included, or that a particular article was measured inaccurately, to forward those ideas and any others to us (thpgould@gmail.com). We wish this annotation to be a living catalogue capable of healing and betterment over time.

But first, what is an annotation?

Annotating is a pervasive element of scholarly practice for both the humanist and the scientist. It is a method by which scholars organize existing knowledge and facilitate the creation and sharing of new knowledge. It is used by individual scholars when reading as an aid to memory, to add commentary, and to classify. It can facilitate shared editing, scholarly collaboration, and pedagogy. Over time annotations can have scholarly value in their own right.2

This definition will serve the purpose of placing boundaries on what is presented in an annotation. The intent is to allow researchers to not only find the published work that may fit their intent, but to all evaluate the work. Annotations can be of a single author’s works or of the works within a specific subject area, as well as a variety of other combinations. Ultimately, the intent is to provide a guide to works, usually presented as a collection. This collection can take the form of an inclusion of the author’s abstract, an editor’s explanation of some part of the original text,3 an evaluation by the author of the works, or further reviews by others within academia and without. Each has its value, though, strictly speaking, the later two fall more into the realm of archiving than strictly annotation.

This annotation looks at the progression of research into online mass communication, a loosely defined subject area that generally includes the Internet and its progeny, the World Wide Web. And, as is the case with any new area of research, expectations were that the first publications would be descriptive in form and nature. Describing the phenomena was a traditional approach, true for mass communication as it is for library science. When Wan sought to examine what he described as an area of new research—”computer-aided information visualization”— a few years ago, the resulting publication was descriptive, not experimental.Wan did not dive into testing, surveying, measuring impacts. The article focused on explaining various parts of the new research area. What does it look like?  What possible applications might result? This is a familiar pattern: describe (essay), then measure use (adoption), and then test (experiment), with multiple sub-layers in between. We, as researchers, appropriately and logically look at any new thing as requiring explanation. Thus, finding a multitude of descriptive research early in the life of a new research area is not a surprise. But what happens after that first blush wears off?

In 1990, the Internet had two faces: e-mail and USENET, the latter a collection of groups with members talking to members, the former a collection of individuals messaging each other. The Web was still some years off, though work on it was well underway, both fast and furiously. And, while the Internet grew to include the Web, a few mass communication researchers were already attempting to describe the former new phenomena, explaining the network possible implications and future roles in modern society. As the decade wore on, some writers, such as Negroponte,sought to give the Internet and its step-child the Web a rounder, wider world view.

At the same time, the vast majority of mass communication researchers did exactly what might be expected of any field encountering a new form of information: they ignored it. The few that probed this new form of communication apply measures, wrote essays about it, and, like Negroponte, made bold predictions.

Equally predictably, we have gathered what has been published over the past 20 years, spanning from 1990 through 2009, and looked for patterns in the research itself. The effort has attempted to be exhaustive, though, no doubt, some will take issue with what we considered online mass communication, as well as many other areas that bounded and defined our work. We appreciate that any bibliographic annotation is open for critique, as is any research. Our search definitions are our own. Others may expand the journals examined, expand or narrow the definition of mass communication, even to the point of making the examination limited to just a few journals.We have chosen a different path.

What follows is a listing of the articles, including their abstracts, where available, found within 27 mass communication journals during the period starting in 1990 and running through 1994. When an abstract was not available, we have provided a summary we have created or a conclusion provided by the author. This work is part of a larger study that has collected all of the research in these mass communication journals that focus on online communication from 1990 through 2009, including the theory and methods used in each, as well as field of research, journal preference, author and educational institution. This first part is based, to some extent, on a study published seven years ago in this journal.And, as we noted then:

Mass communication research dealing with the Internet and World Wide Web offers an excellent opportunity to track the changes of focus within a discipline.  In just the past decade, online communication has captured the attention of researchers in all “channels” of mass communication.  And, as print, broadcast, advertising, and public relations rush toward a fused medium, the web offers researchers a new channel rich with possibilities. Furthermore, given the online world’s rapidly changing features, mass communication researchers are finding they are re-examining published conclusions sooner than required by any previous emerging medium.

And, as was noted in that paper, the trend of methods was from heavily qualitative to heavily quantitative between 1993 and 2003, with no discernable preference for one theory over another. A few authors were noted as more frequent than others, but no attempt was made to draw much from this or the education institutions involved.

As was the case then, this study attempts to—beyond gathering the annotations— offer possible answers to two questions:

  1. Among mass communication and communication journals, what is the proportion of articles that focused on online mass communication research and how did this focus shift over time?
  2. What is the nature of the research in these articles, that is, what is the pattern of the theories applied, research methods used, and the journal of publication?

