See the calendar on the right for the full schedule.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Recent publications by COPS members

Several COPS members have recently had manusripts accepted for publication.  Below are the citations and abstracts:

Eveland, W.P. & Kleinman, S. (in press). Comparing General and Political Discussion Networks Within Voluntary Organizations Using Social Network Analysis. Political Behavior

Political discussion networks are influenced by the opportunities for political interactions within our larger social environments and more general discussion networks. In this study we compare general and political discussion networks using full sociometric social network data from a probability sample of voluntary organizations –specifically, intact student activity groups from a large Midwest research university. We find that even within these “weak tie” voluntary associations, general discussion networks clearly constrain the characteristics of the political discussion networks. However, political discussion networks appear to be less dense and more likely to be broken up into disconnected components than the general discussion networks. But, general and political networks do not appear to differ in their structuring by perceptions of discussant knowledge.And, most interestingly, we find that on average neither general nor political discussionnetworks are characterized by political homogeneity.

Garrett, R. K., Carnahan, D., & Lynch, E. (In press). A turn toward avoidance?  Selective exposure to online political information, 2004-2008. Political Behavior

Abstract:Scholars warn that avoidance of attitude-discrepant political information is becoming increasingly common due in part to an ideologically fragmented online news environment that allows individuals to systematically eschew contact with ideas that differ from their own.  Data collected over a series of national RDD surveys conducted between 2004 and 2008 challenge this assertion, demonstrating that Americans’ use of attitude-consistent political sources is positively correlated with use of more attitudinally challenging sources.  This pattern holds over time and across different types of online outlets, and applies even among those most strongly committed to their political ideology, although the relationship is weaker for this group.  Implications for these findings are discussed.

Hayes, A. F., Matthes, J.,  & Eveland, W. P. (in press). Stimulating the quasi-statistical  organ: Fear of social isolation motivates the quest for knowledge of the  opinion climate. Communication Research

We tested an uninvestigated propositionfrom spiral of silence theory that fear of social isolation (FSI) prompts people to seek out information about the climate of public opinion. Taking atrait-based individual difference perspective, we develop and validate a measureof FSI that is less likely to produce the interpretational problems that plagueexisting measures.  Then, using data from 8 countries spread across four continents, we examine whether those who fear social isolation to a greater extent are more likely to attend to a particular source of information in the social environment about public opinion—mass media reports of public opinion polls.   Our results support spiral of silence theory’s prediction—FSI does appear to motivatepeople to ascertain what the public thinks. However, there may be some cultural boundaries to this process.  

Nisbet, E.C., Stoycheff, E., & Pearce, K. E., (in press). Demanding democracy online: a multi-level model of Internet use and citizen attitudes about democracy.  Journal of Communication.

A successful democracy requires citizens to prefer democratic governance over other political alternatives.  In this context, we examine role of the internet in promoting political change through socialization into pro-democracy attitudes.  Combining individual public opinion data from Africa and Asia with country-level indices, we test a multi-level model examining the relationship between internet penetration, individual internet use, and citizen demand for democracy across 28 countries.  We find internet use, but not national internet penetration, is associated with greater citizen commitment to democratic governance.  Furthermore, greater democratization and internet penetration moderates the relationship between internet use and demand for democracy.  Implications for understanding how ICT diffusion and internet use may be associated with citizen attitudes about democracy are discussed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shapiro to speak on ideological segregation in news consumption

Jesse Shapiro, professor of economics at University of Chicago, will speak on "Ideological Segregation Online and Offline" at 3:30 p.m. in 437 Arps Hall, 1945 N High St. In his research, Shapiro finds that ideological segregation of online news consumption is higher than offline news consumption but significantly lower than segregation in face-to-face interactions. To attend, contact by Tuesday (10/25). Read more

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Workshop Series: Planning Ahead for an Academic Job Search

I'd like to encourage doctoral students to consider attending this workshop series. Whether you're just starting, or are collecting data for your dissertation, it's a good time to think about what it means to be on the job market.

This series of events addresses many aspects of the academic job search process. You are welcome to attend all sessions or just the ones that fit your needs and schedule. All workshops are held at 150 Younkin Success Center.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Highly cited works by COPS affiliates

Several COPS faculty and alumni are listed in Routledge Taylor & Francis's list of "Highly cited communication studies articles". The articles listed are among the top cited of all T&F journals, and the publisher is recognizing this accomplishment by providing free access to the works. Featured authors include Eveland, Hayes, Hoffman, and Hutchens. Congratulations!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Esralew, Weeks win conference paper awards

Please join me in congratulating COPS members Sarah Esralew and Brian Weeks for their award-winning conference papers. Sarah received the 2011 Timothy Cook Best Graduate Student Paper Award from the Political Communication Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) for her paper, "The influence of parodies on political schemas: Exploring the Tina Fey-Sarah Palin phenomenon". Brian's recieved a top-four paper from the Political Communication section of the International Communication Association for his paper, "Assessing belief in online political rumors and its impact on vote choice." Well done!

