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The Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR at the University of Amsterdam has established an award in honor of Denis McQuail. The call for nominations for the ASCoR Denis McQuail Award 2021 – for the best article advancing communication theory published in a peer-reviewed journal during 2020 and 2021 – is now open.

Denis McQuail was one of the most famous scholars in the field of Communication Science. Tens of thousands of communication students have been brought up with McQuail's Mass Communication Theory, now in its sixth edition and an international bestseller. Denis McQuail held the chair in General Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam from 1977 until 1997, and was an Honorary Fellow of ASCoR until his death in 2017.

Eligible articles

  • Includes journal articles or book(chapters)
  • Must have been published (not ‘due to appear’) in 2020 or 2021 in an English language peer-reviewed journal or university press.
  • May be purely theoretical or empirical and theoretical, but the focus should clearly be on theory development.
  • Must focus on some aspect of communication. NB: Articles published in non-communication science journals are also eligible.
  • Articles first-authored by ASCoR members are excluded from nomination.


An international panel will select the winning article from a list of nominated articles. The selection will be based on the quality of the article, not on the author(s)’ professional or personal credentials. The number of nominations for an article plays no role in the selection process: Each article that has been nominated at least once will be considered. Please note that the jury may decide not to give the Award if none of the nominations are considered to stand out.


The award will go to all listed authors of the article chosen. The award consists of a certificate, and an invitation to the 1st author to become the McQuail Honorary Fellow 2022-2023 at ASCoR, as well as to give a guest lecture in Amsterdam in December 2022.


Faculty and PhD students around the world can nominate articles for this award. Each nominator can nominate one article. Self-nominations are eligible. Anonymous nominations will not be considered. Nominations are strictly confidential. Information about who nominated whom will not be released.

A nomination package consists of:

  • The full reference to the article or manuscript (including full title, journal title, volume and page numbers).
  • A copy of the article or manuscript (pdf).
  • A motivation for the nomination (max. 150 words). Please note that the motivation should address the quality of the article in terms of theoretical advances. Please be as candid as possible.

You can submit your nomination before Sept 15, 2022, to the ASCoR Secretariat:

More information and previous winners