Journal Selection

Given the swirling issues surrounding academic journals these days (born online versus gone online; valid versus light-weight; traditional versus non-traditional), the team of an associate professor, a doctoral student, and a master’s student decided to be as inclusive as possible. Some business-focused journals were avoided on the grounds that their major connection to mass communication is through advertising. Yet, as a discipline, advertising taught in journalism schools is not similar to the same subject in business schools. As noted by Patti in a working paper in 1978 arguing for inclusion of advertising in business schools:

Marketing-based advertising programs differ from their journalism counterparts in two major ways: courses within the core requirements emphasize the more analytical, managerial aspects of advertising, and the non-core requirements consist of a series of business courses.

Without engaging in an ongoing debate over the appropriate location for advertising programs, we choose to set aside highly respected business journals largely on the basis that business school teach marketing, while advertising, a subject that falls within marketing, is more logically taught within mass communication schools. We further fully accept that this rationale can be rebutted, especially given that we included journals within communications. Simply put, we concluded that the semantic distance between marketing and advertising is far greater than that between communication and mass communications.

No doubt some additional journals might have been excluded (as were the aforementioned business publications). Such decisions are never easy to make. Certainly the team might have done an exhaustive analysis of each communications journal, looked at the ratio of mass communication and personal communication articles versus overall published works within each. In the end, it was decided that any methodology or rationale of selection could (and would) raise arguments. So, we attempted to include as many as possible. If someone’s favored journal was left out, we offer our condolences and ask for some understanding that at some point a line must be drawn. A final note, one journal—Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy —played the role of an independent variable. The journal, obviously, is dedicated to the area we are tracking in mass communications. In a sense, the articles chosen for inclusion in this annotation were tracked for mass communication involvement more than online. Readers might consider this as a way of seeing when and to what extent more traditional mass communication journals were involved in the study into online subjects, in comparison to a more technically oriented journal that was clearly in early and often.

Our list for 1990 through 1994 includes:

  • Communication Research
  • Communication Quarterly
  • Communication Theory
  • Communications and the Law 
  • Critical Studies in Media Communication
    Human Communication Research
    International Journal of Advertising
    Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy
    Journal of Advertising
    Journal of Advertising Research
    Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
    Journal of Communication
    Journal of Communication Inquiry
    Journal of Consumer Affairs
    Journal of Consumer Marketing
    Journal of Consumer Psychology
    Journal of Consumer Research
    Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising
    Journal of Public Relations Research
    Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
    Journalism Monographs
    Media, Culture, and Society
    Media Studies Journal
    Newspaper Research Journal
    Public Opinion Quarterly
    Public Relations Review
    Visual Communication Quarterly

Over the course of this 20-year study, some journals ceased publication and new ones were launched. We will in each succeeding period (1995-1999, 2000-2004, and 2005-2009) note the losses and gains. Suffice to note that over the scope of the period, more than 30 journals were examined.

Article Selection Criteria and Measures

Perhaps even more challenging was the decision of what constituted a study of online mass communication versus other works of study. Yet, this was not as challenging in the early years, when the concept of online versus not-online was clearer and in sharper relief. As we approached the latter part of this previous decade, however, the lines blurred, if only because the messages being studied (such as radio online and television online) were as likely to be delivered via the web as they were traditionally by the airwaves. We attempted to focus on the research that actually dealt with the delivery mechanism as part of the study, versus the traditional style (television, radio, newspaper) of the communication, even though it was clear that we were reaching the tipping point for all of these as they moved from atoms to bits. As in the case with the 2004 article that this research is, in part, based upon, “an article is considered to be focused on online communication research if it deals with communication carried through a many-to-many network with the applications necessary to handle the information processing located at the ends or edges of the network.” And, as was the case in 2004, articles intended for researchers were included; those intended for educators were not, if only because the latter area was (and continues to be) more how-to than actual scholarly research. Again, we recognize this will raise some hackles, and we might have skirted the issues by specifying inclusion of only research that includes some degree of scholarly citation.

In addition, while the traditional areas of mass communication research: advertising, broadcast, mass communication law and policy, print/photography, public relations, were included the web itself was not catalogued in this most recent effort. This was, in part, because the delivery mechanism itself—the web—increasingly lowers the differentiations between these subject areas, and because a study of web technology is not, to our thinking, a study of mass communication any more than a study of how automobiles are built is essential to the study of population shifts.

Search terms were used to roughly pare down the population to all articles that contained the term “new technology,” thus covering both technology and its plural form. A more detailed rationale can be found in the article published in 2005 and need not be repeated here.

Operationalization 

This study included seven points of data gathered for each article: year, theory, research method, author, educational institution, subject area and journal. Theory was coded as access, adoption/diffusion, agenda building/setting, policy analysis, information processing/uses and gratification, and social interaction.  Research method was coded into the following areas: interpretive-policy analysis, interpretive-essay including history, survey-content analysis, survey-interview/case study, meta-analysis, model building, and experiment.

Intercoder Reliability

Three coders were used.  The coders were in agreement regarding which articles qualified as online communication research, theory, method, author, institution, subject area and journal.  Initial coding was conducting independently.  Each article title was reviewed and placed in one of three categories: “yes,” “no,” and “maybe.” Those classified as “yes” were included in the final bibliography without further review.  Those classified as “no” were not included, nor were they reviewed.  “Maybe” articles were collected, and inspected by the three coders to determine whether it had an online focus.  Those articles classified as “yes” by the coders are listed below, with relevant statistical results.

