May 7, 2018

Nonwhite scholars continue to be underrepresented in publication and citation rates and editorial positions in communication studies, according to a new paper called "#CommunicationSoWhite" in the Journal of Communication by researchers at New York University. Coding and analyzing the racial composition of primary authors of articles in 12 disciplinary research journals from 1990 to 2016, along with citations, the new study’s authors found that nonwhite scholars were almost absent from publications as recently as the 1990s. Representation increased to 6 percent by the end of 1990 and to 12 percent by the end of 2010, but nonwhite first authors are still cited significantly fewer times than their white counterparts. The only exception is for articles about race.

"If we truly value research produced by faculty of color, and are serious about promoting their scholarly and professional success and advancement, we must make a conscious effort to make sure our citation practices reflect this," Charlton McIlwain, co-author and an associate professor of media, culture and communication at NYU, said in a statement.

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