Guide to a Successful Submission

Message from the Program Chairs

ICIS is the most competitive IS conference, typically rejecting over 70% of submitted papers. Since preparing a paper for ICIS as the premier international IS conference requires a considerable amount of effort, we want to assure that this effort is goal-directed and the outcomes bring novel insights and contributions to the IS community. Thus, we hope to provide some guidance to authors preparing submissions to ICIS 2019.

  • Which paper type is the right one for my submission?

    Oftentimes, papers have been rejected at ICIS for a lack of fit to the submission types offered at ICIS. Besides the special paper types (Teaching Case, Panel, PDW, Paper-a-thon, TREO), papers can be categorized as Completed Research Papers and Short Papers (in the past often called “Research in Progress”). Completed Research Papers present fully developed papers on a specific scholarly topic, although they are shorter than Journal submissions (and might also being further developed for a Journal submission – please see also the AIS guidelines on Conference and Journal publications that applies to ICIS).

    In comparison, short papers present novel and promising work that is still in progress and not completed yet. Thus, short papers provide initial evidence that support the arguments made, but final methodological steps related to the paper may not have been carried out at the point of paper submission. Accordingly, in addition to other typical criteria research papers are assessed on (e.g., importance of research objectives, relevance and completeness of theory, appropriateness of methodology, etc.), short papers will also be assessed on the potential of their contributions, the feasibility of the proposed methodology, and likelihood of completing the proposed work plan by ICIS 2019 in December 2019. Short papers are thus required to report the expected progress between the dates of submission and presentations, and authors will be expected to describe the progress made during their ICIS presentations.

  • Which track should I submit to?

    As an author, you decide which conference track best matches your paper and the most central and salient contribution being made. Hence, please choose your track wisely so that the paper reaches the right audience, and gets the right set of track chairs, associate editors and reviewers with the right expertise. You may also review past ICIS proceedings in the AISeL to get an overview of the papers in various tracks. While ICIS 2019 has a number of new tracks, several tracks traditionally appearing in past ICIS continue to feature. Nevertheless, a perfect fit to the track is not necessary and interdisciplinary papers that might have a multi- or cross-topic focus are strongly encouraged by the Program Chairs.

  • Understanding the Review Process

    Like other high-caliber scientific conferences, ICIS relies on a peer review process where submissions are typically reviewed by 2-3 reviewers, as experts in the relevant field. A successful conference is highly dependent on having a quality review process. As authors submitting to ICIS 2019, you will be expected to also participate in the ICIS 2019 review process as you might also be asked to support the IS community as a reviewer for ICIS. Hence, please familiarize yourself with the ICIS 2019 review process.

    You might also wish to familiarize yourself with the review criteria for different submission types available here. We highlighted the relevant criteria for the central submission types. It is essential to keep these criteria in mind when preparing the paper submission. It will also help you, on one hand, to prepare a stronger paper for submission, and on the other hand, also prepare you to review other papers at ICIS 2019.

  • Making a Contribution to IS Research

    To get your submission accepted at ICIS, your submission should make a significant contribution (or has the potential to make such a contribution in the case of short papers). The contribution therefore depends on the benefits of your work, ensuring it goes beyond existing IS research while keeping validity and originality of your work in mind. Since IS research is a very broad field, possible contributions could differ depending on whether the nature of the studies are quantitative, qualitative, employ mixed-methods, or whether the paper proposes designs or conceptual frameworks. This list is not exhaustive and we welcome other approaches.

    Instead of giving authors of ICIS 2019 an extensive list of criteria that need to be fulfilled to make a contribution, we refer to recent editor comments that are also applicable to papers submitted to ICIS 2019.  This list is not exhaustive, but offers less experienced authors very good insights into how they can craft a contribution, also keeping a further journal publication in a top Information Systems outlet in mind:

    Gupta, A. (2018) Editorial—Traits of Successful Research Contributions for Publication in ISR: Some Thoughts for Authors and Reviewers. Information Systems Research, 29 (4), 779–786. doi: 10.1287/isre.2018.0825.

    Rai, A. (2017) Editor’s Comments: Avoiding Type III Errors: Formulating IS Research Problems that Matter. Management Information Systems Quarterly, 41 (2), iii–vii.

    Rai, A. (2017) Editor’s Comments: Seeing the Forest for the Trees. Management Information Systems Quarterly, 41 (4), iii–ix.

  • Summarizing Thoughts

    As submission numbers to ICIS has grown over the years, review standards should improve correspondingly, and we hope to put in place a rigorous process to select the best set of research papers that are representative of the work in our IS field. Our aim is to prepare the best program possible for all attendees as well as readers of the conference proceedings. Therefore, we hope that this brief guide offered some insights into how authors should prepare their submissions, and eventually, we hope authors will be rewarded with a highly-visible publication at our premier international conference, as well as an unforgettable conference in Munich.