Results

The results are presented by year for each of the measures: the proportion of online research published by journal in Table 1 (as well as overall publishing), research method in Table 2, and the frequency of theory in Table 3. We will, in the final installment of this annotation study (2005-2009) include an overall table and analysis for all 20 years.

INSERT TABLES HERE

1990

None

1991

Joseph Schmitz and Janet Fulk, “Organizational Colleagues, Media Richness, and Electronic Mail,” Communication Research 18.4 (1991): 487-523.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The study investigated the effects of perceived media richness and social influences from organizational colleagues on uses and assessments of electronic mail in a large research and development organization. A social network composed of an individual (ego), supervisor, and five close communication partners was used to model relational social influences. Responses reported by network members were incorporated into a structural equation system to predict each ego’s perceptions, assessments, and usage of electronic mail. Survey data were supplemented by in- depth interviews. The study found:(a) Perceived electronic mail richness (1) varied across individuals and (2) covaried with relational social influences and with media experience factors; (b) perceived electronic mail richness predicted individual’s electronic mail assessments and usage; (c) social influences of colleagues had pervasive effects on other’s media assessments. The study demonstrated that an explicit consideration of social influences aids understanding of how individuals perceive and use new information technology.
Method: Survey-Interviews/Case Study 
Theory: Information Processing/Uses and Gratification

Louise M. Benjamin, “Privacy, Computers, and Personal Information: Toward Equality and Equity in an Information Age,” Communications and The Law 13.3 (June 1991): 3-16.
Centralized, computerized record systems threaten personal privacy because of the way information can be stored, retrieved, and distributed. Individuals should be able to protect the threads of information that are collected and compiled about them. Without protection, personal freedom and equality in an increasingly computerized society is threatened. Through laws regulating the gathering, storage, and dissemination of information, an individual’s expectations of privacy can be enhanced.
Method: Interpretive-Policy Analysis 
Theory: Policy Analysis

Bradford W. Hesse and Charles E. Grantham, “Electronically Distributed Work Communities: Implications for Research on Telework,” Internet Research 1.1 (1991): 4-17.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: Whereas the Industrial Revolution attracted workers away from home-based community settings to central locations, the current proliferation of personal computers and asynchronous telecommunications technologies is reversing this trend. By networking employees from different geographical sites together, these technologies are producing “hybrid” organizational structures that permit their members to work within flexible schedules and in flexible places, even to the point of working at home. The result is the electronically distributed work community: a population of nonproximal coworkers who labor together electronically. This paper presents a springboard for conducting research on telework as it is understood within the context of that community. The paper begins with a brief history of telecommuting and describes its influence on the electronic community and organizational structures in general within the past two decades. The paper concludes by presenting implications for research on telework in the areas of privacy regulation, emergency preparedness, self-efficacy, temporal aspects of employee behavior, communication patterns, and organizational effectiveness. 
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Henry H. Perritt Jr., “A Value-Added Framework for Analyzing Electronic and Print Publishing,” Internet Research 1.1 (1991): 18-22. 
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: Digital electronic network and optical storage technologies are revolutionizing publishing. The new technology enables a disaggregation of value and an associated disintegration of production. The dimensions of new information technologies can be explored more carefully by thinking about ten discrete characteristics or attributes of information products, or “types of value,” A modern print publisher is a broker or assembler of all the types of value. Mechanical print formats will continue to offer better utility to consumers than digital electronic formats as long as they have more of these types of value than digital electronic formats. Lightweight “notebook” portable microcomputers, having most of the power of desktop computers, and pen-operating systems at least partially satisfy the first need, the need for book-size flat panel displays. Three inter-related software requirements remain to be satisfied: improved browsability, zooming capability, and improved annotation capability. Network and CD-ROM technologies make it possible for a larger number of competing suppliers of specific types of added value to offer diverse products, with some of the features likely to cause consumers to shift their preferences from paper to electronic formats.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Policy Analysis

