Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Notable E-Book: International Encyclopedia of Communication

Sawyer Library has recently added and electronic version of an impressive new encyclopedia called the International Encyclopedia of Communication.

Jointly published by Wiley-Blackwell and the International Communication Association (ICA), it represents, according to the publisher, "the definitive reference work in this interdisciplinary and dynamic field." This electronic resource is the equivalent of a 12-volume set containing 1,339 newly-commissioned A-Z entries, divided into 29 editorial areas representing major fields of inquiry, each of which is headed by a leading expert in their respective field. Spanning the breadth of communication studies, entries cover major theories, media and communication phenomena, research methods, problems, concepts, and geographical areas. Entries range from extended explorations of major topics to short descriptions of key concepts.

The International Encyclopedia of Communication was written and edited by an international team of well-respected scholars and teachers, representing the international character of the ICA. Editorial areas include: communication theory and philosophy, interpersonal communication, journalism, intercultural and intergroup communication, media effects, strategic communication/PR, communication and media law and policy, media systems in the world, and communication and technology.

There are multiple ways to use the online version. You may click on the "Explore" option in the upper border to see various subjects, places, periods, people or key topics to browse through. Or you can simply use the search box in the upper right.
If, for example, I search for the term dissonance, I get forty results (listed to the right), ranked for relevance. These start with "Cognitive Dissonance Theory," which is followed shortly thereafter by an entry on "Leon Festinger." Or I can explore other related subjects, topics, and so forth, from the offered options in the colorful left frame.

The ICA hopes that "this unique and inclusive work will strengthen the identity of the growing field of communication studies, support its institutions, and most of all, improve the study of communication problems and phenomena worldwide." And we here at Sawyer Library hope that the Suffolk community finds this a useful online reference source.

[FIND the International Encyclopedia of Communication by searching the title in our Online Catalog or through the link in Databases by Subject, E-Books category.]

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