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College of Information and Communications

Research Roundup

Each month, the CIC recognizes faculty and graduate student excellence by compiling a list of all publications, grants, awards and more.



VANESSA KITZIE, TRAVIS WAGNER (iSchool Ph.D. candidate) and NICK VERA (iSchool Ph.D. student)

A paper that was virtually presented by Nick Vera at the Medical Librarian Association conference was awarded 3rd place by the research awards judging team.

Citation: Kitzie, V., Wagner, T.L., & Vera, A.N. (to be presented virtually). Understanding the health information practices of LGBTQ+ communities to improve medical librarian services. Paper accepted for presentation at the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, May 15-19. [3rd place Research Paper Award].


Holly Overton was named Senior Research Fellow with the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication. She will lead a call for research proposals on Corporate Social Advocacy for the Page/Johnson Scholar grant program. Overton has been a Center scholar since 2014. She will also conduct her own grant-funded research through her appointment as Senior Research Fellow. 


VANESSA KITZIE, JOCELYN PETTIGREW (MLIS alumna), TRAVIS WAGNER (iSchool Ph.D. candidate) and NICK VERA (iSchool Ph.D. student)

Citation: Kitzie, V., Pettigrew, J., Wagner, T.L., & Vera, A.N. (in press). Using the World Café methodology to support community-centric research and practice in Library and Information Science. Library and Information Science Research 42(4).

Abstract: The World Café (TWC) methodology is a form of action research that develops collective knowledge among individuals and communities to address shared problems. TWC can complement LIS research and practice that is increasingly participatory and community centric. The potentials and pitfalls for TWC are illustrated by ongoing research examining public library service to LGBTQIA+ communities for health information. The authors used TWC in a community forum between LGBTQIA+ community leaders and librarians/paraprofessionals in South Carolina. Per TWC conventions, participants engaged in day-long rotating café-style table conversations that encouraged new ideas and collective dialogue. Discussion centered on two themes: barriers to health information faced by LGBTQIA+ communities and collective strategies for leaders and librarians and paraprofessionals to address them. Findings indicate that TWC can advance LIS research and practice in the following ways: refuting deficit frameworks, fostering information communities, and supporting social-justice-oriented praxis. Methodological shortcomings relate to the blind spots TWC affords to social inequality and power. The authors recommend that researchers and practitioners should incorporate intersectional and reflexive methods into TWC to address these shortcomings.


Citation: Jones-Jang, S. M., Heo, Y.-J., McKeever, R., Kim, J.-H., Moscowitz, L., & Moscowitz, D. (2020). Good news! Communication findings may be underestimated: Comparing effect sizes with self-reported and logged smartphone use data. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 1–18. 

Abstract: Despite long-standing concerns over self-reported measures of media use, media research has relied heavily on self-reported data. This study not only examined discrepancies between survey and logged smartphone data but assessed whether correlational outcomes using self-reported measures produce greater or smaller effect sizes compared to outcomes using logged measures.College students (n=294) and MTurk workers (n=291) provided self-reported and logged data of smartphone use over seven days. The correlations we examined involved four psychosocial contexts, including bridging, bonding, well-being, and problematic use of smartphones. The results showed that the effect sizes of correlations using self-reported data tend to be smaller compared to those using logged data. We believe that this is a hopeful message to the field. This could mean that extant survey results have not erroneously inflated communication findings and that communication researchers still have a lot to reveal with further refined measures.


The impact of environment on creativity is powerful and well-recognized. But few recognize how the typical creative office environment can negatively impact - and potentially undermine - the careers of those with an introverted personality. It is highly unusual for an undergraduate student to 1) have her research presented at American Academy of Advertising Conference which an earlier version of this was and 2) to get published in a top-tier journal. Rose went on to earn a Master of Marketing Research from UGA.

Citation: Needle, Rose R. and Karen L. Mallia (2020). Creatives in the office: Personality and the environmental aspects of work space. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising.

Abstract: Open office plans have become the dominant mode for creative workplaces, designed to encourage collaboration. Little scholarly research assesses the validity of that trend, the conventional wisdom behind it, or the impact of open environments on creativity, employee productivity, satisfaction or success. This exploratory study surveys 143 people working in advertising and the creative industries, assessing perceptions of productivity and satisfaction with work environment along with personality type. A majority of respondents yearned for solitude to complete certain tasks. Findings suggest that open office environments may indeed undermine creative productivity, not just among introverts, but others as well. 


Citation: Bernhart, J.A., Wilcox, S., Decker, L., Ehlers, D.E., McKeever, B.W., O’Neill, J.R. (2020) “It’s having something that you’ve done it for:” Applying self-determination theory to participants’ experiences in a for-cause physical activity event. Journal of Health Psychology.

Abstract: For-cause physical activity events reach many people. Little research has applied self-determination theory to participants’ experiences in for-cause physical activity events. This qualitative study explored participants’ experiences in 5K for-cause physical activity events and intention to complete future events. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Emergent coding assessed responses for themes. Constructs of competence and relatedness were most prevalent and an altruistic desire to support the cause. Participants highlighted feelings of community supporting their intention to complete future events. Overall, experiences aligned with self-determination theory. Future studies may include altruism to understand leveraging opportunities for promoting physical activity.



Citation: Copeland, C.A., Smith, C., Esterley, P., Gignac, S., Taggart, J., White, K. (2020, August 4). Accessible virtual programming as the only programming (Plenary Panel). ASCIT’s 2020 Digital Accessibility Conference.


Conference information: 900 registrants with 500 synchronous and 400 asynchronous. Registrants were from at least four continents.

Citation: Copeland, C. A., & Thompson, K. M. (2020, September 23). Webinar on using Universal Design for Learning to enhance information literacy programs: Online and in the library. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Information Literacy Section and Library Services to People with Special Needs Section.


We are presenting results from research funded by the Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at the PRSA International Conference (now virtual) on October 26, 2020.

Citation: McKeever, B.W., Mckeever, R., Choi, M. (2020, October). Exploring advocacy, activism and related trends (and what they might mean for your organization). Presentation at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) International Conference (virtual).

Abstract: As multiple generations have become more engaged in advocacy and activism worldwide, it is important for us to understand these behaviors and the social science that helps explain them. Drawing on their professional experience in nonprofit and other industries, and using survey data collected in 2020, the panelists will explain the steps in a new scale they developed related to advocacy and activism and what it all means for communication practitioners.


LINWAN WU and ZONGCHAO LI (former SJMC faculty)

Citation: Li, Z., Tao, W., & Wu, L. (2020). Examining the joint impact of relationship norms and service failure severity on consumer responses. Journal of Public Relations Research. DOI: 10.1080/1062726X.2020.1795867

Abstract: This study investigates consumers’ attitudinal and behavioral outcomes after service failure encounters with companies with which they have previously established good relationships. It indicates that conformity with or violation of relationship norms guides consumers’ decision making, and that their subsequent attitudinal and behavioral outcomes further depend on the severity of the service failure. Through a 2 (relationship norm types: exchange vs. communal) × 2 (service failure severity: minor vs. major) between-subjects experiment, the study shows that when the prior relationship norms are exchange-based, consumers demonstrate similar attitudes toward the minor and major failures. However, when these relationship norms are communally-based, consumers respond relatively positively in the minor failure situation, but they display more negative attitudes in the major failure situation. This study contributes to public relations literature regarding the role of company-consumer relationships in service failure situations. 


Citation: Jang, W., Wu, L., & Wen, J. (2020). Understanding the effects of different types of meaningful sports consumption on sports consumers’ emotions, motivations, and behavioral intentions. Sport Management Review. DOI:10.1016/j.smr.2020.07.002

Abstract: This study extends the existing sport management literature by examining how meaningful sports consumption could be conceptualized differently based on self-construal. In particular, we demonstrate that from a self-oriented perspective, highlighting the extraordinary skills of athletes makes sports consumption meaningful, whereas from an other-oriented perspective, highlighting the moral-excellence of athletes makes sports consumption meaningful. The results of two experiments indicated that sports consumers experienced different types of affective responses, self-transcendent emotions (admiration vs. elevation), motivations (self-improvement vs. compassionate love), and behavioral consequences (improving professional skills vs. helping others), depending on the type of sports consumption (skill-based meaningful vs. moral-based meaningful vs. hedonic), and the self-construal mindset (independent vs. interdependent).

KEVIN HULL and MILES ROMNEY (former SJMC faculty)

Article in the International Journal of Sport Communication about how local sports broadcasters adapted to not having sports to report on during the early days of COVID-19. Local sports broadcasters rely on live sports to fill their shows. When COVID-19 shut everything down, job duties and content changed dramatically, and some worried about the future of the profession.

Citation: Hull, K., & Romney, M., (2020). “It has changed completely”: How local sports broadcasters adapted to no sports. International Journal of Sport Communication. Advance online publication. 10.1123/ijsc.2020-0235.

Abstract: When COVID-19 shut down the sports world, local sports broadcasters were without the games and events that traditionally fill the content of their shows. While national media outlets could dive deep into the archives to play old games and classic content, local sports broadcasters traditionally do not have that option. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine how the jobs and daily routines of local sports broadcasters changed in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. A cross-section of local sports broadcasters from a variety of markets was surveyed, and, based on the responses, several themes emerged: (a) an emphasis on creativity, (b) a shift in daily responsibility, (c) and an uncertain future. 


Our collaborative paper, titled "Applying the theory of motivated information management to the context of conflicting online health information: Implications for childhood vaccination communication with parents" was accepted for publication in the International Journal of Strategic Communication.

Citation: Li, J., Wen, T. J., McKeever, R., & Kim, J. (2020) Applying the theory of motivated information management to the context of conflicting online health information: Implications for childhood vaccination communication with parents. International Journal of Strategic Communication.

Abstract: This study investigates how parents manage conflicting online information, which may affect their information-seeking behavior and decision-making about childhood vaccination, by applying the Theory of Motivated Information Management in online communication contexts. Although an extensive body of literature has demonstrated the effectiveness of TMIM in predicting how individuals manage health uncertainty and information in the interpersonal communication contexts, the present study goes beyond and applies the theoretical framework in online communication contexts. Our findings of a survey with 439 parents in the United States are in conjunction with previous applications of TMIM, which show that individuals adopt a similar process to deal with uncertainty resulting from conflicting information in the online environment. Although further research must be conducted to change perceptions, attitudes, and vaccine-related behaviors, this study may help communication practitioners, vaccination advocates, and related nonprofit organizations to eliminate misconceptions about immunization among parents. 