Robert L. Oakley, “Copyright Issues for the Creators and Users of Information in the Electronic Environment,” Internet Research 1.1 (1991): 23-30.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: Using questions from creators and users of online information, the author explores the interface of copyright and new technology, explains how copyright works in the electronic environment, and identifies some areas of change needed to maintain the balance between the users and creators of electronic information. Overall, the author argues that existing copyright law can be applied to electronic information.
Method: Survey-Content Analysis
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Marian L. Dalton, “Does Anybody Have a Map? Accessing Information in the Internet’s Virtual Library,” Internet Research 1.1 (1991): 31-39.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The rapid advances in computer networking technology in the late 1980s have led to a corresponding increase in locations wishing to participate in computer networks. As more sites adopt a common communication protocol and connect to local networks that may themselves be connected into a national network, opportunities abound for information sharing and collaborative research. A major roadblock to experiencing the benefits of this connectivity, however, is the difficulty of knowing what information is available on computers throughout the network. Several approaches are being explored to provide access to this “virtual library,” A combination of library and computer networking skills will be necessary to design appropriate tools that will allow all users to participate in the developing networked information environment. 
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Michael J. Kovacs and Diane K. Kovacs, “The State of Scholarly Electronic Conferencing,” Internet Research 1.2 (1991): 29-36.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: E-mail based electronic conferences (e-conferences) and journals (e-journals) are an increasingly popular means of communication for scholars who have access to the academic networks BITNET or Internet. This article explains the technology that allows e-conferences to form and proliferate, presents preliminary research on scholars’ use of the networks, and then examines general issues informing and moderating e-conferences. 
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Roy Tennant, “Internet Basic Training: Teaching Networking Skills in Higher Education,” Internet Research 1.2 (1991): 37-46.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The Internet computer network is not yet an intuitive or an easily understood environment in which to work. Therefore, new network users in higher education need basic instruction on what the Internet offers and how it can be utilized. Basic training can include an overview of the major academic networks, how to use the networks, how to discover networked information resources, and where to get more information. A conceptual framework of the various operating systems and programs that they will need to connect to a networked information resource may help users understand which command is appropriate and when it is appropriate. Academic librarians are uniquely qualified to offer this instruction because networked information resources are merely another “format” of information and because librarians are skilled at presenting complex information in a straightforward manner. 
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

1992

Scott A. Shamp, “Prospects for Electronic Publication in Communication: A Survey of Potential Users,” Communication Quarterly, 40:3 (Summer 1992): 297 – 304
This paper discusses the arguments for and against electronic publication and explores the potential acceptance for an electronic journal in the communication discipline. Using electronic mail, 85 users of a computer communication system were surveyed to determine the factors that would influence their decision to submit research reports to an electronic journal. The survey indicates that a majority of respondents would use an electronic journal to publish research reports. The survey provides evidence that willingness to electronically publish decreased with higher occupational positions (from Masters Students to Associate Professor) with this trend reversing itself at the level of Full Professor.
Method: Survey-Content Analysis
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Dale A. Bertelsen, “Media Form and Government: Democracy as an Archetypal Image in the Electronic Age,” Communication Quarterly, 40:4 (Autumn 1992): 325 – 337.
This essay suggests that media form and government are related. From this perspective, cultural systems are defined by their dominant communication technologies which ultimately privileges some forms of government and disadvantages others. Employed as an extended example, democracy is traced through different cultural systems. The examination leads to the conclusion that participatory democracy functions as an archetypal image or deal that dominates political thinking and political communication in contemporary culture. The structural features, logics, and tendencies of communication technologies explored here suggest that researchers might reasonably anticipate changes in government form and political communication. 
Method: Interpretive-Policy Analysis
Theory: Policy Analysis

Linda Klebe Trevino and Jane Webster, “Flow in Computer — Mediated Communication — Electronic Mail and Voice Mail Evaluation and Impacts,” Communication Research 19.5 (1992): 539-573.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The study investigates the effects of multiple variables on user evaluation and perceived impacts of electronic mail and voice mail systems. It introduces flow as an important construct that characterizes perceptions of employee interactions with computer – mediated communication technologies as more or less playful and exploratory. Flow is hypothesized to be influenced by the technology (higher for electronic mail), ease of use, and computer skill. It is also proposed that flow , type of technology, perceived technology characteristics(ease of use), and organizational factors (management support, communication partners’ medium use) positively influence employee evaluations and perceived impacts. A field survey was conducted at a large health care firm that had recently adopted both electronic mail and voice mail. The LISREL results provide mixed support for the hypotheses.
Method: Survey-Content Analysis
Theory: Information Processing/Uses and Gratification

Joseph B. Walther and Judee K. Burgoon, “Relational Communication in Computer – Mediated Interaction,” Human Communication Research 19.1 (1992): 50-88.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: This study involved an experiment on the effects of time and communication channel — asynchronous computer conferencing versus face – to – face meeting — on relational communication in groups. Prior research on the relational aspects of computer – mediated communication has suggested strong depersonalizing effects of the medium due to the absence of nonverbal cues. Past research is criticized for failing to incorporate temporal and developmental perspectives on information processing and relational development. In this study, data were collected from 96 subjects assigned to computer conferencing or face- to- face zero – history groups of 3, who completed three tasks over several weeks’ time. Results showed that computer – mediated groups increased in several relational dimensions to more positive levels and that these subsequent levels approximated those of face–to–groups. Boundaries on the predominant theories of computer – mediated communication are recommended, and principles from uncertainty reduction and social penetration are discussed.
Method: Experiment
Theory: Information Processing/Uses and Gratification

