An Analysis of HCR's Theoretical and Methodological Evolution



    Corresponding author
    1. Michelle T. Violanti (Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1995) is an assistant professor in the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Tennessee.
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Department of Speech Communication, 105 McClung Tower, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996; e-mail:


This article traces theoretical and methodological contributions the journal has made to the field of communication by providing a narrative summary supported by descriptive statistks. Findings indicate that the journal has matured both theoretically and methodologically, and there is some support to refute the argument that quantitative research is atheoretical. First, approximately 59% of the articles in the first 24 years have a theory or model driving the research. Second, the journal remains almost exclusively quantitative, and the trend analysis indicates that multiple data collection procedures in an article are becoming more of a norm. Third, within an International Communication Association content unit, no single theory or group of theories dominates the rationales used to conduct research. As we look to the future, HCR contributors, editors, and reviewers will determine to what extent these trends continue and what the journal's identity will be both within communication and outside the field.