Citation: Wu, L., & Overton, H. (2020). Is native advertising effective for corporate social responsibility messaging? How advertising recognition affects consumer responses to proactive versus reactive CSR. Journal of Advertising Research. DOI: 10.2501/JAR-2020-019

Abstract: This study investigates how advertising recognition influences consumer responses to a native advertisement about proactive or reactive corporate social responsibility (CSR). The results indicate that participants expressed more favorable attitudes and greater word-of-mouth intention toward a native advertisement of proactive CSR than one of reactive CSR only when they did not recognize the persuasion purpose of the native advertisement. This study also confirms perceived manipulativeness as the underlying mechanism of advertising recognition, and values-driven motivation as the underlying mechanism of CSR type in the context of native advertising. 


In 2017, a survey study examined how community members had accessed information during the 2015 flooding and during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. We reported some research findings in this article. This article is published in Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet.

Citation: Tu-Keefner, F., Liu, J., Lyons, D., Hobbs, A., Smith, J. C., & Corbo, M. (2020) Disaster health information access and public libraries’ situation-specific information: What public librarians and library users said. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 24(3), 201-227. 

Abstract: A 2017 situation-specific case study surveyed community members following the flooding in 2015 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in South Carolina. The study examined how community members used libraries’ critical disaster information services, focusing also on how the participants used disaster information sources and evaluated their credibility. The findings show that the community members surveyed valued highly the critical information services provided by public libraries and librarians. Even though most of the community members indicated that it was easy or very easy to find information, some of them did not use credible information resources either during or after the disaster.



Nicole A. Cooke interviewed Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to be Anti-Racist,” as part of Richland Library’s Let’s Talk Race programming.


Kelly Davis, APR, Fellow PRSA was selected for induction into the Public Relations Society of America's College of Fellows. The College of Fellows is an honorary organization within PRSA comprised of more than 350 practitioners and educators, each of whom has left a significant footprint on the public relations profession. Press release



Citation: Copeland, C.A. (2020, August 4). Universal design for learning [Virtual conference presentation]. Access South Carolina's Information Technology [ASCIT] 2020 Digital Accessibility Conference.

CLAYTON COPELAND and KIM THOMPSON (served as the moderator)

Citation: Copeland, C.A, & Mallary, K. J. (2020, August 24). Universal design and universal design for learning: Tools in equity of access [Webinar]. ALISE.

Abstract: Looking beyond her introduction to UDL presented to ALISE in 2019, Dr. Copeland has partnered with Kevin J. Mallary, a Ph.D. student in the iSchool at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to advance the UDL conversation by posing the questions: How can LIS educators collaborate with their peers to implement the framework in their programs, and ultimately, their institutions? In these unprecedented times, what are some concrete strategies for implementing UDL across courses? How can UDL benefit disabled learners, and more broadly, all learners and instructors? How can the principles of UDL be adopted to create accessible online learning environments, as well as library and cultural heritage programming? During this webinar, which is sponsored by the newly established Disability in LIS SIG, Copeland and Mallary aim to discuss their questions with attendees and facilitate the rich exchange of ideas and resources for benefitting all learners. 


Citation: Tu-Keefner, F., Lyons, D. R., Hobbs, A., & Smith, J. C. (2020). Supporting staff in emergencies and natural disasters. Paper to be presented at Computers in Libraries & Internet Connect virtual event, September 21 – 25.

Abstract: Libraries’ information and community services take on heightened importance during emergencies and natural disasters. Following devastating flooding and hurricanes in South Carolina and Texas, a team from University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and the South Carolina State Library has taken a more concentrated interest in providing emergency preparedness, communication (including crisis communication and social media), and health resources to help libraries and partner agencies better plan for various disasters. Hear how LIS programs and cooperative organizations and agencies can strengthen librarians’ abilities to respond in times of crisis. Get the project team’s findings and resources to help your community become better prepared for future emergency and weather events.


VANESSA KITZIE, TRAVIS WAGNER, NICK VERA, DOM FRANCIS (Arnold School of Public Health) and JULIE SMITHWICK (Arnold School of Public Health)

Recipient of an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership grant for $357,367 to understand and facilitate the health information practices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community health workers (CHWs). Based on this understanding, the project will develop a toolkit for medical librarians with strategies for partnering with CHWs in their local communities; a specialized LGBTQIA+ training curriculum for CHWs; and cultural and community competency training for medical librarians working with LGBTQIA+ CHWs. The CHW Institute at the Arnold School of Public Health’s Center for Community Health Alignment at the University of SC serves as a project partner. Understanding how LGBTQIA+ CHWs can engage in practices like finding, accessing, understanding, assessing, and disseminating health information is vital to informing how stakeholders like CHWs and medical librarians can promote community health and aligns with the call for evidence-based interventions within these fields. 



Citation: Bowen, S. A., & Lovari, A. (2020). Crisis Management. In P. Harris, A. Bitonti, C. Fleisher, A. Skorkjær Binderkrantz (eds). The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Interest Groups, Lobbying and Public Affairs (pp. 1-10). Cham: Springer International Publishing. DOI:10.1007/978-3-030-13895-0



Citation: Bowen, S. A., & Heath, R. L. (2020). Intelligences in strategic issues management: Challenging the mutually beneficial relationship paradigm. Partecipazione e Conflitto: The Open Journal of Sociopolitical Studies, 13(2), pp. 1-20. https://DOI:10.1285/i20356609v13i2p1002


Citation: Lovari A., D’Ambrosi, L. & Bowen, S. A., (2020). Re-connecting voices: The (new) strategic role of public sector communication after the Covid-19 crisis. Partecipazione e Conflitto: The Open Journal of Sociopolitical Studies, 13(2), pp. 1-20. https://DOI:10.1285/i20356609v13i2p970

KEVIN HULL and MILES ROMNEY (former SJMC faculty)

Citation: Hull, K., & Romney, M. (2020). Welcome to the Big Leagues: Exploring Rookie Sports Broadcasters’ Adjustment to New Careers. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator.

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to understand how effectively sports journalism programs and internship experiences are preparing graduates for careers in local TV sportscasting. This study also examines how local sports broadcasters are adjusting to the profession. Results demonstrate the value of a sports journalism education and sports media internship when graduates are attempting to land their first jobs in a local television sports department. However, despite the value shown, many local sports broadcasters, while enjoying it, are still having a difficult time in their first few years on the job.



Citation: Choi, M., & McKeever, B. W. (2020). Culture and Health Communication: A Comparative Content Analysis of Tweets from the United States and Korea. International Journal of Communication, 14.

Abstract: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are central channels for the delivery of health information in the United States and also in other countries. This study explores Twitter content from the CDCs in South Korea and the United States by comparing health communication messages in terms of cultural differences. The study found significant differences in communicating health in terms of frequently mentioned health topics, use of collective words, presence of authority figures, and the frequency of communicationwith the public. The study also indicates that economic as well as cultural factors influence the CDCs’ health communication. Overall, the study suggests how and how often the CDCs communicate may be associated with the two countries’ public health systems and surveillance in each country. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


After presenting during the Broadcast Education Association's Assessment Bootcamp this spring, Laura was invited to submit an article for this summer's edition of Journal of Media Education. This case study talks about the types of statistics used in UofSC's assessment plan as well as places where qualitative prose has proven useful in the past.

Citation: Smith, L.K. (2020, July). Assessment for people who hate statistics: Quantitative tools for the qualitative faculty (A Case Study). Journal of Media Education, 11 (3), pp. 38-45.



CHRISTINA MYERS and KEISA GUNBY (SJMC graduate students)

Christina Myers and Keisa Gunby were selected to be 2020 AEJMC Presidential Graduate Fellows, which includes attending a Presidential Diversity & Inclusion Career Development Workshop this year at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference.


The Communications Lawyer, published by the American Bar Association's Forum on Communications Law, has published a review of my book, “Reckless Disregard: St. Amant v. Thompson and the Transformation of Libel Law.”

Citation: Cynthia Counts, Reckless Disregard Brings Case Out from Sullivan’s Shadow, 35 Communications Lawyer 3:21 (Summer 2020).

Link: Article


Feili’s research, "Disseminating reliable information in times of disaster," was featured in the July 2020 issue of the E4GDH Newsletter published by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Evidence for Global and Disaster Health Special Interest Group. In times of crisis, libraries may aid in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Librarian first responders need to provide situation-specific and community-first information services to their communities when they are particularly vulnerable. However, although the public libraries and librarians rose to the occasion, they were not well prepared to identify, gather, distribute, and promote the use of disaster and health information to adults, especially in multiple languages and through online venues.

Link: Article



Amir Karami received an NSF XSEDE Startup computational infrastructure fund for his COVID-19 grant. The allocation of these resources represents a considerable investment by the NSF in advanced computing infrastructure. 


Jun received the 2020 Innovative Pedagogy Grant from the Center for Teaching Excellence. The funds will be used to transform International Public Relations from a traditional to hybrid course format. The proposed course aims to (1) diversify delivery methods of lectures and course materials (2) personalize topics, activities, and assessment methods to best serve students' interests and preferences, and (3) empower students to become active creators of knowledge and digital content on issues of international PR and activism. 


This paper won the TOP FACULTY+STUDENT PAPER award in the Sports Communication Interest Group for the AEJMC 2020 conference. By winning this award, the paper is automatically accepted to the Journal of Sports Media, which is one of the top journals in the sports communication field.

Citation: Hull, K., Romney, M., Pellizzaro, K., & Walker, D. (2020) “It’s Impossible:” Local Sports Broadcasters and the Prospect of Motherhood [Paper presentation]. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) 103rd Annual Conference (Sports Communication Interest Group), San Francisco, CA.