B. Clifford Neuman, “Prospero: A Tool for Organizing Internet Resources,” Internet Research 2.1 (1992): 30-37.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: Recent growth of the Internet has greatly increased the amount of information that is accessible and the number of resources that are available to users. To exploit this growth, it must be possible for users to find the information and resources they need. Existing techniques for organizing systems have evolved from those used on centralized systems, but these techniques are inadequate for organizing information on a global scale. This article describes Prospero, a distributed file system based on the Virtual System Model. Prospero provides tools to help users organize Internet resources. These tools allow users to construct customized views of available resources, while taking advantage of the structure imposed by others. Prospero provides a framework that can tie together various indexing services producing the fabric on which resource discovery techniques can be applied. 
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Peter Scott, “HYTELNET as Software for Accessing the Internet: A Personal Perspective on the Development of HYTELNET,” Internet Research 2.1 (1992): 38-44.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: 
The “community” of computers commonly referred to as the Internet contains vast amounts of information useful to librarians, scholars, networkers, businesspeople, professionals, and the general public. This information comprises online public-access catalogs, full-text databases, campus-wide information systems, bulletin boards and other types of knowledge bases. Until recently, discovering what is available has been a painful chore for the user. Paper directories exist, but they are out of date as soon as they are published, and they are cumbersome to update. The HYTELNET software, which gives a user the login addresses and passwords to every known remote site on the Internet, has made the process of finding sources easier. HYTELNET guides a user, with hypertext jumps, through the maze of information sources. This article explains how the program operates, what it comprises, and how it can be updated.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Peter Deutsch, “Resource Discovery in an Internet Environment—the Archie Approach,” Internet Research 2.1 (1992): 45-51.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: New resources and services are being added to the network daily. The number of prospective users of these resources is expanding rapidly, but problems arise when individuals attempt to identify, locate, and access networked information in today’s dynamic environment. This paper describes Archie, an electronic indexing service for locating information that exists on the Internet. The author describes the Archie service in the context of the Resource Discovery Problem and discusses enhancements that are planned for Archie. 
Method: Interpretive-Policy Analysis
Theory: Policy Analysis

Tim Lee-Berners, Robert Cailliau, Jean-François Groff, and Bernd Pollermann, “World-Wide Web: The Information Universe,” Internet Research 2.1 (1992): 52-58.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The World-Wide Web (W3) initiative is a practical project designed to bring a global information universe into existence using available technology. This article describes the aims, data model and protocols needed to implement the “web” and compares them with various contemporary systems.
Method: Interpretive-Policy Analysis
Theory: Policy Analysis

Alicia Robbin, “Social Scientists at Work on Electronic Research Networks,” Internet Research 2.2 (1992): 6-30.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to contribute to our stock of knowledge about who uses networks, how they are used, and what contribution the networks make to advancing the scientific enterprise. Between 1985 and 1990, the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) ACCESS data facility at the University of Wisconsin-Madison provided social scientists in the United States and elsewhere with access through the electronic networks to complex and dynamic statistical data; the 1984 SIPP is a longitudinal panel survey designed to examine economic well-being in the United States. This article describes the conceptual framework and design of SIPP ACCESS; examines how network users communicated with the SIPP ACCESS project staff about the SIPP data; and evaluates one outcome derived from the communications, the improvement of the quality of the SIPP data. The direct and indirect benefits to social scientists of electronic networks are discussed. The author concludes with a series of policy recommendations that link the assessment of our inadequate knowledge base for evaluating how electronic networks advance the scientific enterprise and the SIPP ACCESS research network experience to the policy initiatives of the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 (P.L. 102–194) and the related extensive recommendations embodied in Grand Challenges 1993 High Performance Computing and Communications (The FY 1993 U.S. Research and Development Program).
Method: Survey-Content Analysis
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Thomas E. Pinelli, Rebecca O. Barclay, Ann P. Bishop and John M. Kennedy, “Information Technology and Aerospace Knowledge Diffusion: Exploring the Intermediary-End User Interface in a Policy Framework,” Internet Research 2.2 (1992): 31-49.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: Federal attempts to stimulate technological innovation have been unsuccessful because of the application of an inappropriate policy framework that lacks conceptual and empirical knowledge of the process of technological innovation and fails to acknowledge the relationship between knowledge production, transfer, and use as equally important components of the process of knowledge diffusion. This article argues that the potential contributions of high-speed computing and networking systems will be diminished unless empirically derived knowledge about the information-seeking behavior of the members of the social system is incorporated into a new policy framework. Findings from the NASA/DoD Aerospace Knowledge Diffusion Research Project are presented in support of this assertion. 
Method: Interpretive-Policy Analysis
Theory: Policy Analysis

David O. Williams and Brian E. Carpenter, “Data Networking for the European Academic and Research Community: Is It Important?” Internet Research 2.2 (1992): 56-64.
Key Words: N/A 
Abstract: Spectacular developments in computer network technology and applications are imminent, but European research and industry are unprepared for them. The gigabit testbeds and the NREN plans in the United States and technology developments in Japan are a clear challenge. Europe has a complex pattern of national and international research networks that provide valuable services for their existing users. The evolution of these networks has been hindered by a variety of regulatory, political, economic and technical barriers to progress, especially the lack of political focus and the small scale of industrial involvement. This paper analyzes the situation and makes recommendations for the way forward. 
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Social Interaction

