Health Communication Working Group - Call for Papers 2020

The call for papers below is an extraordinary reopening of the original Beijing call for papers for authors who did not submit to the Beijing conference but want their work considered for Tampere. 

The Health Communciation Working Group of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites the submission of abstracts of papers and proposals for panels for the 2020 Congress of the Association, which will be held from 12 to 16 July, 2020 at Tampere University in Tampere. Submissions for this extraordinary reopening will be accepted from Monday 17 February, 2020 until Monday 2 March 2020 at 23:59 UTC

IAMCR conferences address many diverse topics defined by our 33 thematic sections and working groups. We also propose a single central theme to be explored throughout the conference with the aim of generating and exploring multiple perspectives in plenary sessions and in some of the sessions of the sections and working groups. The general conference theme for 2020 is “Reimagining the Digital Future: Building Inclusiveness, Respect and Reciprocity”.

See the IAMCR 2020 general call for proposals.   

With over three decades of cultural, economic and communication globalization the world is facing new challenges. These globalisation trends precipitate a divisive international community, dysfunctional media, an increasingly fragmented digital culture and an accelerating environmental crisis. We witness growing populism and protectionism and a dissolving consensus on global engagement and international collaboration. We see deepening technological contestation in digital media and artificial intelligence between the world’s two economic powerhouses. We are also witnessing a sharp decline of the quality of national and international information flows as a result of widespread misinformation facilitated by social media.

In the field of health promotion, prevention and protection these developments arouse both hope and fear. While there are increasing opportunities to develop cost-effective and accessible technologies and healthcare services for promotion, prevention and protection of health and illnesses; there remains challenges of misinformation and disinformation, digital divide as well as low health literacy. Furthermore, digitized communication demands new orientation and constant honing of communication skills among those engaged in health communication praxis or research.

 There is a surge in interest in communication research to analyze virtual, online communication between health care providers and receivers as well the use of digital communication technologies in health promotion and education. Furthermore, in the field of health communication there is a requirement for critical discussion on social and cultural consequences of digitalization of health communication.

The working group is interested in facilitating interactions between practitioners and researchers in order to increase understanding of this changing communicative landscape of health communication for knowledge sharing/exchange. The Health Communication working group welcomes both theoretical and practice oriented papers and panel proposals on themes including but not limited to:

  • Digitization (and/or digitalization)  of health communication
  • Virtual health promotion and health campaigns
  • Digital divide and health communication
  • Health journalism and digital media
  • Communication policy and digitization of health care
  • Health policies and digital technologies
  • Technology and digitization of health communication
  • Digital health professionalism
  • Digital patient
  • Digitization of (ill) health and power
  • Ethics of digitized health communication
  • Portrayal of health risks
  • Fake news and health information


We encourage submission of individual papers and complete panel proposals in English and Spanish. We are looking for volunteer translators/interpreters and reviewers for Spanish abstracts, sessions and papers. If you can contribute and help translate some papers or key points into English from Spanish please contact us (see details of Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs below).

Guidelines for abstracts

Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words. All abstracts must be submitted at Abstracts sent by email will not be accepted.

It is expected that authors will submit only one (1) abstract. However, under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same author, either individually or as part of any group of authors. No more than one (1) abstract can be submitted to any section or working group. Please note also that the same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to more than one section or working group. Any such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be rejected. Authors submitting them risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

The deadline to submit abstracts is 23:59 GMT on 2 March 2020

See important dates and deadlines to keep in mind

Evaluation Criteria

  • Submitted abstracts will generally be evaluated on the basis of:
  • Theoretical contribution
  • Methods
  • Quality of writing
  • Literature review
  • Relevance of the proposal to the work of the Section or Working Group
  • Originality and/or significance

For further information, please consult the conference website, or contact the Local Organizing Committee by email: tampere2020 [at] or the heads of the Health Communication Working Group.

Co-Chair: SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu - [at]"> [at]

Co-Chair: Yolanda Paul – yolandapaul [at]

Vice chair: Sinikka Torkkola - sinikka.torkkola [at]

Vice chair: Eliza Govender - Govendere1 [at]