Abstract: Local sports broadcasters work long hours, make little money, and often perform a host of different tasks in the newsroom and out in the field. Add the prospect of also being a mother, the job can seem impossible. A survey of local female sports broadcasters throughout the United States found that the majority of them have delayed starting a family due to their perceptions of work requirements and worry about their employment if they became pregnant. 


This paper won Second place in the Communication Technology Division’s Top Faculty Research Paper Competition at the Annual Conference of AEJMC 2020.

Citation: Wu, L., & Wen, T. J. (2020 August). Understanding AI advertising from the consumer perspective: What factors determine consumers’ appreciation of AI-created advertisements? Paper accepted to present at the 2020 AEJMC Annual Conference (online), Communication Technology Division.

Abstract: This study tested a conceptual model that examined some influential factors of consumers’ overall appreciation of AI-created advertisements. The findings indicated that consumers’ perceived objectivity of the process of advertising creation positively influenced machine heuristics which benefited their appreciation of AI-created advertisements, but negatively influenced perceived eeriness which jeopardized that appreciation. Consumers’ feelings of uneasiness with robots were found to positively influence both machine heuristic and perceived eeriness of AI advertising.


AMIR KARAMI and FRANK WEBB (Honors College)

Amir Karami and his undergraduate student will present "LGBT in Social Media: Comparing Health Tweets of LGB and Transgender Individuals" at a conference hosted by MIT (acceptance rate: 40%).


I’d rather hear it from a robot: How audio voice drive preferences for AI-powered audio messages? Paper accepted to present at the 2020 AEJMC Annual Conference in the Communication Technology Division.

Citation: Carter, J., & Wu, L. (2020 August). I’d rather hear it from a robot: How audio voice drive preferences for AI-powered audio messages? Paper accepted to present at the 2020 AEJMC Annual Conference (online), Communication Technology Division. 


Previous research has demonstrated that Black athletes are often stereotyped negatively by the (mostly white) sports media. In this study we spoke with only Black local sportscasters who revealed that they agree that Black athletes are often stereotyped and that they believe they have an easier time relating to and telling the story of athletes that are of their race. Research paper accepted for presentation at AEJMC 2020 in the Minorities and Communication Division.

Citation: Hull, K., Walker, D., Romney, M., & Pellizzaro, K. (2020). “Through Our Prism:” A Survey of Black Local Sportscasters’ Views and Interactions with Black Athletes [Paper presentation]. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) 103rd Annual Conference (Minorities and Communication Division), San Francisco, CA.

Abstract: Black local sports broadcasters throughout the United States were surveyed to discover how they view media treatment of, and their own interactions with, Black athletes. Results demonstrate that the majority feel the athletes are negatively stereotyped and that, as Black journalists, they have an easier time relating to and telling the story of the Black athlete.


“From Advocacy to Activism: Scale Development of Behavioral Steps,” was accepted for presentation in the Public Relations Division at the 2020 AEJMC Conference in San Francisco, CA (now virtual). This research was funded by a grant from the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University.

Citation: McKeever, B.W., McKeever, R., Choi, M., Huang, S. (2020). From Advocacy to Activism: Scale Development of Behavioral Steps. Paper accepted for presentation at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) annual conference (Public Relations Division), San Francisco, CA.

Abstract: Although advocacy and activism have gained increasing importance, conceptual definitions and valid measurement of the concepts are lacking. By searching the literature, seeking expert feedback, and employing two survey data sets (N= 1,300) for scale development, this study advances a new measurement model of behavioral outcomes that can be useful for future research as well as practice. Findings indicate six dimensions of advocacy and activism. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications are discussed. 



Citation: Wen, Taylor Jing (forthcoming), “Congruity between Mood and Brand Involvement Enhances the Effectiveness of Message Appeals: Dual Processing Model Perspective,” Journal of Marketing Communications.

Abstract: This research examined how mood, brand involvement, and message appeals interacted with each other; and how this interaction influenced consumers’ evaluation of advertisements. Results showed that people with higher brand involvement processed information systematically, and the presence of a negative mood encouraged them to process information systematically to a greater extent. Hence, people with higher brand involvement in a negative mood evaluated functional ads more favorably. In contrast, people with lower brand involvement processed information heuristically, and the presence of a positive mood enhanced heuristic processing. Therefore, people with lower brand involvement in a positive mood evaluated experiential ads more positively. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed. 


Through a collaboration with the Arnold School of Public Health, Amir Karami published a paper in Natural Hazards (IF: 2.604 & H-Index: 87) on analyzing food discussions in more than 500,000 tweets posted before, during, and after four hurricanes (e.g., “Hurricane Florence”).

Citation: Turner-McGrievy, G., Karami, A., Monroe, C. et al. Dietary pattern recognition on Twitter: A case example of before, during, and after four natural disasters. Natural Hazards (2020).


Citation: Copeland, C. A., Cross, B., & Thompson, K. M. (2020). Universal design creates equity and inclusion: Moving from theory to practice. South Carolina Libraries, 4(1). 

Abstract: Universal design focuses on small changes that can be made to benefit everyone. Universal design principles can be applied to both physical and virtual environments and help provide universal access to technology and information. This paper provides a case study of the design of a library computer kiosk in an academic library, using principles of universal design to create a universally accessible workstation. The paper provides an overview of features included in the workstation, images of the workstation, and includes discussion of additional considerations and lessons learned from the design experience. 


Citation: Dodoo, N. A., Wen, T. J., & Wu, L. (2020). Unguarded against Persuasion and Willing to Share: The Combined Effect of Chronic Regulatory Focus and Disclosure Language on Consumer Responses to Native Advertising. Journal of Interactive Advertising. DOI: 10.1080/15252019.2020.1773353

Abstract: While disclosure has been largely investigated within existing native advertising research, consumers’ individual characteristics which may influence the persuasion process have not received sufficient academic attention in this area. Through online experiments, this research examined the interplay between chronic regulatory focus and disclosure language on consumer responses to native advertising across two studies. The results from Study 1 indicated that participants with a strong promotion focus were less cognizant of the commercial nature of the native ad when exposed to a native ad using an implicit disclosure label rather than one using an explicit disclosure label. More importantly, in Study 1, these participants expressed a stronger intention to share a native ad using an implicit disclosure label rather than one using an explicit disclosure label whereas prevention-focused people reacted to native advertisements with an explicit label more positively than one using an implicit label. Study 2 further suggested that perceived persuasion intent could be the potential underlying mechanism that explained such an interaction effect. Theoretical and practical contributions of these findings are discussed.



Jun was accepted as one of the Kopenhaver Center Fellows. She will join the 2020 cohort and be part of the AEJMC pre-convention workshop, Women Faculty Moving Forward: 100 Years from Suffrage to Academic Leadership, organized and sponsored by the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication.



We were awarded the 2020 Takeshi Murofushi Research Award by the International Association of School Librarians (IASL). This is a monetary award to fund research that the committee determined will have a global impact on school librarianship. Although an annual competition, the last time a project was awarded was 2016! The awarded research project will examine international school library research over a 5-year time span to identify critical needs in research on LGBTQIA+ topics. This will be an international effort examining research published in the International Federation of Library Association's seven official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish).


Jungmi Jun received COVID-19 Research Initiative Funding. She will conduct research on Asian Americans' COVID-19 related discrimination experience, communicative coping, and activism.

Citation: Jungmi Jun (PI). When Do Victims Become Activists? Asian Americans’ Experience with COVID-19 Related Discrimination, Communicative Coping Strategies, and Engagement in Activism. The Office of Research.

Abstract: Due to the origin of COVID-19, racist/xenophobia attacks and discrimination against Chinese and Asian Americans have radically increased. We propose to investigate Asian Americans’ COVID-19 related discrimination experience, communicative coping strategies, and engagement in activism in the victim and the bystander perspective. Online surveys will be conducted with Asian American victims and bystanders across the U.S. Structural equation modeling (SEM), statistical analysis, and qualitative textual analysis will be mixed. The findings will guide efforts to combat discrimination against racial/ethnic groups, share effective communication strategies for victims during coping, and empower victims and bystanders.

AMIR KARAMI and MELISSA NOLAN (Arnold School of Public Health)

In a collaboration with the Arnold School of Public Health, Dr. Karami was awarded the COVID-19 Research Initiative grant from the USC Office of Research to explore Diseases and Chemicals in COVID-19 Scholarly Articles with Data Science Techniques. This study will use computational methods to identify patterns between and within diseases and chemicals in more than 47,000 research papers. 


Our proposal titled, “Detecting and Investigating COVID-19 Misleading Information on YouTube,” was awarded a COVID-19 Research Initiative grant from the UofSC Office of Research.

Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have increasingly looked online for information on how to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus. YouTube is one of the most popular sites for such information. This research will use a new automatic method to identify COVID-19 videos on YouTube and utilize different sources of data to study the features of misleading and non-misleading information in a systematic way. Results can be shared with academic and general publics, as well as with the medical community, strategic and health communicators who may be creating health-related content to be shared on YouTube in the future.


LUCY SANTOS GREEN and MELISSA P. JOHNSTON (University of West Georgia)

Dr. Green and her co-researcher, Dr. Johnston, were selected to present their paper, "Educating Future LIS Scholars and Professionals on Ethical Publishing Policy for Scholarly Research," at the 2020 Association for Library and Information Science Education Conference. ALISE 2020 will be held October 20-23, 2020 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Citation: Green, L., & Johnston, M. (October 2020). Educating future LIS scholars and professionals on ethical publishing policy for scholarly research. Association for Library and Information Science Education Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

LUCY SANTOS GREEN and MELISSA P. JOHNSTON (University of West Georgia)

I will be presenting at the International Association of School Librarians conference with my co-researcher Dr. Melissa P. Johnston as part of our work on the $400,000 IMLS funded grant project, REALISD (Rural Engagement to Advance Learning in STEM Digitally). The name of the presentation is "Supporting STEM Education in the School Library with Digital Tools."