Susan M. Eldred and Michael J. McGill, “Commercialization of the Internet/NREN: Introduction,” Internet Research 2.3 (1992): 2-4.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: Among members of the U.S. Internet community, there probably is no single issue causing more debate than the commercialization of this “network of networks,” Few will dispute that the Internet is a valuable resource, but it is equally clear that its value is not limited to its traditional set of users — those in the research and education (R&E) community. As a result of its success, demand for access to the Internet comes from many sectors, and there is every indication that the fastest growing segment of U.S. Internet users are members of the business community.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Social Interaction

Allan H. Weis, “Commercialization of the Internet,” Internet Research 2.3 (1992): 7-16.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The Internet is undergoing a major paradigm shift. The factors influencing this shift, the commercial models that are emerging, and the resulting constraints that accompany these models are deeply rooted in the history of the Internet. This paper examines the historical forces shaping the new paradigm and the possible directions in which the new commercial Internet might evolve.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Social Interaction

Joel H. Maloff, “Selling Internet Service: An Ancient Art Form on a New Canvas,” Internet Research 2.3 (1992): 17-23.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The Internet is a rapidly expanding community, adding many new converts daily. Although initially the domain of computer scientists and network engineers, the Internet and Internet-like services now include users such as accountants, lawyers, demographers, business development people, product planners and corporate CEOs. In fact, virtually all businesses can find substantial benefit from the use of the Internet. Reaching these decision-makers and demonstrating the value to their businesses is the task facing anyone interested in the sales of Internet services. Marketing Internet services requires one to practice an ancient art form using new paints and canvases.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Social Interaction

Susan Estrada, “Commercialization and the Commercial Internet Exchange: How the CIX Can Help Further the Commercialization of the Internet,” Internet Research 2.3 (1992): 24-28.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: An important factor affecting the successful commercialization of the Internet will be cooperation and open exchange of ideas regarding a range of networking issues. The Commercial Internet Exchange Association (CIX), a recently organized trade association, is actively pursuing a number of initiatives to assist its members’ transition into this commercial Internet environment. Such cooperative efforts are essential for the future success of the commercial Internet.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Social Interaction

Henry H. Perritt, Jr., “Tort Liability, the First Amendment, Equal Access, and Commercialization of Electronic Networks,” Internet Research 2.3 (1992): 29-44.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: America’s movement to a digital network infrastructure may be threatened by the unavailability of high-speed network channels to some sources of information. One reason for unavailability is fear by network intermediaries that they face legal liability for carrying harmful messages. Yet changing the law to require network intermediaries to provide equal access to their services raises First Amendment questions.
Method: Interpretive Policy Analysis
Theory: Policy Analysis

Charles R. McClure, William E. Moen, and Joe Ryan, “Design for an Internet-Based Government-Wide Information Locator System,” Internet Research 2.4 (1992): 6-37.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: This article summarizes a study that identified and described federal information inventory/locator systems. Such locator systems provide an important means of accessing a range of government information not previously available to the public or other government officials. Overall, the study’s goal was to improve access to and use of U.S. government information. The study produced a final report describing study efforts, identifying issues and conclusions, and recommending the design of an networked-based government-wide information inventory/locator system (GIILS) (Volume I), the Federal Locator Database (FLD) — a machine-readable database of descriptive information on some 250 federal databases, of which fifty-three met the study’s criteria as a locator, and a user’s guide to that database (Volume II includes a machine-readable version of the database and the user guide and codebook). The study recommends that the U.S. Office of Management and Budget develop a policy framework requiring agencies to design and maintain machine-readable locators, meeting certain requirements and standards and that these be accessible over the Internet/NREN.
Method: Interpretive Policy Analysis
Theory: Policy Analysis

Donald T. Hawkins, Frank J. Smith, Bruce C. Dietlein, Eugene J. Joseph, and Robert D. Rindfuss, “Forces Shaping the Electronic Publishing Industry of the 1990s,” Internet Research 2.4 (1992): 38-60.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: Results of an in-depth study of the electronic publishing (EP) industry, with particular emphasis on the consumer marketplace, are presented. EP was defined as the use of electronic media to deliver information to users in electronic form or from electronic sources. EP is contrasted to electronic-aided publishing, which is the use of electronic means to format and produce a conventional information product. An “information chain” model of the information flows between publishers (or producers) and users was helpful in understanding the boundaries of EP and defining its markets. Following a review of the conventional publishing industry, a model of the forces driving the EP industry was derived. Although technology is the strongest driving force, it is by no means the only one; the others are economics, demographics, social trends, government policies, applications growth and industry trends. Each of these forces is described in detail in a “cause and effect” scenario, from which keys to success in the EP marketplace are derived. Although there is some turmoil in the industry, with new services continuing to appear and disappear, the overall picture is one of optimism. EP should be a significant part of consumers’ lives by the end of the decade.
Method: Model Building
Theory: Social Interaction

