Advancing Interdisciplinary Work in Computational Communication Science


In this paper I discuss the interdisciplinarity of computational communication science. I draw on my own experiences leading a multi-disciplinary lab that broadly studies multimodal communication. Scholars are increasingly using text-as-data methods for social science inquiry, driving a need for more training and professionalization of computational political communication as a sub-field. Text-as-data methods are largely borrowed from other disciplines such as linguistics and computer science, but sustained, institutionalized collaboration between scholars in different departments is still somewhat rare. Using the concept of cohesion as an example, I describe how multiple disciplines interpret and operationalize the same term in different ways. Finally, I provide a list of challenges and lessons learned, including the logistics of running a lab, communicating and publishing across disciplines, implications of authorship sequence, and maintaining your own research profile while collaborating. I conclude by discussing the role of meaningful mentorship and future directions for interdisciplinary text analysis research.

Publication Title

Political Communication