I will be presenting a professional paper and session at the International Association for School Librarians 2021 conference. The topic is "Achieving Transformational Change in the School Library Program." The IASL 2021 Conference will be July 16-20, 2021 in Denton, TX. Past conferences have been held in Moscow, Russia, Tokyo, Japan, San Jose, California, and most recently, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Abstract: Building on the IASL 2020 conference’s goal “to explore and discuss ideas for transforming school library programs,” the objective of this presentation is to introduce attendees to Organizational Development Intervention (ODI) theory as it applies to K-12 settings. Session participants will investigate how ODI can help school librarians explore their school’s current culture, categorize the types of changes that need to take place, and identify the existing barriers and challenges to those changes. This session will also delve into the ways ODI defines and differentiates between first- and second-order changes. A highly interactive approach will be used to introduce participants to guidelines for appropriately framing their change expectations, and setting achievable goals that lead to transformational change in school library programs.

KAREN GAVIGAN, DANIELLA COOK (UofSC College of Education), KIRA DUKE and LAYLA SMALLWOOD (Middle Tennessee State University)

Civil Rights through the Lenses of Gender, Ethnicity, Courts, and Institutions Presentation at the Online Conference of the National Council for History Education (NCHE)

Abstract: Presenters demonstrated effective, student-centered approaches for using a range of Library of Congress primary sources to understand and teach civil rights history more critically and help students do the same. Daniella Ann Cook and Karen Gavigan explored using a variety of primary sources to engage students in historical inquiry of the Civil Rights struggle through six lenses: women, youth, organizing, culture, institutional racism and the interconnectedness of social movements. Kira Duke and Layla Smallwood examined the struggle for full citizenship by minority groups such as African Americans, women and Native Americans between 1865 and 1965, using Constitutional amendments, court cases, political cartoons, and other primary source documents.



The Inaugural Augusta Baker Lecture took place on April 24, 2020. This online event attracted 263 people to hear Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas talk about the need to imagine and implement diversity in children's literature. Dr. Thomas' latest book is titled "The Dark Fantastic." The lecture and the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair honors Augusta Braxton Baker, a legendary and beloved children’s librarian and storyteller who made South Carolina her home after a 37-year career at the New York Public Library. This event was co-sponsored by South Carolina Humanities, a not‐for‐profit organization; inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture, and heritage.


AMIR KARAMI, MORGAN LAUNDY (SLIS and English Department) and FRAN WEBB (UofSC Honors College)

Published in the IEEE Access Journal (Impact Factor: 4.098) through a collaboration with Swansea University (UK), Dr. Karami and his graduate and undergraduate students applied computational methods to investigate more than 18,000 Twitter-related research papers to disclose topics and explore their trends during the last decade.

Citation: A. Karami, M. Lundy, F. Webb, Y. K. Dwivedi. (2020), "Twitter and Research: A Systematic Literature Review Through Text Mining," in IEEE Access.


Citation: Jun, J., Wu, L., & Wen, J. (in press). Interaction effects of self vs. group affirmation and message framing on college students’ vape-free campus policy support. Health Communication.

Abstract: A growing number of American colleges and universities became vape-free campuses in response to the high e-cigarette use prevalence among young adults. However, little is known about communication/psychological factors associated with campus members’ support for a tobacco policy prohibiting e-cigarette use on the campus (vape-free campus policy support). The present study explores the main and interaction effects of affirmation and message framing on the vape-free campus policy support among college students who vary in their vaping status (vapers vs. non-vapers). We conducted a computer-based experiment with a two (affirmation: self vs. group) by two (message framing: gain vs. loss) by two (vaping status: currently vaping vs. not vaping) between-subjects design. Our analysis indicated that self-affirmation demonstrates superior potency compared to group-affirmation in increasing vape-free campus policy support. The main effects of message framing as well as interactions between framing and affirmation were not statistically significant. A notable finding was the three-way interaction effect among affirmation, framing, and vaping status. The level of policy support increased the most when vapers were self-affirmed and exposed to a gain-framed message. For non-vapers, the level of policy support was the highest when they were self-affirmed and exposed to a loss-framed message.


Citation: Wu, L., & Dodoo, N. A. (2020). Being Accepted or Ostracized: How Social Experience Influences Consumer Responses to Advertisements with Different Regulatory Focus. Journal of Advertising. DOI: 10.1080/00913367.2020.1743217

Abstract: Social experience (i.e., social inclusion versus exclusion) is an important factor that influences consumer behaviors but has not been adequately examined in advertising research. To fill this gap, we conducted three experiments to investigate how consumers’ social experiences affect their responses to promotion-focused versus prevention-focused advertisements. Our findings indicated that consumers who experienced being included or being ignored responded more favorably to promotion-focused advertisements than prevention-focused advertisements. However, these effects were due to different underlying mechanisms. Consumers who experienced being rejected were indifferent to advertisements’ regulatory focus, but they preferred promotion-focused advertisements once they received a self-esteem boost. These findings are believed to provide meaningful contributions to both advertising research and practice.



Fragmentation of Self-Presentation? How Broadcast Journalists use Different Online Platforms to Promote Their Brand. Paper accepted for presentation at Broadcast Education Association (BEA) 2020 Conference in Las Vegas.

Abstract: Studies analyzing journalists’ self-presentation and branding on social media, specifically Twitter, have shown many use the platforms not only to disseminate their professional work, but also as a means to distinguish themselves from the pack. Building a relationship with a viewing audience through traditional mediums such as television and radio has shifted to a need to engage and cultivate an online following as a means for journalists to leverage their likability and promote themselves strategically. Increased organizational pressures compound the need for journalists to participate in branding activities that develop their professional identities online. However, with the multitude of platforms for which a journalist must maintain an audience, and each platform having different uses and audiences, are journalists presenting themselves differently across platforms? The purpose of this study is to examine self-presentation of journalists across their professional online platforms to determine whether there are any deviations or fragmentation in how they present themselves to an online audience. While previous studies have analyzed Twitter or Facebook social media activity of journalists separately, this study will examine the biographies of the broadcast journalists’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as their station’s website bio page. This analysis is needed to capture the full scope of the conceptual framework of journalists’ online identity and self-presentation to their online audience.

Citation: Pellizzaro, K., Hull, K., Myers, C. (2020). Broadcast Journalists’ Self-Presentation and Social Media: Changes in Branding Dependent on Platform. Paper accepted for presentation at BEA 2020 Conference.


Controlling Personal Narratives While Balancing Professional Branding: Decisions and Motivations Behind Broadcast Journalists’ Health Disclosures. Paper accepted for presentation at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) 2020 conference in Las Vegas.

Abstract: Broadcast journalists often report on people dealing with illness or physical hardship. But what happens when journalists personally experience those types of issues? This Research-In-Progress explores the decision-making and motives behind how and why local and national broadcasters share managing their lives with illness and hardship with online followers, as well as the influences over message construction. The research to date—analysis of over 1,000 personal health disclosures made by 24 television journalists on multiple media platforms—has unveiled a struggle between personal expression to maintain authenticity and transparency with an audience, while also preserving professional expression of journalistic personas that were constructed prior to the illness. Thematic analysis found journalists performed three acts when sharing personal health and hardship information online: they reported on their illness, they were transparent, and they justified their actions—leading to implication and consequences over shared content. Within the three themes, a range of expression—from personal to professional—and influences over content were found. With analysis of the online content completed—and qualitative interviews in the beginning stages—it is already clear the decision-making process for broadcasters in these cases is complex. The findings point to a complicated struggle to both maintain a professional self and persona, while also understanding the need to connect with the audience. This type of deeply personal experience in many ways connects both the professional and the personal aspects of the lives of television journalists, adding to the understanding of the emotional labor involved within this profession.

Citation: Pellizzaro, K. & Liseblad, M. (2020). Broadcast Journalists and Their Health Disclosures: Qualitative Interviews Revealing Influences and Emotional Labor involved in the process. Paper accepted for presentation at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) 2020 conference in Las Vegas.


Citation: Kitzie, V., Wagner, T. L., & Vera, A. N. (2020). “In the Beginning, It Was Little Whispers... Now, We’re Almost a Roar:” Conceptualizing a Model for Community and Self in LGBTQ+ Health Information Practices. iConference 2020 Proceedings.

Abstract: Although LGBTQ+ populations experience significant health challenges, little research exists that investigates their health from an informational perspective. Our study addresses this gap by exploring the health information practices of LGBTQ+ communities in South Carolina, focusing on how sociocultural context shapes these practices. Thirty semi-structured interviews with South Carolina LGBTQ+ community leaders analyzed using open qualitative coding informed the development of a conceptual framework describing their information practices. Findings show that participants engaged in two broad types of practices – protective and defensive – as responses to risks and barriers experienced, which are in turn produced by social and structural factors. Findings advance information practices and marginalization approaches and offer ways for medical professionals to improve service to LGBTQ+ populations.


AMIR KARAMI, VICTORIA MONEY (Department of Sociology), and BRIE TURNER-MCGRIEVY (Arnold School of Public Health)

Through a collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, the Arnold School of Public Health, and the UofSC Sociology Department, this paper analyzed more than 500k comments on Reddit to investigate temporal patterns of discussions on diet. This research applied mixed methods using both qualitative and computational approaches to disclose the hidden semantic structure of comments and explore temporal patterns.

Citation: Money V., Karami A., Turner-McGrievy G., Kharrazi H. (2020), Temporal Analysis of Diet Discourses on Reddit, International Conference on Social Media and Society, Chicago, IL. 

AMIR KARAMI and FRANK WEBB (Honors College Student)

Dr. Karami and his undergraduate student compared LGB and transgender individuals based on their health-related comments on Twitter. They have developed a mixed-method framework to collect and investigate thousands of tweets of LGBT users.

Citation: Webb F., Karami A. (2020), LGBT in Social Media: Comparing Health Tweets of LGBand Transgender Individuals, International Conference on Social Media and Society, Chicago, IL.


Citation: Birmingham, B., & Bowen, S. A. (2020, March). Perceptions of Social Responsibility: Traditional CSR or A Portion-of-Profits Scheme? Paper presented at the International Public Relations Research Conference, Orlando.



Bowen, S. A. (2020, July). Global Carolina Faculty International Travel Grant. Combining moral philosophies of east and west for use in political communication: A new framework for moral analyses. 26th World Congress of Political Science, Lisbon, Portugal. University of South Carolina; $2,000.


