Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) about Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine.

Questions About the Magazine Itself

  1. Question: What is CMC Magazine?

    Answer: A commercial publication (ISSN 1076-027X) of December Communications, Inc., with a mission to report about people, events, technology, public policy, culture, practices, study, and applications related to human communication and interaction in online environments.

  2. Question: Is CMC Magazine being published now?

    Answer: It is being published only as a continuously-updated page of links to its archive plus links to stories from news feeds. See the press release, "December Re-releases Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine."

  3. Question: How can I subscribe to CMC Magazine?

    Answer: No subscription is necessary. You can access all content through the Uniform Resource Locator: http://www.december.com/cmc/mag/

  4. Question: Do I have to pay for CMC Magazine?

    Answer: No subscription or fee is necessary for access to all content. But if you find the magazine useful, please patronize its bookstore, The Market, and sponsors on the front page.

  5. Question: Can I buy a paper copy of CMC Magazine?

    Answer: No--the magazine has never been published on paper and is not available on any newstand. You can print your own copy from your Web browser, but you cannot redistribute it for any fee to others.

  6. Question: How is the publication is funded?

    Answer: Through sponsored advertising. There are banner advertisements at the top of the most issues of the magazine. These do not pay the entire cost of the magazine. Advertising revenue from other December Communications, Inc. publications, presentations, and consulting, subsidize CMC Magazine. You can help us by spreading the word about December Communications, Inc. publications by providing this announcement to people you know who would be interested in these resources.

  7. Question: What are the names and contact details of the main publication editors?

    Answer: See the masthead.

  8. Can you tell me more about CMC Magazine?

    Answer: See the index for more information.

Questions About Computer-Mediated Communication

  1. Question: I'm doing research in a particular area or topic related to computer-mediated communication--can you give me assistance?

    Answer: See The Computer-Mediated Communication Studies Center resource area for leads on information. For other information about Internet and Web development see December Communications, Inc. Works Central. If you find useful information, please contribute to a resource page to the The Computer-Mediated Communication Studies Center so that others can benefit from your research.

Questions About Magazine Content

  1. Question: Where are the back issues?

    Answer: In the archive.There is a link with the label "Archive" at the bottom of pages of the magazine.

  2. Question: Does CMC Magazine use or request any particular style of bibliography?

    Answer: Yes, we use the style of the American Psychological Association (APA), modified for URLs. See our citation style sheet.

  3. Question: What adaptations have been made for your on-line publications?

    Answer: I assume you mean from print? CMC Magazine has never been published in print. See our May 1996 issue about issues in Web-based publishing.

  4. Question: What do you see as the essential features of your on-line publication? What innovative aspects, features or practices do you feel the on-line publication offers?

    Answer: Good content: timely, compelling articles that help people understand computer-mediated communication. We're not trying to be "cool" in terms of form. (Go to Hotwired if you want "cool"). My intent has been to experiment with the form of hypertext we use. Starting in 1996, I've pushed to use hypertext more in how CMC Magazine, is put together. I believe we are learning more about hypertext development every month.

    I believe the biggest value we offer is a consistent presentation of good content every month, exploring the most current and compelling issues about online communication.

  5. Question: What formats are used for submission and publication?

    Answer: We accept only electronic submissions. See submission guidelines. For publication, see the current issue for examples.

  6. Question: What procedures, if any, are automated?

    Answer: I've automated some steps in the production process of the magazine. See the file generation technique of the HTML Station.

  7. Question: What review and quality assurance procedures does the publication have? Are articles submitted to CMC Magazine reviewed or refereed?

    Answer: In short, several people look over and review all the material prior to publication; we are looking for accurate, timely, interesting material that best reflects our identity.

    First, an acquisition editor will read an article and immediately reject those that are not of sufficient quality to merit publication. Second, if the article is initially accepted, the editor of the issue will read the article and either agree with the acquisition editor or discuss it other editors until an agreement is reached. Third, if the article is considered a candidate for publication, a development editor will look it over, suggesting changes, and doing research or calling in outside reviewers or experts in the field where there are claims that need verification. Fourth, a copy editor will look over the article once its content is ok, to check for mechanics, usage, and grammar. Fifth, I will read the article again while I'm putting together the final state of the magazine. We may reject an article even if it goes through all the above steps--we have rejected articles even after they have received numerous reviews. I estimate that we reject about 30-40% of the material we receive as submissions.

    However, I don't formally make the claim that the articles in CMC Magazine are "peer reviewed" for several reasons. First, I'd rather just hear from people who have something to say rather than a desire to pad their vita in order to get tenure.

    Second, since CMC Magazine is a commercial publication, it has no defined place within the strict, hierarchical power structure of academic publications. I'd don't have the power or influence to deal with that structure, so I make no claims about "peer review" with regard to CMC Magazine.

    Third, I don't necessarily trust the label "peer review" when it comes to publications. I've seen extremely poor and incomprehensible material in academic publications that make the claim that they are "peer reviewed." Instead, I let the reputation of CMC Magazine rest on the character of its content.

Do you still have questions that are not answered here or in the index? Please send your questions to john@december.com with the subject line cmc-mag. Thanks.

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