Call for Papers

How COVID-19 Affects Communication Research

Annual Conference of the Methods Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK)

30 September – 01 October 2021 (online, 1pm – 6pm, CET)

Organizing Department: Department of Communication, University of Vienna, Austria


Extended Abstracts in English (max. 1.200 words including references and tables) should be submitted as an anonymized pdf-file including the topic designation ("Thematic Call" or "Open Call"). The submission site will open on June 1, 2021 at Submissions will be administered with ConfTool.

Submission start: June 1, 2021

The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2021. Notification of acceptance will be sent to authors by the end of July. The conference will take place online. No attendance fees will be required. The organizers plan publication of the conference papers in a special issue.

In spring 2020, the novel corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic hit the world and caused an unprecedented public health and economic crisis. News about infections and deaths were all over the media, obligatory face masks were visible basically everywhere in many countries, and many countries even closed their national borders.

The pandemic has also generated enormous research endeavors from all scientific disciplines including the social sciences. In the field of communication, researchers studied, for instance, the diverse effects of the crisis with respect to social media and smartphone use (e.g., Huckins et al., 2020; Ellis et al., 2020), online misinformation (e.g., van der Linden et al., 2020), media exposure and psychological effects of the pandemic (e.g., Garfin et al., 2020), or communication strategies and health behaviors (e.g., Muselli et al., 2021). Besides influencing the topics of communication research, the pandemic has also led to significant changes in how we do research, as for instance, regarding our research settings as well as methods (Gruber et al., 2021), our research environments, our standards and procedures, or the interaction between researchers. Against this background, the overall question of this call is “How does COVID-19 affect communication research?”.

The online conference aims to address this question in all its possible facets and dimensions. More specifically, the call for papers is open to diverse perspectives regarding how the pandemic has affected research designs, settings, instruments, standards, logics, or productivity. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of new data collection procedures, measures, or analysis techniques as well as the various ways in which research has been conducted during the pandemic covering issues such as gender diversity, research ethics, participant health, research productivity, quality and rigor, lab designs, or issues related to replicability, open science, and meta-science. We also welcome submissions focusing on methodological questions relating to research on communication and COVID-19. The call is open to all epistemological perspectives.

Additional Open Call

Additionally, there will be an open panel that is open to all possible topics related to communication methods and measures. Submissions for the open panel should be clearly marked as such on the title page and follow the same guidelines as the extended abstracts described below.

Abstract submissions are accepted for peer review on the understanding that they are not already published or under review for other conferences. However, we allow contributions that single out a methodological aspect from a study that has already been published or presented, if this aspect was not the main subject of the publication or presentation.

The submissions are assessed in an anonymous review process based on the criteria: significance of topic, quality of writing and conciseness, quality of theory and method, relation to the conference topic (not relevant for the open call), and overall contribution to research methodology.

Paul Lazarsfeld Scholarships

The Methods Division will post a separate call for Paul Lazarsfeld scholarships.


Alice Binder ( and Jörg Matthes (, for the organizing Department

Marko Bachl ( and Emese Domahidi (, for the Methods Division of the German Communication Association


Ellis, W. E., Dumas, T. M., & Forbes, L. M. (2020). Physically isolated but socially connected: Psychological adjustment and stress among adolescents during the initial COVID-19 crisis. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue Canadienne Des Sciences Du Comportement, 52(3), 177–187. doi:10.1037/cbs0000215

Garfin, D. R., Silver, R. C., & Holman, E. A. (2020). The novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak: Amplification of public health consequences by media exposure. Health Psychology, 39(5), 355–357. doi:10.1037/hea0000875

Gruber, M., Eberl, J. M., Lind, F., & Boomgaarden, H. G. (2021). Qualitative interviews with irregular Migrants in times of COVID-19: Recourse to remote interview techniques as a possible methodological adjustment. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 22(1), Art. 7. doi:10.17169/fqs-22.1.3563

Huckins, J. F., da Silva A. W., Wang W., et al. (2020). Mental health and behavior of college students during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic: Longitudinal smartphone and ecological momentary assessment study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(6). doi:10.2196/20185

Muselli, M., Cofini, V., Desideri, G., & Necozione, S. (2021). Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic: How may communication strategies influence our behaviours? International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 53. doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101982

van der Linden, S., Roozenbeek, J., & Compton, J. (2020). Inoculating against fake news about COVID-19. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.566790