Mobile communication research in 15 top-tier journals, 2006–2020: An updated review of trends, advances, and characteristics

Ran Wei, Jichen Fan*, Jindong Leo-Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Benefiting from the smartphone turn in wireless telecommunication, studies about mobile telephony have continued to grow in the 3/4G era. To explore the growth trends in the 3/4G era, and what and how mobile media are studied, the present study analyzes patterns and trends of mobile communication research in 512 articles published in 15 top-ranked communication journals from 2006 to 2020. Findings indicate that mobile communication research has grown into a distinctive subfield or sub-discipline, defined by four main characteristics. First, the scope of mobile communication research is broader than studies of mobile media alone. Second, mobile media as global technologies have attracted international authors, although global scholarship is uneven. Third, the boundary of mobile communication has expanded from social, economic, and cultural perspectives to those of health, education, and tourism. Fourth, although mobile communication research is increasingly theory-informed, building distinctive theories about mobile communication remains a challenge for future growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-366
Number of pages26
JournalMobile Media and Communication
Volume11
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Networks and Communications

User-Defined Keywords

  • Smartphones
  • mobile media
  • mobile communication
  • subfield
  • disciplinary review

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