Thursday October 27, 2016

Now online and open to all: the ‘Basic Communication Course Annual’

By Maureen Schlangen

When 28 years’ worth of the peer-reviewed Basic Communication Course Annual became publicly available worldwide without charge on the University of Dayton’s open-access institutional repository Oct. 19, the journal was already in the midst of a readership surge.

In the eight weeks it took to digitize and gradually upload the back issues to eCommons, search engines including Google, Google Scholar, Bing and others began pointing readers to the journal’s content, prompting more than 300 full-text downloads—all without any organized publicity among scholars and practitioners.

The University of Dayton acquired the journal and its back issues earlier this year at the suggestion of Joe Valenzano, chair of the Department of Communication and the journal’s editor since 2014.

Its previous publisher, American Press, did not provide online access to the research. Available only to subscribers by mail and to others with access to libraries that carried it, the journal, once published, fell into somewhat of an informational void, Valenzano said.

Jon Hess, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of communication, said he expects the indexing and accessibility of eCommons to result in greater readership and citations.

“The BCCA is a long-established journal that is of considerable interest to a good-sized set of scholars,” Hess said. “Up until this year, it was very hard to access, which dampened readership. It’s a testament to the strong demand for that journal’s content that people went to the lengths they did to access its articles. With indexing and online availability, I am confident this new acquisition is going to increase readership and citations and in the process raise the profile of UD.”

Browse the Basic Communication Course Annual.

- Maureen Schlangen, E-scholarship and communications manager

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