Terry Morrow, “BIDS ISI — A National Experiment in End-user Searching,” Internet Research 2.4 (1992): 61-73.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The BIDS ISI Data Service is the first online end-user bibliographic data service freely available to anyone from a subscribing higher education institution in the United Kingdom. Most U.K. universities and many other teaching and research organizations have taken out subscriptions, and accesses currently exceed 7,500 per week. The service, operated from the campus of the University of Bath by BIDS (Bath Information & Data Services), is the result of an agreement reached between CHEST (the Combined Higher Education Software Team who negotiate with software and data suppliers on behalf of the U.K. academic community) and ISI (the Institute for Scientific Information, USA). The service is described, an account is given of how it came into being, and an assessment is made of some of the likely effects on the activities of computer centers, libraries, and academics. It concludes with a review of likely future BIDS ISI developments.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Peter B.Turk and Helen Katz, “Making Headlines: An Overview of Key Happenings in Media Planning, Buying and Research from 1985-1991,” Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising 14.2 (1992): 19-34.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: Recent years have evidenced significant changes in how marketers view advertising media planning and buying. While much of the change has been positive, questions remain on the future of the media function within advertising. The purpose of this article is to examine the most important media-related events of the past five years to identify those that have had the greatest impact. These include sales promotion growth, changes in media consumptions, new audience methodologies and measurements, and the advent of cross-media and cross-discipline packages. These developments have not only altered the planning and buying operations but also raise questions of how these functions should be organized in the future.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Sigman L. Splichal, “How Florida Newspapers are Dealing with Access to Computerized Government Information,” Newspaper Research Journal 13.4/14.1 (1992/1993): 73-83.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: Is the computerization of government records providing new accessibility to vital information for the press and public or merely a new way to hide data? Florida’s government and media are beginning to take a look at how the new technology has altered patterns of information access and thereby could hinder access for those who are not prepared to deal with it.
Method: Survey-Content Analysis
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

John P. Walsh, Sara Kiesler, Lee S. Sproull, and Bradford W. Hesse, “Self-Selected and Randomly Selected Respondents in a Computer Network Survey,” Public Opinion Quarterly 56.2 (1992): 241-244.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: A computer survey collects data directly from respondents. Usually respondents type responses on a personal computer, but networks permit remote data collection and this may become a routine research too. Computer network surveys can improve response rates and increase self disclosure. They also can encourage self-selection. People can learn of a survey through an electronic bulletin board or distribution list and complete the survey electronically as easily as they reply to their electronic mail. Computer surveys convey little social information, so respondents experience less evaluation anxiety than when they respond in other forms of survey administration. The motivated responding to respond or self-selected seems due partly to ease of response and partly to a desire to give voice. If such respondents care about their response, they will give more information with fewer mistakes. If involved with an issue or in the community, respondents will give information that supports their beliefs.
Method: Experiment
Theory: Information Processing/Uses and Gratification

1993

Stephen R. Ruth and Raul Gouet, “Must Invisible Colleges Be Invisible? An Approach to Examining Large Communities of Network Users,” Internet Research 3.1 (1993): 36-53.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: This article focuses on what seems to be a neglected area of inquiry: the aggregate characteristics of users of scientific networks. Since most previous studies aim at small samples of network users in specific scientific settings it is difficult to make generalizations about the demographics or behaviors of a broader community of scholars. Without this user data, planning for major scientific networks lacks a fundamental body of knowledge.

The current study is a detailed view of the scientific community in Chile as of the spring of 1991. Chile has many characteristics in common with other nations with respect to scientific network implementation and use, so the methodology is replicable elsewhere. A large sample of the country’s specific population was necessary in order to permit statistically significant generalizations by research discipline, education level, computer access, and other variables. Hypotheses about this population are developed using the literature of Computer Mediated Communication System (CMCS). The authors conclude with a discussion of the potential of using the current methodology as well as the insights from previous CMCS studies to give better information in the planning process of research networks of all kinds.
Method: Interpretive-Policy Analysis
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

 R. Taylor Walsh, “Development of a Community of Information Service: The National Capital Area Public Access Network (CapAccess) —A Work in Progress,” Internet Research 3.2 (1993): 41-59.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The emergence of free online information services focused on the needs of local communities is a growing phenomenon around the nation. This report outlines the development of one such service, CapAccess, in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. It focuses on the coalition of organizations and individuals whose volunteer efforts have set the stage for its establishment as an ongoing resource in the local community. Participating entitles like local governments, public libraries, social service organizations, and schools, most of whom are not likely to finance their own online platforms, now use CapAccess for real service but also as an incubator to test the interconnected medium for their future outreach and service needs.

