Against dullness: on what it means to be interesting in communication research Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2020

start page

  • 198

end page

  • 215


  • 2


  • 23

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1369-118X


  • This research-based essay presents evidence concerning the leading dimensions that make an empirical communication research article interesting. Based on a survey to editorial boards (EBs) of 16 communication journals, five different categories of interest were found: counterintuitive, foundational, new approach, quality and exemplarity, and insightful and practical. By outlining these categories, the article provides illustrative examples of interesting studies, aiming to stimulate the research community to better assess the potentiality of their contributions, and thus elevating the likelihood of being influential and appealing. To contextualize these findings, the study also provides evidence from EBs regarding the research system itself, arguing that there is a gap between the current robustness of empirical developments and the apathy about them showed by some field's forefathers. The article finally reflects on the social division of academics based on the research nature of their studies, suggesting that the 'empirical' term has lost its original meaning of evidenced-based research and became shorthand for most quantitative work, made by "social scientists".


  • interesting research; communication research; research isomorphism; communication journals; editorial boards