Saturday, March 1, 2014

Titular Colonicity -- JMCQ Style

I've written before about titular colonicity -- in part because the name tickles me, in part because it says something about academic research. Quite simply, the hypothesis argues that as an academic field matures, more research article titles include colons. Well, the latest issue of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, the main journal in my field, came out this week and in it you'll find a good example of colonicity being very titular. Of the eight studies published, six include a colon. Of the two that foolishly forgot to use a colon, one has a question mark in the middle of the title, so we'll give it a pass.

In JMCQ's spring issue 10 years earlier, only six of 11 published studies included a colon. Ten years before that, six of 13 studies included the magic colon.

So is mass comm maturing as a field, as measured by colons in titles? I actually did a quick-and-fast-and-dirty and non-systematic study of colons and found that indeed their use has increased in our field. What that means I can't say, but one of these days I'm going to do a real analysis of colons in the major mass comm journals and submit the results to AEJMC, just for the hell of it and just to give some reviewer a reason to not accept a paper.

And just in case you think I'm making this crap up, here's an analysis of the so-called Dillion Hypothesis about colons in titles from studies published in the ecological sciences. As the abstract states:
In general, the results of this study support the Dillon Hypothesis of Titular Colonicity.

So there.

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