Being situated in the nation’s capital at the time of an activist administration also presents CapAccess wish additional opportunities as a participant in national networking programs; and the challenges of a dual mission to consider if those are pursued.

This report also discusses the underdeveloped potential of community networks to serve as local platforms for pilot projects that are part of the National Research and Education Network (NREN) and more specific National Information Infrastructure initiatives. Because the value of these initiatives is not so much the technology they put into use (at the outset, computer bulletin boards services, many with Internet connections), their primary value is in the local coalitions they bring together.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Joseph A.Wiencko, “The Blacksburg Electronic Village,” Internet Research 3.2 (1993): 31-40.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The Blacksburg Electronic Village is a project to link an entire town in southwestern Virginia with a 21st century Telecommunications infrastructure. This infrastructure will bring a useful set of information services and interactive communications facilities into the daily activities of citizens and business. The project will encourage and nurture the development of applications and delivery mechanisms for services designed for everyday life.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Michael S. Nilan, “Speculations on the Impact of Global Electronic Networks on Human Cognition and Human Organization,” Internet Research 3.3 (1993): 47-56.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: We are on the verge of a significant change in the dominant communication technology from mass media (“one voice talking to many”) to a more democratic and creative technology in the form of global electronic networks (“many voices speaking to many”). This paper examines the relationship between a society’s dominant communication technology and Marshall McLuhan’s concern for human cognition as well as between the technology and the ways that human beings organize their societies. In terms of the relationship between dominant communication media and human organization, Jacques Ellul’s notion of “sociological propaganda” is used to examine potential implications of networks on human organization. The paper concludes that electronic networks have great potential for improving the richness of human cognition and facilitating democratic organizing but that public money needs to be devoted to the development of the networks in order to help insure universal access to the networks and to insure diversity and open exchange on those networks.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Information Processing/Uses and Gratification

Gregory B. Newby, “The Maturation of Norms for Computer-Mediated Communication,” Internet Research 3.4 (1993): 30-38.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The communication norms of the major forms of computer-mediated communication are analyzed. These forms include electronic mail, mailing lists, Usenet newsgroups, virtual environments, interactive messaging and information services. Norms are the dominant standards for acceptable behavior of a group of people. Each form of communication has a set of norms, which may be adjusted somewhat for a particular instance of communication or for particular participants. New users of computer networks will find that the norms of the communication forums they may join are well established, but they will have the opportunity to create or participate in new forums where those norms may be somewhat different.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Linda F. Alwitt, Suzeanne B. Benet, and Robert E. Pitts, “Temporal Aspects of TV Commercials Influence Viewers’ Online Evaluations,” Journal of Advertising Research 33.3 (1993): 9-21.
Key Words: N/A
Abstract: The effects of brand name and social content in 38 soft-drink television commercials on patterns of viewer response are tested in terms of maintaining positive association with the product through recall and social experiences. A quasi – experimental approach is used to evaluate the effects of time to initial presence and the commutation rate of executional commercials. Multivariate analysis of variance affirmed the hypotheses that positive responses arise when brand name is shown. Likewise, the presence of social content early in the commercials produce more positive effects. Overall, the cumulative instances of brand presence is shown to be directly related to the viewers’ evaluation of a commercial.
Method: Experiment
Theory: Information Processing/Uses and Gratification

Douglas A. Boyd, “A New ‘Line in the Sand’ for the Media,” Media Studies Journal 7.4 (1993): 134-141.
Key words: N/A
Abstract: The end of both Cold War and the Persian Gulf conflict brought massive changes in the way news and information are delivered to Middle Eastern consumers. 
Middle East hunger for information from Western sources about political and economic developments in their own region. So it should be no surprise that in the Arab world, more Arab people listen to foreign radio broadcasts than in any other part of the globe. This article explains this reason in contemporary and historical aspects.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

1994

Mark Thalhimer, “Hi-Tech News or Just ‘Shovelware’?” Media Studies Journal 8.1 (1994): 41-51.
Key words: N/A
Abstract: Many news organizations are jump-starting their own electronic news and information services to compete on the information highway on-line or with subscription CD-ROMs. So far, most of the product is “shovelware.”
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Joe Quinlan, “Confessions of a Fallen Newspaperman,” Media Studies Journal 8.1 (1994): 65-71. 
Key words: N/A
Abstract: The future of mass media is addressed. Media that take advantage of new opportunities offered by the information superhighway will thrive, but those that can’t adapt will die.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Adam Clayton Powell III, “On-Ramps to the Information Superhighway,” Media Studies Journal 8.3 (1994): 113-121.
Key words: N/A
Abstract: The information superhighway seems to have a road that bypasses people of color. The high-tech society in the US is populated entirely by whites.
Method: Interpretive-Essay (including History)
Theory: Adoption/Diffusion

Thomas H.P. Gould is an associate professor at the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kansas State University where Aobo is a second year graduate student. Jacob Mauslein is a graduate student in security studies at Kansas State University.

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