Special Issue on “*Mis- and Disinformation about COVID-19: Challenges for Health Communication”*

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Categoria: Chamadas - Revistas
Prazo: 31/10/2021
Data Evento ou Publicação:
Indexação (revistas):

Link: https://ejhc.org/calls <https://ejhc.org/calls>

Guest Editors: Sabrina H. Kessler (University of Zurich) & Philipp
Schmid (University of Erfurt)

Millions of lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (World
Health Organization [WHO], 2021). However, scientific knowledge on how
to effectively respond to COVID-19 outbreaks has also increased
considerably in a very short time (Weiner at al., 2020). For example,
several research teams have developed promising COVID-19 vaccines, and,
as of April 2021, about 732 million vaccination doses have been
administered worldwide (WHO, 2021). Further success in reducing the
COVID-19 burden relies on the public’s awareness and acceptance of
scientific knowledge. Health communication plays an essential role in
the complex relationship between scientific knowledge and individuals’
beliefs and behaviours. However, attempts by health communicators to
inform and educate individuals about the characteristics of the disease
and effective prevention measures compete with persuasive mis- and
disinformation, especially online (Lewandowsky et al., 2021). Studies
reveal that misinformation about COVID-19 undermines trust in
institutions (Pummerer et al., 2020), decreases willingness to undertake
effective prevention measures such as vaccination (Loomba et al., 2021)
and adds to the overabundance of (mis-)information that makes it
difficult for individuals to find trustworthy sources – an overabundance
known as an infodemic (WHO, 2020). That is, mis- and disinformation pose
major challenges for health communication around the globe.

To master these challenges and prepare for future public health crises,
it is vital to understand mis- and disinformation surrounding COVID-19.
What kinds of mis- and disinformation do individuals encounter off- and
online? What impact do these have on cognition, emotions, attitudes and
behaviours? Which groups are specifically susceptible to mis- and
disinformation, and how can theory-based interventions be designed to
combat mis- and disinformation surrounding COVID-19?

The special issue therefore calls for papers analysing a) the
presentation and dissemination of off- and online mis- and
disinformation about COVID-19 in interpersonal communication or mass
media channels, b) the effects of mis- and disinformation on individual
decision makers with respect to their cultural, political and economic
context, as well as the cognitive and social drivers of belief in mis-
and disinformation and c) the effectiveness of potential interventions
to combat mis- and disinformation in interpersonal communication or mass
media channels. Thus, submissions can address, but are not limited to,
the following questions and concepts:

Presentation and Dissemination of Mis- and Disinformation about COVID-19

• Which actors, communicator groups and networks, communication
strategies and target audiences can be identified in the dissemination
of disinformation about COVID-19? How prevalent are they in public
discourse, and which people contribute to this reach?

• How do mis- and disinformation about COVID-19 spread on the internet
and especially on social media? How do the affordances of online
platforms influence this?

• What kinds of taxonomies can be used to categorise mis- and
disinformation about COVID-19?

Effects of Mis- and Disinformation about COVID-19

• What are the effects of mis- and disinformation about COVID-19 on
cognition, emotions, attitudes and intended future and/or actual
behaviour, such as vaccination?

• What different psychological, social, cultural and contextual
variables can be identified that influence an individual’s
susceptibility to misinformation?

• What functions do the content (e.g. conspiracy theories, logical
fallacies and fake news), the media or the communication type (e.g.
memes, comments or flyers) have regarding the effectiveness of mis- and

Debunking and Prebunking of Mis- and Disinformation about COVID-19

• What different debunking strategies can be distinguished in their
effectiveness with respect to different target groups?

• What are the influence variables (personal, content or context
variables) to consider for successful prebunking and debunking?

• What can be learned from research about unintended effects when
combating mis- and disinformation about COVID-19?

The special issue calls for basic research describing and explaining
these aspects but also welcomes applied research seeking to solve
practical health communication issues. It is interested in theories,
methods and empirical work in the study of mis- and disinformation about

Submission Format

We welcome submissions that fit any of the EJHC formats: original
research papers, theoretical papers, methodological papers, review
articles, brief research reports. For further information on the article
types, please see http://www.ejhc.org/about/submissions

Deadline for submission is *31 October 2021*. There are no submission
and publication charges.

Review Process

All articles will undergo a rigorous peer review process. Once the paper
has been assessed as appropriate by the editorial management team (with
regard to form, content, and quality), it will be peer-reviewed by at
least two reviewers in a double-blind review process. To ensure short
publication processes, EJHC releases articles online on a rolling basis,
expected to start in May 2022.

European Journal of Health Communication

The European Journal of Health Communication (EJHC) is a peer-reviewed
open access journal for high-quality health communication research with
relevance to Europe or specific European countries.

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