Bowen, S. A. & Neill, M. S. (2020). Ethical organizational listening for stakeholder engagement and responsibility in issues management. Grant awarded from the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University; $5,000.



This article, published in Social Media + Society, examines the effectiveness of rewriting web sites' terms of service in "plain English" in order to make them more understandable to users.

Abstract: Whether they know it or not, the legal rights and responsibilities of users of websites and services, including social media, are defined and controlled by the terms of service of these online service providers. But despite the importance of these provisions, studies have shown that users rarely review terms of service, or think about their meaning. This study took advantage of a major website’s “simplification” of its terms of service to determine whether the changed language increased users’ understanding of the intended meaning of the terms of service. Using the Elaboration Likelihood Model, we evaluate the effectiveness of simplification of terms of service as a method to encourage users’ understanding on these terms.

Citation: Robinson, E. and Zhu, Y. (2020). Beyond “I Agree”: Users’ Understanding of Web Site Terms of Service, Social Media + Society.


Citation: Radford, M.L., Kitzie, V., Mikitish, S., Floegel, D., Radford, G., & Connaway, L.S. (in press). “People are reading your work:” Scholarly identity and social networking sites. Journal of Documentation.

Abstract: Scholarly identity refers to endeavors by scholars to promote their reputation, work, and networks using online platforms such as ResearchGate,, and Twitter. This exploratory research investigates benefits and drawbacks of Scholarly Identity efforts and avenues for potential library support. Data from 30 semi-structured phone interviews with faculty, doctoral students, and academic librarians were qualitatively analyzed using the constant comparisons method (Charmaz, 2014) and Goffman’s (1959, 1967) theoretical concept of impression management. Results reveal that use of online platforms enables academics to connect with others and disseminate their research. Scholarly Identity platforms have benefits, opportunities, and offer possibilities for developing academic library support. They are also fraught with drawbacks/concerns, especially related to confusion, for-profit models, and reputational risk. This exploratory study involves analysis of a small number of interviews (30) with self-selected social scientists from one discipline (communication) and librarians. It lacks gender, race/ethnicity, and geographical diversity and focuses exclusively on individuals who use social networking sites for their Scholarly Identity practices. Results highlight benefits and risks of Scholarly Identity work and the potential for adopting practices that consider ethical dilemmas inherent in maintaining an online social media presence. They suggest continuing to develop library support that provides strategic guidance and information on legal responsibilities regarding copyright. This research aims to understand the benefits and drawbacks of Scholarly Identity platforms and explore what support academic libraries might offer. It is among the first to investigate these topics comparing perspectives of faculty, doctoral students, and librarians.


Amir Karami published a paper in the First Monday Journal (Impact Factor: 1.38, H Index = 63). A team of collaborators from Syracuse University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and UofSC analyzed a set of Twitter hashtags to ascertain how contemporary parlance in social media can illuminate the rich cultural intersections between modern forms of work, use of technology, and physical mobility.

Citation: Hemsley, J., Erickson, I., Jarrahi, M. H., & Karami, A. (2020). Digital nomads, coworking, and other expressions of mobile work on Twitter. First Monday.


Citation: Copeland, C. A., Cross, B., & Thompson, K. M. (2020). Universal design creates equity and inclusion: Moving from theory to practice. South Carolina Libraries, 4(1).

Abstract: There is a billboard that visually shouts “Unsee this!” at drivers along highways, enticing businesses to rent billboard space, suggesting that some things, once seen, cannot be unseen. Once researchers, practitioners, and students “see” inclusion as core to their field, workplace, and daily life, it is difficult to “unsee,” these basic principles in practice. Librarians have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to ensure that these principles and practices of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) lead our work. This article discusses universal access and design as approaches for helping to ensure EDI in libraries, including EDI in technology purchases and implementation.


The focus of the article is description of LIS articles indexed in Web of Science, with a particular look at international and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Citation: Thompson, K. M., Garrison, K., Santelices, C., Arellano, P., & Reyes, D. (in press). “Library Science” literature in Web of Science: What a decade tells us about the field. eCiencias de la Información, 10(2).

Abstract: Ensuring access to published research is increasingly important for demonstrating research impact, supporting wide readership, creating interest in collaboration, and making way for funding opportunities. This article provides a bibliometric analysis of publications from 2007-2016 in the Web of Science (WOS) database to update understanding of recent international library science research internationalization as a means of discussing research impact and collaboration. The methodology is a descriptive analysis of publications retrieved from the WOS database using keywords “library science” and WOS-generated subject heading “Information Science Library Science.” Analysis focused on descriptive data related to our research questions including representation of countries, languages, and journals. The findings reveal that most publications are published by researchers with institutional affiliations in the United States and in English. Library and information science research continues to be strong in collaboration, but international and interdisciplinary collaborations are still low in this sample. The dataset reflects that co- and multi-authored publications have the highest WOS citation counts, reinforcing the value of scholarly collaboration. This research provides a baseline to chart future growth in Library Science research publications and collaborations.


Citation: Erzikova, E. & Bowen, S. A. (2019). Missed opportunities to make P.R. great again: How the public relations industry responded to the Trump presidency. Public Relations Review



Eric Robinson presented and led conversation with faculty on legal and ethical issues when discussing controversial and contentious issues in university classes.

Citation: Robinson, E. (2020, Feb. 19). “Discussing Controversial Topics and the Right of Free Speech.” Center for Teaching Excellence, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.



Citation: Bowen, S. A., & Lovari, A. (2020). Crisis Management. In P. Harris, A. Bitonti, C. Fleisher, A. Skorkjær Binderkrantz (eds). The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Interest Groups, Lobbying and Public Affairs (pp. 1-10). Cham: Springer International Publishing.


Eric Robinson was quoted in a news article.

Citation: Brown, A. (2020, Mar. 1). SC court records involving Trump staffer Mick Mulvaney are being shielded from the public, Post & Courier, Charleston, S.C.


Paper accepted for presentation at 70th annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA). Gold Coast, Australia, 21-25 May 2020.

Citation: Maye, C (2020). I'll rumble for ya: Toward a theory of agency to aid in distinguishing incitement to violence from fighting words. Accepted for presentation at the 70th annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA). 

This research examines why individuals share misinformation on social media, even when they know it is inaccurate. We find that people do this for self-protection and self-enhancement.

Citation: Yang, F., & Overton, H.K. (2020, May). Information as self-construction: Motivations in (mis)information sharing on social media. Paper accepted for presentation at the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference, Mass Communication Division, Gold Coast, AUS.

Abstract: This study examines the intrinsic psychological motives that underscore individuals’ decisions to share misinformation on social media. A 2 (personal relevance: low vs. high) x 2 (anxiety: low vs. high) x 2 (news source credibility: low vs. high) x 2 (dispute on news: absent vs. present) x 2 (need for self-validation: no or yes) factorial online experiment was conducted. Findings suggest individuals share misinformation for self-protection and self-enhancement. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Citation: Dardis, F.E., Haigh, M.M., Overton, H.K., & Bailey, E.J. (2020, March). Communicating CSR fit: How message-framing strategies and specific elements of a company-cause relationship can enhance consumer perceptions of the corporation. Paper accepted for presentation at the International Public Relations Research Annual Conference, Orlando, FL.

Abstract: The current experiment examined the effects of CSR fit and message-framing strategies on corporate perceptions. A high fit outperformed a low fit on multiple key outcomes. However, episodic framing of the CSR initiative enhanced corporate perceptions in a low-fit condition among consumers who generally value CSR practices.

This paper will be presented in 2020 American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, in March. The current study empirically tested the role of emotions in influencing share and purchase intentions in the context of viral advertising. The results demonstrated that increased levels of Pleasure, Arousal, and Dominance resulted in greater intention to share the video ads, and such an intention to share eventually triggered greater intention to purchase the products featured in the ads. 

Citation: Wen, T. J., Choi, C.W., & Wu, L. (2020, March). The Contagious Emotions: Positive, Arousing and Empowering Emotions Determine Share and Purchase Intentions in Viral Advertising. American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Abstract: The current study adopts the theoretical framework of three-factor theory of emotions (i.e., Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance) to empirically test the role of emotions in influencing share and purchase intentions in the context of viral advertising. The results confirmed the positive role of Pleasure, Arousal, and Dominance in spreading the viral video commercials. More importantly, the results demonstrated that Dominance emerged as the strongest predictor among the three dimensions to explain the increased share intention. In addition, the intention to share mediated the effects of three emotional dimensions on purchase intention. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

This paper will be presented in American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, in March. Computer vision tools were used to analyze hundreds of social media brand images to predict people's perceptions of brand personality. The findings of this study provided insightful findings to predict what visual components/features should be utilized for produce and shape a brand's image.

Citation: Wen, T. J., Yang, J., & Peng, Y. (2020, March). Predicting Brand Personality: The Role of Computer Vision Features in Social Media Branded Content. American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Abstract: With the assistance of computer vision, the present study analyzed the visual features of 700 images randomly selected from seven lifestyle brands’ Instagram accounts. These visual features were categorized into three major sets: discrete colors (e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.), overall visual characteristics (i.e., hue, brightness, and colorfulness), and visual complexity (i.e., feature complexity, compositional complexity, and color variety). We then correlated these visual features with perceived brand personality from responses of over 1,500 participants and were able to identify some significant predictors of each of the five brand personality respectively. This paper aims to make theoretical, methodological and practical contributes to the current advertising and brand management literature.

This paper was accepted and will be presented at the American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Citation: Carter, J., Wen, T. J., & Ham, C. D. (2020, March). The Effects of Affect: The Influence of Mood and Arousal on Processing Search Engine Result Page Snippets. American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Abstract: Although researchers have produced a significant amount of work on the effects of mood and arousal on information processing, little in the way of research that applies this process and search advertising exists. This study aims to help start the process of chipping away in this literature gap by examining interaction of mood and arousal with information processing on search engines, specifically through the lens of SERP snippets. The results of this study show an interaction between mood, arousal, and the number of results on a page, as well as preliminary data on the preferences of specific snippets shown through click-through-rates. Referring back to the previous literature, the findings of this study are consistent with HSM research with those in positive moods being more prone to using global processing and those in negative moods being more prone to using systematic processing.


