With the rapidly broadening coverage of the Internet, the virtual community has become an interesting topic for IT professionals and management researchers. Despite the explosive growth of virtual communities on the Internet, limited empirical research has been conducted to study the issues related to the psychological states of the virtual community members. The objective of this study is to enhance the existing knowledge about virtual communities by introducing a new construct, sense of virtual community, and empirically validating the effects of virtual community characteristics on the sense of virtual community. This study intends to answer the following questions: ï What is the sense of virtual community? Is there any unique property differentiating it from a traditional community? ï What are the key factors affecting the sense of virtual community at the individual level? ï Does the origin of a virtual community moderate the relationship between virtual community characteristics and sense of virtual community?