Trends In Agricultural Communication ResearchPresentation Transcript
Trends in Agricultural Communication Research: 2000-2008 Eric Abbott, Jennifer Scharpe, Sheng Ly, Iowa State University; Jim Evans, University of Illinois Presented at ACE/NETC International Meeting, Des Moines, June 9 2009
To provide a database to assist agricultural communications researchers in finding scattered research in the field, and networking with others.
Relevance to Research Priorities
International Framework and Agenda for Agricultural Communications Research
Priority 3: “Build Competitive Societal Knowledge and Intellectual Capabilities.”
1. How can we gather and make available the widely scattered literature about agricultural communication?
2. How do we use communication networks, linkages, and approaches more effectively in agricultural knowledge management?
Unique Aspects of Database
Wider scope than previous studies. Uses Communication Abstracts, Agricultural Communications Documentation Center at the University of Illinois, and Dissertation Abstracts. Total of 391 research journal articles or books.
Coding categories for both agricultural topic and information medium
Unique Aspects of Database
Ability for users to sort it by author, university, subject matter, or any combination of these terms
Limit: Used ONLY the title, keywords, and abstract. No analysis of the entire article itself
Williams & Woods (2002) study of JAC articles 1992-2001.
Miller, Stewart & West (2006) study of 56 JAC articles 2000-2004.
Edgar, Rutherford and Briers (2008) study of 91 JAC articles 1997-2006.
Zumalt (2007) introduction to ACDC database articles
COMM: advertising, communication, mass communication, education, information technology, internet, interpersonal, magazine, newspaper, public relations radio, reporting, television/film, visual communication.
Communication Abstracts: 90 articles/books.
ACDC Database: 203 additional articles/books.
Dissertation Abstracts: 79 dissertations and 19 theses.
Total: 391 articles
Table 1: Comparison of Agricultural Communication Research Themes 391 Total articles 391 Total articles 91 Total Articles 56 Total Articles .3 Poultry 1.1 Ag literacy .3 Horse 2.2 Risk/Crisis Comm. .5 Plant 2.2 Prof. Development 1.3 Fish 2.2 Framing 1.0 Radio 1.5 Telecomm 2.2 Critical Thinking 1.8 Graphic Design 1.5 Visual Communication 2.0 Meat 3.3 Inst. Org. & Institutionalization 3.6 Academic Programs 1.5 Interpersonal 4.1 Horticulture 3.3 Food, Ag, Nat. Rsrce, Health, Fam. 3.6 Writing 1.8 Advertising 4.3 Crop 3.3 Electronic Media 3.6 International 3.3 Accountability 2.0 Public Relations 5.1 Animal 3.3 Curriculum & Program Devel. 3.6 Research 4.1 Writing 2.8 Magazine 6.4 Livestock 3.3 Consumer/Audience response/analysis 5.4 Electronic Media 5.0 International 4.6 TV/Film 8.4 Extension 3.3 Accountability 5.4 Biotechnology Communication 5.8 Research Methods 5.4 Mass Comm. 10.5 Rural 4.4 Comm Technology 7.1 Accountability 5.8 Publications 7.9 Info Technology 10.5 Environment 5.5 Distance Ed 8.9 Publications 6.6 Distance Ed 8.7 Internet 11.3 Science/Risk 6.6 Media Relations 8.9 Prof. Development 7.4 Prof. Development 9.0 Newspaper 11.8 Food 6.6 Biotechnology Communications 8.9 Distance Ed 10.7 Media Relations 9.2 Education 12.0 Farm 9.9 Communications of Scholarship 8.9 Media Relations 12.4 Comm Management 10.0 Reporting 12.0 Agriculture 14.3 Comm Management 10.7 Information Tech 13.2 Electronic Media 30.7 Communication (general) 14.6 Biotechnology 18.7 Info Sources & Technology 19.6 Comm Management 14.9 Information Tech % Theme % Theme % Theme % Theme % Theme Media Area Themes Ag Topical Themes Primary Research Themes Research Themes Research Themes Current Study: Communication Abstracts, ACDC Illinois Database, and Dissertation Abstracts, 2000-2008 JAC articles 1997-2006 Edgar, Rutherford & Briers JAC articles 2000-2004 Miller, Stewart & West JAC articles 1992-2001 Williams and Woods
Table 2: Research Methods Used Based on 106 of 391 articles that indicated method in the title or abstract 91 Total articles 1.1 Survey and Focus Group 1.1 Ex Post Facto 2.2 Surveys and Interviews 1.9 Focus Groups 2.2 Open-ended Questions/Reflections 2.8 Case Study 2.2 Correlation 3.8 Secondary data analysis 3.3 Experimental 8.5 Interviews 4.4 Historical 9.4 Experimental 4.4 Evaluation 10.4 Analysis (general critical analysis w/o statistics) 6.6 Interviews 19.8 Content Analysis 9.9 Case study 20.8 Historical 15.4 Content analysis 22.6 Survey 47.3 Survey % Research Method % Research Method Current Study: Communication Abstracts, ACDC Illinois Database, and Dissertation Abstracts, 2000-2008 JAC articles 1997-2006; Edgar, Rutherford & Briers