This paper will be presented at the 2020 American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, in March. Mood states, arousal level, and native ad presentation format can have strong effects on brand attitude and information seeking behavior. The study adds to a growing body of research on native advertising as well as research on consumer psychology. There are many avenues available should others decide to pursue future research. Understanding the way mood and arousal interact with native advertisement format has theoretical implications for consumer behavior research and also important practical implications for advertising and marketing professionals.

Citation: Noland, C., & Wen, T. J. (2020, March). Native ad styles: How do mood and arousal interact with listicle and narrative advertisements to enhance brand outcomes. American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Abstract: An experiment was conducted to examine the interplay between mood, arousal, and native ad type (listicle and narrative). Results suggest that people in a positive mood and a low level of arousal have more favorable brand attitudes and information seeking behavior when exposed to native advertisements in a listicle format. People in a negative mood and a low level of arousal have more favorable brand attitudes and information seeking behaviors with native advertisements presented in a narrative format. Additionally the study identified brand attitude as an underlying mechanism to explain interaction effects on information seeking. 


Those Lonely Minutes – Short Film

A woman finds out that her nightmares about aliens were a real experience…or were they? An experimental short film created in collaboration among faculty from UofSC and Winthrop University.

Film Festivals: Planet 9. Los Angeles, CA (2020). Underexposed Film Festival YC. Rock Hill, SC (2020). Brightside Tavern Shorts Film Festival. NJ, (2020). Experimental Forum. Los Angeles, CA (2019).​


Holly Overton and Anli Xiao received a grant from the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations, housed at San Diego State University, as part of the Broom Initiative. This study aims to further disentangle the concept of corporate social advocacy (CSA) by examining the relationship between perceived motives and an individual’s personal values on organization-public relationships (OPR). The researchers will conduct a survey to examine the impact of companies’ CSA efforts on longer term, relational aspects with stakeholders.


Darin Freeburg developed a model for organization behavior change using theories from several areas, e.g., information science, communications. He implemented the model in a small church that needed to increase giving behaviors. He found that the results were mostly successful.

Citation: Freeburg, D. (2020). An information-based approach to organizational change management. VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, ahead-of-print.

Abstract: Purpose: Though information dissemination is widely viewed within organizations as an outdated method for initiating behavior change, this study aims to suggest that it can still be effective if done strategically. The study proposes and implements the knowing model, which suggests that an individual must be aware of information about a target behavior change, integrate that information as knowledge, and be motivated to act on that knowledge. The study highlights several barriers and strategies for overcoming those barriers.

Design/methodology/approach: The model was implemented in a case study within a religious organization that wanted to increase giving behavior. Leadership and members engaged in several focus groups both before and after a three-month information campaign.

Findings: Results show that members had a better understanding of the target behavior, a gradual shift in beliefs about the target behavior, and an increase in perceived susceptibility to consequences related to inaction. As a result, members and leadership indicated an increase in giving behavior in unexpected and beneficial ways.

Originality/value: The knowing model is a low-resource approach useful as a first step in change management. It is helpful when organizations acknowledge the need for change in a given area without knowing how that change should look.

Citation: Thompson, K. M. & Paul, A. (2020). Factors of digital inclusion among women: Revisiting India and extending to Chile and Australia for additional analysis. The Library Quarterly, 90(2), 1-16.

Abstract: Digital technology plays an important role in women’s everyday lives. Various factors determine adoption, use, and enjoyment of digital technology by women. Our 2016 Library Quarterly article introduced a qualitative look at women’s adoption and use of digital technologies. The current article is a continuation of the previous study, wherein we interview women in Chile and Australia to examine factors of women’s acceptance of digital technologies for everyday life use identified with the India data. We reflect on the role digital technology plays in women’s everyday lives in these three countries and what cultural factors determine adoption, use, and enjoyment of digital technology, including: digital literacy factors, everyday life factors, professional use factors, time factors, social networking factors, and privacy and security factors. We add two factors to our existing model of digital inclusion: physical access factors and device dependency factors.

Citation: Li, Z., Tao, W., & Wu, L. (2020). The price of good friendships: Examining the roles of relationship norms and perceived controllability in service failure encounters. International Journal of Business Communication. DOI: 10.1177/2329488420907119.

Abstract: Despite companies’ efforts to cultivate positive relationships with their consumers, negative relational episodes such as customer service failures are inevitable. This study examines how perceived controllability of a service failure determines responses from consumers who have previously formed quality relationships with the company. Specifically, it distinguishes two types of quality relationships: communal and exchange relationships. It investigates how these two types of relationships interact with different levels of perceived service failure controllability, and collectively influence consumers’ emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses (i.e., anger, perceived betrayal, and negative WOM intention) to the failure encounters. Results of an online experiment (N = 140) show that consumers experience a greater level of anger and perceived betrayal when they consider the service failure as highly controllable (vs. uncontrollable) by the company. More important, this effect pattern only occurs when prior company-consumer relationships are communal rather than exchange. The results of this study enrich our body of knowledge on the role of company-consumer relationships in service failure encounters and provide useful guidelines for company-consumer relationship development and service failure management and recovery.

JUNGMI JUN and JOON KIM (Ph.D. Student)
Citation: Jun, J. & Kim, J. (2020). Do state regulations on e-cigarettes have impacts on the e-cigarette prevalence? Tobacco Control.

Abstract: Background: We examine the association between five types of state regulations on e-cigarettes (i.e., defining e-cigarettes, special tax, packaging, youth access, and licensure) and initiation and current usage of e-cigarettes in 50 US states and the District of Columbia. Methods: Data came from the 2017 BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) and the U.S. e-cigarette regulations – 50 state review by the Public Health Law Center. Logistic regressions were used to determine the odds of initiation and current use of e-cigarettes among individuals aged 18-24, 25-34, and the whole sample, adjusting for socio-demographic covariates.

Results: Despite the short history of state laws on e-cigarettes, each of the five state laws was associated with lower odds of initiation and use of e-cigarettes in the whole sample. In the 18-24 age group, only the licensure was associated with lower initiation. In the 25-34 age group, the licensure and taxation were related to lower initiation and current usage. There were significant differences of e-cigarette initiation and usage based on the number of state laws regulating e-cigarettes.

Conclusions: Our analysis indicates the potential of states’ policy efforts to regulate e-cigarettes comprehensively in leading significant changes to e-cigarette prevalence in their populations.

JUNGMI JUN, JOON KIM (Ph.D. Student), MINHEE CHOI (Ph.D. Student), and YUJIN HEO (Ph.D. Student)
Citation: Jun, J., Kim, J., Choi, M., & Heo, Y. (2020). Cancer control continuum in Korean American community newspapers: What is the association with the source nationality – US vs. Korea?? Journal of Racial and Ethnic Disparities. 10.1007/s40615-020-00729-3

Abstract: Prior research suggests that cancer information obtained from Korean American community media, which are the primary health information sources among the population, does not connect to Korean Americans’ increased cancer knowledge or cancer protective/detective behavior. We aim to identify the reason by analyzing cancer type, cancer control continuum, and cancer topic presented in Korean American community newspapers. Additionally, the nationality of news source - US and Korea and its association with the cancer coverage was examined. We found that among articles that cited any source, nearly one third used a source from Korea. The source nationality was associated with cancer coverage. In particular, cancer risk factors and screening were more likely to be discussed when a US source was cited as compared to when no source was cited. Korean sources were never or rarely observed in articles focusing on a few cancer sites (e.g., breast and prostate, which Korean Americans have higher risks compared to native Koreans), cancer preventive behaviors (diet, physical activity, no smoking), and specific cancer detection methods (mammogram, pap-smear). We suggest Korean American media to reflect the cancer priority and information needs among Korean Americans, which are varied from native Koreans, and to acknowledge the differences in cancer prevention and detection guidelines between the U.S. and Korean healthcare systems. Also, the U.S. government should disseminate cancer screening and prevention guidelines, customized to racial/ethnic groups’ cancer prevalence and communication preference. 

This study examined Nike's ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. Specifically, we examined how emotions and issue involvement impacted people's behavior intentions based on factors like their attitudes, norms, and how much they felt they had control over their actions. This research was conducted as part of the Public Relations/Strategic Communications Research Group directed by Dr. Overton.

Citation: Overton, H.K., Choi, M., Weatherred, J., & Zhang, N. (in press). Testing the viability of emotions and issue involvement as predictors of CSA response behaviors. Journal of Applied Communication Research.

Abstract: Corporate Social Advocacy (CSA) has become more prominent as companies continue taking stands on politically charged social issues. This study examines emotions and issue involvement as antecedents of theory of planned behavior variables (attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control) to predict CSA response behaviors. A survey (N = 373) was conducted to examine the public’s response to a recent CSA example–Nike’s ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

This study examines public attitudes toward environmental issues by segmenting publics into three different groups: active publics, aware publics, and latent publics. This research was conducted as part of the Public Relations/Strategic Communications Research Group directed by Dr. Overton.

Citation: Li, J-Y., Overton, H.K., & Bhalla, N. (in press). Communicative action and supportive behaviors for environmental CSR practices: An attitude-based segmentation approach.Corporate Communications: An International Journal.

Abstract: This study examines public attitudes toward environmental issues, as well as attitudes toward companies that exert efforts on environmental CSR practices, while seeking to determine whether public segments can be distinguished on the basis of two types of attitudinal factors in terms of communicative action and supporting behavior. 

This study examined how advertising recognition influences consumer responses to a native ad about proactive or reactive CSR. We found that when people did not recognize the persuasion purpose of native CSR advertising, they expressed more favorable attitudes toward the ad and stronger intention to share the ad when exposed to a native ad about proactive CSR compared to a native ad about reactive CSR. However, responses were similar for both types of CSR when they did recognize the persuasion purpose. 

Citation: Wu, L., & Overton, H.K. (in press). Native CSR advertising: How does advertising recognition influence the public’s response to proactive and reactive CSR? Journal of Advertising Research.

