Improving the replicability and generalizability of inferences in quantitative communication research


This paper discusses the assessment of quality of quantitative communication research in light of the so-called ‘replicability crisis’ that has affected neighboring disciplines. For social scientific research, it is useful to think of research results as estimates which include error. I propose a framework suited to a variable field like communication, factoring in all sources of error, for assessing the quality of research. In communication research, greater consideration of generalizability is essential, which is at once both a higher standard than replicability but also a goal that should increase it. Furthermore, more explicit discussion of generalizability may help to further internationalize the discipline by clarifying the limitations of the large portion of research conducted within a narrow subset of world cultures.

Annals of the International Communication Association
Jacob A. Long
Jacob A. Long
Assistant Professor of Mass Communications