Esralew, S.E., & Young, D.G. (2010). The influence of parodies on political schemas: Exploring the Tina Fey-Sarah Palin phenomenon. Annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C.: 2010.

Weeks, B.E., & Garrett, R.K. (2011, November). Assessing belief in online political rumors and its impact on vote choice. Paper to be presented at the National Communication Association Annual Conference, Political Communication Division. New Orleans, LA.

Friday, September 16, 2011

First COPS of the quarter

The first meeting of the quarter will be held on Friday, September 23 at 1:30 in JR106 (the ground floor conference room in the Journalism building). If you are interesting in political communication research (or even if you aren't sure what you're interests are), I hope that you will join us. /Kelly

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Computer Science Talk May be of Interest to COPS Members

Can Couch Potatoes be Collaborators?
Dr. Venugopal Vasudevan - Motorola Applied Research
Monday May 9th 1-3 pm
Location: CETI Lab Caldwell 400

Content and communication have converged towards collaborative media
– where media rather than people are the objects around which
collaborations & conversations are centered. The device and group
dynamics around collaborative media have similarly broadened: from
highly capable devices to pervasive devices (e.g. TV & mobile) and
from small, strongly connected groups to large collaborative groups
of people with weak inter-personal ties. This talk will address some
of the experiences and challenges in delivering a collaborative media
experience to pervasive devices such as TV and multi-screen
collaborative media. We will address the systems challenges in
scaling these experiences across large user populations, and creating
coherent crowdsourced experiences across large user populations.


Dr. Venu Vasudevan is senior director of the Betaworks, an incubator
within Motorola's Applied Research with responsibility for
identifying technologically differentiating and commercially viable
opportunities in the spaces of mobile & pervasive computing, and
social media. Prior to this, Venu directed the Software Platforms Lab
with research focus on applying distributed computing technologies to
efficient and scalable media delivery architectures for advancing
television and mobile platforms – including several key Motorola
initiatives in the mobile/pervasive media space.

Venu holds a PhD from The Ohio State University, and has co-authored
over 50 papers in journals and international conferences, and is a
member of Motorola’s Science Advisory Board.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Quest for "Significance" in Social Science

Referred by a Monkey Cage post (prominent political science blog) I wanted to bring people's attention to a new article in the journal European Political Science critiquing how many social scientists search for and interpret "significance."

Determinants of Age in Europe: A Pooled Multilevel Nested Hierarchical Time-Series Cross-Sectional Model
Uchen Bezimenia, European Political Science (2011) 10, 86–91
Age is often found to be associated with a plenitude of socioeconomic, politico-administrative, biological and thanatological variables. Much less attention has been paid by scholars, however, to explaining ‘age’. In this paper we address this unfortunate scientific lacuna by developing a model of ‘age’ as a function of several factors suggested by (post)rational choice and social constructionist theories. Using state-of-the-art multilevel statistical techniques, our analysis allows the determinants of age to vary with the institutional characteristics of European countries. Our findings convincingly show that generalized trust in strangers, support for incumbent extremist political parties in provincial elections held in the month of January, and the percentage of overqualified women in the cafeterias of national parliaments are all statistically significant explanations of ‘age’. Our findings have obvious implications for conspiracy theorists, organizational advisors, spin doctors and ordinary charlatans.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Subscribing to the COPS email list

Now you can subscribe to the COPS email list on the Web. Just point your browser here:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Social Networks Workshop in May

FYI, for those interested in social network analysis you should sign up for this as soon as possible:

Network Analysis Workshop at Ohio State University

The Political Science Department, in conjunction with Complex Systems Innovation Group, Program in Statistics and Methodology (PRISM), and the National Science Foundation, is pleased to host a one day workshop on Network Analysis on Thursday, May 5th, from 9:00 - 3:00. The workshop will be taught by Bruce A. Desmarais, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts-Amherst (

The course will provide an introduction to political network analysis and will cover the basics of network analysis including: terminology, data collection/storage and basic description. We will also consider advanced topics in description and exploration such as graphical representation and community detection. Additionally, the course will introduce methods of statistical inference with network data including regression with quadratic assignment procedure (QAP), exponential random graph models (ERGMs), and bilinear random effects models. All methods will be demonstrated in the R statistical software, and commented code will be made available in conjunction with the course.

There is limited space available for interested participants, so we ask all of those hoping to attend to RSVP as soon as possible (link below). If you have any questions regarding the workshop, please feel free to contact Janet Box-Steffensmeier ( or Jason Morgan ( Additional information and a detailed schedule will be emailed to registered participants as soon as they become available.