Table 3: University/Institutional Affiliations of First Authors This is 57.3% of the 358 articles for which there was a first author’s affiliation given 205 Ohio University 3 Kansas University 3 Virginia Tech University 4 University of North Carolina 4 University of Arkansas 4 University of Arizona 4 Colorado State University 4 Purdue University 5 College of Charleston 5 Texas Tech University 6 Penn State University 6 Oregon State University 6 North Dakota State University 7 Louisiana State University 7 University of Illinois 8 University of Wisconsin 9 University of Missouri 9 Kansas State University 9 Cornell University 10 Texas A&M University 14 Michigan State University 14 Iowa State University 15 Oklahoma State University 16 The Ohio State University 16 University of Florida 17 University or Institutional Affiliation of First Authors Number of Articles
Table 4: Top 25 Number of Total Distinct Authors by University or Institution All 539 authors for whom an institution was known =55.3% of all 539 authors. 298 University of Nebraska 6 North Dakota State University 6 Louisiana State University 6 Colorado State University 6 University of Arizona 7 Rutgers University 7 Kansas University 7 University of Georgia 8 Texas Tech University 8 Virginia Tech University 9 University of Idaho 9 Oregon State University 9 Auburn University 9 University of Missouri 10 Cornell University 11 Texas A&M University 13 Penn State University 13 Oklahoma State University 14 Kansas State University 14 University of Wisconsin 15 Michigan State University 17 University of Illinois 18 University of Florida 19 The Ohio State University 25 Iowa State University 32 University or Institution Number of Distinct Authors
Table 5: Universities With 2 or More Thesis/Dissertations in Agricultural Communication Research: 2000-2008. N=19 64 Total 2 University of North Carolina 2 University of Tennessee 2 University of Oregon 2 University of California-San Diego 2 University of Arkansas 2 Kansas University 3 West Virginia University 3 University of Rochester 3 University of Missouri 3 University of Florida 3 University of Colorado 3 Temple University 3 Purdue University 4 North Dakota State University 4 Michigan State University 4 Iowa State University 5 Texas A&M University 6 Oklahoma State University 7 University of Wisconsin Number University
Table 6: Productivity of Authors. Listing of those with 3 or more articles published 2000-2008 in database. Note: 49 researchers published 2 articles. 557 published 1 article. 557 persons had 1 article 3 Zimmerman, D. 3 TenEyck, Toby 3 Telg, Ricky 3 Sitton, Shelley 3 Sinclair, J. 3 Shanahan, James 3 Rost, Bob 3 Meyers, Courtney 3 Maretski, Audrey 3 Kalaitzandonakes, N. 3 Fannin, Blair 3 Evans, Jim 3 Crawley, C.E. 3 Chenault, Edith 3 Brossard, D. 3 Akers, Cindy 4 Whaley, Sherrie 4 VanDerZanden, A. 4 Priest, Susanna Hornig 4 Marks, L.A. 5 Ruth, Amanda 5 Doerfert, David 5 Boone, Kristina 6 Tucker, Mark 6 Lundy, Lisa 7 Cartmell, Dwayne 9 Irani, Tracy Number of Articles Author
By any measure, the literature of agricultural communication is widely scattered , as observed by Doerfert et al. (2007) and Zumalt (2007). The database for this study found 613 unique authors, 557 of whom have published only one article over the past 8 years. Building this database demonstrates the contribution that the ACDC has made to collecting and making available the literature in this field.
Although widely scattered, it is not true as some have suggested that little agricultural communications research is going on. The 391 articles/books/dissertations collected in the current database from 2000 to 2008 represents only a portion of the total, yet it certainly demonstrates a large amount of research activity in this area.
The problem, and thus opportunity, is how to help network the diverse group of researchers from 132 universities/institutions who are active researchers in agricultural communications. Networking can be useful for three majors tasks, all of which are important components of the International Framework and Agenda for Agricultural Communications Research. The three are:
(1) Literature Review Development .
(2) Collaborative Research .
(3) Conceptual Development of the Field .
The previous studies of the published contents of the Journal of Applied Communications made an important contribution to our understanding of how members of one professional association have focused their research efforts. However, ACE members constituted only about 10% of those doing agricultural communication research in the current study. If we wish to engage the larger field, future studies should be even more comprehensive than the database constructed for this study.
The database could be used as one tool to measure faculty productivity for P&T and other purposes. Companion studies of this type already exist in the field of advertising.
The current database makes it very clear that land grant universities continue to play a key role in agricultural communications research. For this reason, funding for research on agricultural communications will continue to have a great impact on the field, even though there are a wide variety of other researchers and institutions that are involved.
The current database offers some specific opportunities for ACE to build up its membership and activities in the area of research. The database identifies by name and institution those who have been active over the past 8 years.