Abstract: This study investigates how advertising recognition influences consumer responses to a native advertisement about proactive or reactive corporate social responsibility (CSR). The results indicate that participants expressed more favorable attitudes and greater word-of-mouth (WOM) intention toward a native advertisement of proactive CSR than reactive CSR only when they did not recognize the persuasion purpose of the native advertisement. This study also confirms perceived manipulativeness as the underlying mechanism of advertising recognition and values-driven motivation as the underlying mechanism of CSR type in the context of native advertising. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

This study examines Nike's ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. The researchers found that perceptions of company motives were a determining factor in assessing their attitudes about whether companies should take stances on socio-political issues and the appropriateness of sports becoming a politicized event. This research was conducted as part of the Public Relations/Strategic Communications Research Group led by Dr. Overton.

Citation: Kim, J.K., Overton, H.K., Bhalla, N., & Li, J-Y. (2019). Nike, Colin Kaepernick, and the politicization of sports: Examining perceived organizational motives and consumer responses. Public Relations Review. Advance Online Publication.

Abstract: This study applies arguments from attribution theory to examine the role of perceived motives (values-driven, egoistic-driven, strategic-driven, and stakeholder-driven motives) in developing individuals’ attitudes, positive word-of-mouth (PWOM), and negative word-of-mouth (NWOM) intentions in response to Nike’s 30th Anniversary ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. This study also examines how perceptions of the appropriateness of the politicization of sports moderate these relationships, as well as individual factors that predict people’s assessments of sports as a politicized event. A survey (N=373) was conducted to examine how much people’s perceptions of Nike’s motives for engaging in Corporate Social Advocacy (CSA) guided their responses and the degree to which they were likely to engage in actions. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

The current study adds to the growing body of scholarship in health communication that has begun to systematically examine the relationship between message factors and public perceptions of depression. Narrative persuasion and attribution of cause can affect jointly on the public’s attitudes towards patient with depression. Minimizing the effects of stigma associated with depression requires health communicators and practitioners to develop additional strategic plans on designing messages that will be distributed to the public and become cautious of the potential drawbacks of insufficiently developed messages.

Citation: Zhang, Nanlan and Taylor Jing Wen (forthcoming). Exploring the public perception of depression: Interplay between the attribution of cause and narrative persuasion. Health Communication.

Abstract: Improving awareness and mitigating stigma related to depression have been a concern to both health communicators and practitioners. This study conducted a 2 (narrative vs. non-narrative) x 2 (high controllability vs. low controllability) experiment (N=242) to test the interaction effects of narrative persuasion and cause controllability of depression. The results show that narrative messages attributing depression to an uncontrollable cause increase identification, feeling of pity, and intention to help. However, the study finds that the positive effects of narrative messages are conditional, and they may be less effective than non-narrative messages when the cause of depression is controllable. Also, the findings suggest identification as the underlying mechanism of such interaction effects on emotional and behavioral responses. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed further.

Ads that are tailored to match personality traits can generate a high return on investment. In essence, the practicality of advertisers’ ability to use SNS ads to target individuals should be based on specific personality traits. Namely, it may be more prudent to target SNS ads toward individuals who have high levels of openness versus individuals with high levels of neuroticism and conscientiousness.

Citation: Dodoo, Naa Amponsah, and Taylor Jing Wen (2020). Weakening the avoidance bug: The impact of personality traits in ad avoidance on social networking sites. Journal of Marketing Communications.

Abstract: Social network advertising continues to be a prevalent advertising strategy for brands. With the cluttered ad environment, consumers may adopt varying strategies (e.g. ad avoidance) to prevent ad exposure. Literature suggests the link between personality traits and SNS use, and online behavior. Thus, this study examines how personality traits function to determine individuals’ perceptions of SNS ads and consequently ad avoidance. Using an online panel (MTurk) and survey, this study tests proposed relationships using SEM. The results indicate that four personality traits (i.e. neuroticism, conscientiousness, extraversion and openness to experience) have significant but opposite relationships with perceived relevance, perceived intrusiveness and privacy concern. Perceived relevance decreased ad avoidance whereas perceived intrusiveness and privacy concern increased ad avoidance confirming the significance of these three considerations in explaining the phenomenon of SNS ad avoidance. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Carmen Maye was interviewed for a story in the Charleston Post & Courier about deceptive and/or annoying political campaign tactics. 

Citation: Schuyler Kropf, If You See Dirty Tricks or Nasty Campaigning in SC Democratic Primary, Tell Us About It. The Post & Courier, Feb. 9, 2020, at A3.


SHIRLEY CARTER, JOHN DOZIER (Chief Diversity Officer), MICHELLE BRYAN (Associate Dean, DEI, College of Education) and XAVERY HOPKINS (Center for Teaching Excellence)

These individuals will be on a panel in March that will discuss the development and implementation of this faculty development initiative to provide a clear sense of the leadership and infrastructure required for its success.

Citation: "University of South Carolina's Teaching Toward Inclusive Excellence Program: An Institutional Model for Curricular Diversification." National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, National Conference, March 11-14, 2020, San Diego, CA.

Karen Gavigan co-presented a webinar with Melissa Thom on Making the Most of Your Digital Collection. The webinar was for the School Library Connection.

Citation: Thom, M., & Gavigan, K. W. (2020, February). Making the most of your digital collection. School Library Connection.

Abstract: Research has shown that eBooks and audiobooks circulate more when librarians follow a clear plan to promote them in the school community. This webinar provided creative and effective strategies for school librarians to spread the word about digital collections and make sure digital resources are getting used.

This report provides information regarding past and ongoing research projects on librarians' critical roles to the communities they serve in times of crisis. They offer some recommendations to help librarians better understand how to partner with public health professionals for emergency and disaster preparedness and response.

Citation: Tu-Keefner, F., Lyons, D. R., Liu, J., Hobbs, A., & Smith, J. C. (2020). Supporting librarians' roles in emergencies and natural disasters. Paper presented at the ALA Midwinter 2020, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 24-28, 2020.

Abstract: Libraries' information and community services take on heightened importance during emergencies and natural disasters. Following devastating flooding and hurricanes in South Carolina and Texas, a team from University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science and the South Carolina State Library has taken a more concentrated interest to provide emergency preparedness, communication, and health resources to help libraries and partner agencies better plan for various disasters. How can LIS programs and cooperative organizations and agencies strengthen librarians' abilities to respond in times of crisis? This session shared the project team's findings and resources.

This is a presentation at the International Conference on New Librarianship and LIS Education held at the the National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan, the Republic of China. This conference is co-sponsored by the SLIS and the SLIS' sister school, the Graduate Institute of Library, Information, and Archival Studies at the National Chengchi University (GILIAS/NCCU).

Citation: Tu-Keefner, F. (2019, December). Librarian first responders: Preparing future librarians and current information professionals to lead libraries in times of crisis. Accepted as a paper presentation at the International Conference on New Librarianship and LIS Education, Taipei, Taiwan, December 10-11, 2019.

Abstract: Libraries today are expected to be a hub of information service providers and also to serve as catalysts for community engagement. LIS education programs are responsible for producing proficient future librarians who will be strong advocates of innovative services to their communities and who can rise to the occasion in providing community-first disaster and health information services. However, one of the most difficult tasks is developing LIS pedagogy that can be delivered both in traditional classrooms and online. Through three situation-specific research studies, librarians’ basic required competencies have been identified. The majority of these competencies and their skill sets have been integrated into the curriculum of the SLIS/UofSC to better prepare professional librarians to provide disaster and health information services.

Dr. Karami developed a session focusing on social media and health with a group of scholars from CIC and the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina's National Big Data Health Science Conference. This session also had lecturers from the Departments of Geography, Biology, and Sociology, and the SC Honors College. Presenters discussed their research and their opinion on challenges, opportunities, and future directions for using social media data for health applications.

AMIR KARAMI, BROOKE MCKEEVER, BRIE TURNER-MCGRIEVY (Arnold School of Public Health), and ERIC BRENNER (Arnold School of Public Health)
Drs. Mckeever and Karami were part of a panel titled, "Russian Bots And Trolls And The Weaponization Of Health Communication On Social Media," with two scholars from the Arnold School of Public Health at the Russell House Theater. This session also included a keynote speaker: Dr. David Broniatowski, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at George Washington University.



Citation: Wu, L., Wen, T. J., & Habib, S. (2020, March). Disclosing authorship in native advertising: How does AI versus human authorship affect advertising evaluation? Paper accepted to present at 2020 AAA Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Abstract: This study investigates how native ad authorship (i.e., AI vs. human) influences consumers’ evaluations of native advertising. Through an online experiment, we manipulated the authorship of one article-style native advertisement. The results indicated AI authorship made participants perceive the native advertisement less credible and less readable, but activated greater persuasion knowledge compared to human authorship. More importantly, the effects of native ad authorship on advertising evaluations (i.e. perceived credibility and readability) were mediated by the sequence from persuasion knowledge to expectancy violations. However, we did not find a significant effect of native ad authorship on participants’ attitudes toward the brand that sponsors the native advertisement. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.


Citation: Wan, A., Wu, L., & Zhang, J. (2020, March). Influencer marketing in social live streaming: Understanding how Chinese users perceive its effectiveness. Paper accepted to present at 2020 AAA Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Abstract: As an emerging digital media platform, social live streaming has been gaining popularity worldwide, especially in some East Asian countries, like China. Meanwhile, brands have started to use influencers as communication channels to promote products in social live streaming. The present study conducted an online survey among current viewers of social live streaming (N = 243) in China to test a conceptual model that explains what factors contribute to the effectiveness of influencer marketing in social live streaming. The findings indicated that viewers’ parasocial relationships with the broadcasters were positively associated with their perceived effectiveness of influencer marketing. This relationship was not affected by their dispositional persuasion knowledge. Viewers’ entertainment seeking, information seeking, and social interaction motives were identified as the antecedents of the parasocial relationships. Both theoretical and practical implications to the fields of digital media and influencer marketing are discussed.


Citation: Wu, L., & Overton, H. (2020 March). Communicating ethical behaviors unethically? Using native CSR communication as a post-crisis response strategy. Abstract accepted to present at 2020 International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC), Orlando, FL.


Citation: Jun J., Wen, J., & Wu, L (2020). The interaction effects of self vs. group affirmation and message framing on college students’ vape-free campus policy support. Accepted to Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference. 