RSVP here:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ivan Dylko Accepts Position at New Mexico State

Please join me in congratulating Ivan Dylko. Ivan recently accepted a position of assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at New Mexico State University. Ivan came to us for his MA degree, and then after a brief hiatus returned to earn his Ph.D. Ivan is currently wrapping up his dissertation project -- an explication of political user-generated content online combined with a content analysis using the mix of attributes framework -- and will be starting his position at New Mexico State in the fall.

In a very tough economy and academic job market, our students continue to demonstrate the benefits of their hard work by securing multiple interviews and great job offers. Congratulations Ivan!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Garrett published rumoring paper in Human Communication Research

Congrats to Kelly Garrett for his publication in the April 2011 issue of Human Communication Research entitled "Troubling Consequences of Online Political Rumoring." You can read the abstract here:

Scientific American posted a short podcast on the study, too. Entertaining to hear the whole project distilled to 60-seconds.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Beam accepts position at Washington State U.

Congratulations to Michael Beam on accepting a position as an Assistant Professor in Digital media in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. Michael has been actively involved in COPS for several years, and we will miss him, but he is joining a fine faculty where I'm sure he will do great things.

New publications by COPS members

COPS members have several publications in print or in press this month. More details below:

Epstein, D., Nisbet, E. C. & Gillespie, T. (2011). Who's Responsible for the Digital Divide? Public Perceptions and Policy Implications. The Information Society: An International Journal, 27(2), 92-104. doi: 10.1080/01972243.2011.548695

Garrett, R. K. (2011), Troubling Consequences of Online Political Rumoring. Human Communication Research, 37: 255–274. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01401.x

Holbert, L., Hmielowski, J., and Weeks, B. (in press). Clarifying Relations between Ideology and Ideologically-Oriented Cable TV News Use: A Case of Suppression. Communication Research.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

PCR profiles contemporary datasets

Check out the latest issue (v21/i1) of the Political Communication Report ( for a concise summary of five large, publicly available political-communication datasets. Though learning to navigate these datasets takes time, the rewards can be significant. Even if you don't normally work with survey data, it's worth looking through these collections to get a sense of what's out there.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Erik Nisbet a Go-To Source in Articles on Egypt Protests

I thought you all might be interesting in reading some of the articles in which our own Erik Nisbet has been quoted regarding the recent protests in Egypt that brought down Mubarak. As you know, Erik has done a considerable amount of research on political communication in the Middle East, making him an obvious pick to provide commentary and insight.

Big Think on al Jazeera and Egypt

NPR talkshow interview (also on the front page of the main OSU Arts and Sciences webpage currently)
Monkey Cage write-up on our polcomm article and The Atlantic's Daily Dish reference to his research regarding Egypt and
Article in Journalism section at About.Com based on interview

Friday, February 04, 2011

Nisbet on anti-Mubarak protests in Egypt

Erik Nisbet and Teresa Myer’s recent publication in Political Communication (available here) prompted GWU professor of political science John Sides to reflect on Al Jazeera's role in the current situation in Egypt. The post on the Monkey Cage also includes a thoughtful response from Erik on this issue.

On a related note, Erik has also discussed Al Jazeera’s impact on the Egyptian protests in a post of his own on

Friday, January 21, 2011

Knobloch-Westerwick and Kleinman work accepted at CR

Congratulations to COPS members Silivia Knobloch-Westerwick and Steve Kleinman for having their paper, “Pre-Election Selective Exposure: Confirmation Bias versus Informational Utility” accepted for publication at Communication Research. As many of you may remember, Steve and Silvia presented this work at COPS in April last year, and a provocative conversation followed.

Knobloch-Westerwick, S., & Kleinman, S. (in press). Pre-Election Selective Exposure: Confirmation Bias versus Informational Utility. Communication Research.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nisbet and Myers Have Lead Article in the New Issue of Political Communication

Congratulations to Erik Nisbet and Teresa Myers for having their article as the lead paper in the new issue of Political Communication! For more details and access, see below:

Challenging the State: Transnational TV and Political Identity in the Middle East, Pages 347 - 366Authors: Erik C. Nisbet; Teresa A. MyersDOI: 10.1080/10584609.2010.516801Link:,email

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Joint meeting with the Interpersonal Communication Research Group

Please join us this Friday for a joint meeting between COPS and the newly formed Interpersonal Communication Research Group. Chip Eveland will be speaking about his current work in a talk titled, Moving Beyond Standard Practice in the Study of Informal Political.

More about the Interpersonal Communication Research Group:
A new group has been formed based on the growing number of faculty and graduate students with research interests in interpersonal communication. The goal of the group is to provide a relaxed opportunity to discuss recent developments in Interpersonal Communication theory and research as well as research in progress. Faculty and students are also invited to check out our new blog at If you would like to be added as a contributor to the blog, please contact Chip Eveland with your gmail address. We plan to have periodic meetings—day, time, and topics will be announced.