Published on June 28, 2016

Two issues of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication have recently been published and should be reaching your mailbox soon if you are a paper subscriber. The March 2016 issue provides a special issue on content management; the June issue contains a note from the new editor of the Transactions, George Hayhoe.

Volume 59, Number 1, March 2016

Editorial—Introduction to the Special Issue: Content Strategy—A Unifying Vision, by T. Batova and R. Andersen

Component content management—creating and managing information as small components rather than as documents—has brought significant changes to professional and technical communication work since 2008. One major change is the move toward integrating organizational and user-generated content as well as disciplines and departments, expertise and roles, and business processes and tools. Content strategy has been proposed as that unifying approach that fulfills business goals, organization requirements, and user needs.

Research Article—Content Strategy: An Integrative Literature Review, by D. Clark

Content strategy has become the latest in a series of movements and methods to improve the integration of professional and technical communication with the marketing, training, and business processes of organizations. How is content strategy defined and described in professional and scholarly literature? What do these definitions and descriptions suggest about the direction of the field of professional and technical communication? These questions are addressed by surveying the literature of this emerging area (mostly in trade press articles).

Tutorial—International Standards for Information Development and Content Management, by J. T. Hackos

Standards provide a substantive, internationally supported framework through which information can be managed, developed, reviewed, tested, maintained in a content-management system, and published in a variety of forms. This article examines why standards and standards development are important for information development and management.

Case Study—iFixit Myself: User-Generated Content Strategy in “The Free Repair Guide for Everything,” by G. Getto and T. Labriola

This study investigates the phenomenon of user-generated content strategy in an open-source, wiki-based content-management system (CMS) for the repair of technological devices ( It examines the strategies used to manage repair manual content via a CMS that relies on content generated by a wide variety of users. A qualitative case study examines the content rules or logical premises for how and where content is developed in such a CMS.

Teaching Case—Revising a Content-Management Course for a Content Strategy World, by L. Gonzales, L. Potts, B. Hart-Davidson, and M. McLeod

This teaching case describes the evolution of a course on content strategy aimed at advanced undergraduates and graduate students. The course has gone through three major shifts to reflect corresponding shifts in focus among professional and technical communicators: from developing content for the World Wide Web (original focus) to single sourcing, from single-sourcing to Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECMS), and from ECMS to content strategy. The case primarily focuses on the most recent shift.

The issue is available online at: Note that a user ID and password are required to view individual articles.

Volume 59, Number 2, June 2016

Editorial—A New Editor, The Same Transactions, by G. F. Hayhoe

The new editor reflects on continuities as well as changes in the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication.

Research Article—The Impact of Review Environment on Review Credibility, by J. Mackiewicz, D. Yeats, and T. Thornton.

Increasingly, professional and technical communicators analyze, synthesize, and respond to user-generated content, including consumer reviews of products. But product reviews vary in the degree to which people perceive them to be credible. This article reviews the extent to which a product review’s environment (a retailer or brand site) and its review valence (positive versus negative) affect review users’ ratings of a review’s credibility, and the strength of the relationship among credibility and its two main components, trustworthiness and expertise.

Research Article—Factors Impacting the Intention to Use Emergency Notification Services in Campus Emergencies: An Empirical Investigation, by S. Ada, R. Sharman, W. Han, and J. A. Brennan

This study investigates the critical factors that influence students’ intention to use short-message systems (SMS) to receive emergency notifications and to use social network sites (SNS) to receive emergency notifications.

Research Article—The Impact of Virtual Customer Community Interactivity on Organizational Innovation: An Absorptive Capacity Perspective, by N. Roberts and M. Dinger

Organizations are increasingly investing in virtual customer communities that reduce communication barriers between organizations and customers. However, little is known regarding how virtual customer communities might affect a firm’s learning and innovation activities. This article examines the effects that virtual customer communities have on the relationship between absorptive capacity and organizational innovation.

Research Article—Community of Practice and Professionalization: Perspectives on Technical Communication in Ireland, by Y. Cleary

In Ireland, technical communication has developed as an academic and occupational field since the late 20th century. Research on the field in Ireland is limited. This study investigates the extent to which technical communicators in Ireland operate as a community of practice and the steps that Irish technical communicators are taking toward professionalization.

Teaching Case—Client-Based Pedagogy Meets Workplace Simulation: Developing Social Processes in the Arisoph Case Study, by J. Balzotti and J. D. Rawlins

Immersive pedagogies—including real-world or client-based projects, case studies, and simulations—have long been used to encourage student problem-solving, analytical thinking, and teamwork in professional communication. Building a connection to the real world has real challenges, however, for both instructors and students. This teaching case investigates how teachers can better prepare students for their future careers in technical communication courses through a workplace simulation.

Tutorial—Toward a Model of UX Education: Training UX Designers Within the Academy, by G. Getto and F. Beecher

Increased demand for user experience (UX) designers requires new approaches to teaching and training the next generation of these professionals. This tutorial presents a model for building educational programs within academia that trains job-ready designers.

The issue is available online at: Note that a user ID and password are required to view individual articles.