Kim Thompson was the guest editor of the International Journal of Information, Diversity, and Inclusion, January 2020 issue. Below is the link to the editorial introducing the issue and discussing the importance of engaging disability in the field of LIS.

Citation: Thompson, K. M. (2020). Socializing engagement: From words to action. The International Journal of Information, Diversity, and Inclusion, 4(1). 



Citation: Wu, L. (2019). Does customization benefit brand evaluation when consumers experience psychological uncertainty? Journal of Communication Technology, 2(2), 1-35.

Abstract: The online environment is filled with uncertain situations. Although digital interface plays an important role in online information processing, limited research has explored whether digital interface could influence how consumers deal with the psychological state of uncertainty in the online environment. The present study focuses on customization as an important feature of digital interface. A lab experiment was conducted to analyze the interplay between psychological uncertainty, interface customization, and the individual trait of uncertainty avoidance on consumers’ online brand evaluation. The results indicated that participants with a strong tendency of uncertainty avoidance evaluated a brand on a customized website more favorably than a non-customized website when they experienced psychological uncertainty. Such effects were not observed among participants with a weak tendency of uncertainty avoidance.


Citation: Wu, L., & Liu, J. (2020). Need for control may motivate consumers to approach digital products: A social media advertising study.Electronic Commerce Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10660-020-09399-z

Abstract: A salient characteristic of the current digital economy is the prevalence of digital products. It may be largely attributed to the rapid growth of digital media which grant users tremendous control over various digital content. However, a number of studies in consumer psychology reported that digital products may lead to reduced perceptions of control as the virtual format inhibits sense of ownership. Noticing this conflict in scholarship, this study examines to what extent consumers’ need for control influences their responses to digital versus physical products in a common E-Commerce situation—viewing product advertisements on social media. The results indicated that consumers with high need for control evaluated digital products more positively than physical products and also preferred the advertisements featuring digital products. Moreover, these consumers were also willing to pay more for digital rather than physical products. Such results provided some preliminary evidence to indicate that the experience of using digital products may satisfy online shoppers’ need for control. Both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Citation: Huebner, C. 2020. Communications planning: What it is, why it’s important and how enrollment marketers can apply it. Journal of Education Advancement and Marketing.

Abstract: Navigating a constricting marketplace, media fragmentation, complex customer journeys and razor-thin enrollment goals, enrollment management marketers are faced with the need to make their efforts more effective. As the current “search” model continues to be questioned, the move from finding the most efficient way to distribute communications to a new model to produce more effective outcomes has yet to be explored. Using communications planning as a framework, this paper details how enrollment management marketers can use the framework for a more effective way to produce better marketing outcomes.


Citation: Huebner, C. 2019. Digital advertising and the marketing mix: A review of current literature and implications for higher education.Journal of Marketing and Communications for Higher Education.

Abstract: By 2020, more than $117 billion will be spent on digital and mobile advertising in the U.S. As college bound populations shrink, shift and are out priced by some in-state rates, the need to increase higher ed digital marketing budgets will increase, as well. In order to improve marketing effectiveness, practitioners must develop a stronger understanding of how to maximize digital marketing’s place in the marketing mix. This paper culls current marketing effectiveness research and presents practical implications for higher ed marketing professionals.

JUNGMI JUN and JOON KIM (SJMC Doctoral Student)

Citation: Jun, J., & Kim, J. (2020). How do colleges communicate about e-cigarettes? The presentation of risk, policy, and cessation resources on websites. Journal of American College Health. 10.1080/07448481.2020.1711765

Abstract: Objectives: We examine colleges’ current practices for communicating about e-cigarettes in terms of risk, campus policy, and cessation resources based on the American College Health Association’s and other tobacco-free campus policy guidelines.

Methods: Websites of 581 universities prohibiting e-cigarette use on campus were analyzed. The relationship between the presence of e-cigarette information and campus characteristics was examined.

Results: There was a lack of e-cigarette risk information. Health and other risks of e-cigarette use were rarely or never mentioned. One fifth did not specify e-cigarettes to be prohibited. While many colleges were promoting the health benefit of a tobacco-free policy, the financial/professional benefits were rarely mentioned. Less than half mentioned on-campus tobacco cessation resources and less than one third listed off-campus resources. A few campus characteristics (e.g., the U.S. census region of campus, campus housing, funding type) were associated with presence of e-cigarette information on websites.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest the need for colleges to make e-cigarette risk, policy, and cessation information more accessible via official college websites for students and other campus members. This may increase students’ support for vape-free policy and assist successful adoption of complete tobacco-free policies on campus.

AMIR KARAMI and SOUVIK SEN (Neurology Department)

In collaboration with Harvard and UofSC Medical Schools and funded by UofSC ASPIRE grant, Dr. Karami and his students have investigated diseases in more than 65,000 neurology case reports (1955-2017) with text mining. This paper was published in the Computers in Biology and Medicine (Impact Factor=2.79, H index=75).

Citation: Karami, A., Ghasemi, M., Sen, S., Moraes, M. F., & Shah, V. (2019). Exploring diseases and syndromes in neurology case reports from 1955 to 2017 with text mining. Computers in Biology and Medicine, 109, 322-332.

Abstract: Background: A large number of neurology case reports have been published, but it is a challenging task for human medical experts to explore all of these publications. Text mining offers a computational approach to investigate neurology literature and capture meaningful patterns. The overarching goal of this study is to provide a new perspective on case reports of neurological disease and syndrome analysis over the last six decades using text mining. Methods: We extracted diseases and syndromes (DsSs) from more than 65,000 neurology case reports from 66 journals in PubMed over the last six decades from 1955 to 2017. Text mining was applied to reports on the detected DsSs to investigate high-frequency DsSs, categorize them, and explore the linear trends over the 63-year time frame.

Results: The text mining methods explored high-frequency neurologic DsSs and the relationships between them from 1955 to 2017. We detected more than 18,000 unique DsSs and found 10 categories of neurologic DsSs. While the trend analysis showed the increasing trends in the case reports for top-10 high-frequency DsSs, the categories had mixed trends.

Conclusion: Our study provided new insights into the application of text mining methods to investigate DsSs in a large number of medical case reports that occur over several decades. The proposed approach can be used to provide a macro level analysis of medical literature by discovering interesting patterns and tracking them over several years to help physicians explore these case reports more efficiently. 

AMIR KARAMI and SUZANNE SWAN (Department of Psychology)

With a collaboration with the Department of Psychology, this paper utilized text mining to disclose hidden topics and explore their weight across three variables: harasser gender, institution type, and victim's field of study.

Citation: Karami, A., White, C. N., Ford, K., Swan, S., & Spinel, M. Y. (2020). Unwanted advances in higher education: Uncovering sexual harassment experiences in academia with text mining. Information Processing & Management, 57(2), 102167.

Abstract: Sexual harassment in academia is often a hidden problem because victims are usually reluctant to report their experiences. Recently, a web survey was developed to provide an opportunity to share thousands of sexual harassment experiences in academia. Using an efficient approach, this study collected and investigated more than 2,000 sexual harassment experiences to better understand these unwanted advances in higher education. This paper utilized text mining to disclose hidden topics and explore their weight across three variables: harasser gender, institution type, and victim's field of study. We mapped the topics on five themes drawn from the sexual harassment literature and found that more than 50% of the topics were assigned to the unwanted sexual attention theme. Fourteen percent of the topics were in the gender harassment theme, in which insulting, sexist, or degrading comments or behavior was directed towards women. Five percent of the topics involved sexual coercion (a benefit is offered in exchange for sexual favors), 5% involved sex discrimination, and 7% of the topics discussed retaliation against the victim for reporting the harassment, or for simply not complying with the harasser. Findings highlight the power differential between faculty and students, and the toll on students when professors abuse their power. While some topics did differ based on type of institution, there were no differences between the topics based on gender of harasser or field of study. This research can be beneficial to researchers in further investigation of this paper's data set , and to policymakers in improving existing policies to create a safe and supportive environment in academia.



Nicole Cooke participated as an expert scholar and advisory board member for the American Library Association’s Media Literacy for Adults Initiative. 



Kim Thompson gave the plenary address for the opening session of the Symposium on Theories of Information Access Disparities in Society (TIDS 2019) in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China. TIDS 2019 provided a venue for participants to exchange ideas and research results concerning different forms of information disparities in contemporary society, and to discuss ways to promote their shared research interest. All presentations were by invitation, although the symposium audience was open to faculty and students both of and beyond Nankai University.

Citation: Thompson, K. M. (2019, October 26). Lessons from Elfreda: The impact of Chatman’s models and theories on the field of Library and Information Science.

Abstract: Elfreda A. Chatman has had an important influence on library and information science research and theory since her 1983 dissertation “The Diffusion of Information.” In the 1980s and 1990s, her use of extant social theory such as diffusion theory, opinion leadership theory, alienation theory, gratification theory, and social network theory led her on a path toward creating her own emergent theories of information poverty and small worlds. In her final works, in the first years of the 2000s, she told the story of life in the field and theory creation. She passed along to her doctoral students (including me) her own methods for theory-building and was writing a book about her personal experience as a qualitative field researcher when she passed away in January 2002. This presentation will provide a narrative of Chatman’s growth as a theory builder, the impact she has had on theory in library and information science research, and ways that her works might be used to encourage emerging scholars to continue to look to and grow theory in their own research.


Kim Thompson gave the plenary address for the International Conference on New Librarianship and LIS Education in Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan).

Citation: Thompson, K. M. (2019, December 10). Improving community service through theoretical understanding: Case studies in the LIS learning and teaching process. International Conference on New Librarianship and LIS Education in Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan).

Abstract: See abstract from previous entry.



Presented at International Society for Research in Children’s Literature conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

Delivered the keynote address at the South Carolina State Library’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Day.

Presented at the Library Research Services conference that was hosted by SLIS and the University Libraries.

Gave a keynote speech at South Carolina Library Association conference.

Delivered the keynote session at an all-staff training day at Charleston County Public Library. 

Presented at the Association for the Study of African American History and Life conference in Charleston.

Gave a keynote speech at Georgia Public Library Service’s consortium for the public library system 

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