AIS College of Senior Scholars (CSS)

1. History and Purpose
The Senior Scholars Consortium was first discussed during ICIS 2003 in Seattle by a steering committee that comprised Izak Benbasat, Niels Bjørn-Andersen, Mike Ginzberg, Blake Ives, Elena Karahanna, Kalle Lyytinen, Carol Saunders, Ron Weber, and Bob Zmud. The first meeting of the consortium was held during ICIS 2004 in Washington DC, at the instigation of Rick Watson (co-conference chair). Every year since, the Senior Scholars have sponsored a panel session at ICIS (open to all) and held a meeting of the senior scholars themselves in conjunction with ICIS (by invitation only).

The main purpose of the AIS College of Senior Scholars (CSS) is to provide a forum for senior scholars to discuss and sometimes take action on important issues that are affecting (or will affect) the IS discipline. Topics for discussion have included the domain of the IS discipline, how the number of A* (high quality) publications published by the IS community as a whole might be increased, and the current state of IS departments around the world. The CSS has also created a "basket" of journals intended to provide more consistency in tenure and promotion cases. As many of the senior scholars have the ability to influence deans, promotion committees and other colleagues, the CSS hopes that it can play a positive role both within and beyond the IS field.

For many years the CSS functioned informally, however in 2014, largely due to the efforts of Richard Baskerville, Jane Fedorowicz, and Fred Niederman who developed by-laws which were approved by the group and by the AIS council, it became one of the original members of the group of Colleges supported by AIS.  The CSS resembles a special interest group (SIG) but with some variation in structure that supports its unique role and prior history.

2. Membership

Membership of the College of Senior Scholars is by invitation only. The following are included as members:

  • All Leo and AIS Fellow Awards winners
  • All current and former Presidents of the AIS
  • All current and former Editors-in-Chief of the journals listed in the AIS basket of eight journals
  • All current and former Conference Chairs and Program Chairs of ICIS (new members are added after the completion of each conference)

3. Activities and Initiatives

3.1 Basket of Eight Journals
The AIS CSS Basket of Eight journals (https://aisnet.org/page/SeniorScholarBasket) was initiated during 2007. It was expected that the membership of journals in the basket would be reviewed approximately every five years. The first review (2011) was led by Detmar Straub, Frantz Rowe, and Fred Niederman. The second review (2016) was led by Alan Dennis, Wendy Currie, Rob Nickerson, Doug Vogel, and Fred Niederman. A summary of the Impact Factors for each of the Basket of Eight journals, plus other selected reputable journals, from 2011 onward can be found here.

3.2 Niche Journal lists for SIGs
In 2016, the Basket of Eight was supplemented with a list of up to five journals that were exemplary for each Special Interest Group. The list of SIG journals can be found beneath the main list of AIS Basket of Eight journals. For information about this initiative, contact Doug Vogel.(https://aisnet.org/page/SeniorScholarBasket)

3.3 Annual Best Paper Award
Since 2006, the CSS has annually recognized up to five papers with a Best Information Systems Paper Award. This award was established to recognize the breadth of high quality work that is being published in the information systems discipline, and was designed to bring outstanding papers across a range of journals to the attention of the IS community, and to give due credit to the journals in which they are published.

The selection of the best journal papers of a year is coordinated by an awards committee comprising three members of the CSS, one of whom rotates off each year. Each member represents an AIS region and serves for three years. The committee invites Editors-in-Chief of IS journals (not restricted to the Basket of Eight) to nominate one paper published in their journal during the previous year. The papers are scored by a panel of reviewers drawn from the AIS CSS. Scoring criteria reflect a paper’s contribution to theory in the IS field, its contribution to practice in the IS field, the uniqueness/originality of its ideas, and the quality of its arguments. In 2019 the committee received 28 paper nominations, which were scored by 43 reviewers. Best IS Papers of the Year Awards are presented at a ceremony at ICIS. Details of all past best papers can be found herehttps://aisnet.org/page/bestpublicationsawar?&terms="best+and+publication"

3.4 Annual Journal Review Survey
The CSS commissions an annual survey of the experiences of authors who submit to the Basket of Eight journals. The current coordinators are Carol Saunders and Michael Chau. The results of the most recent survey can be found here: https://aisnet.org/page/SeniorScholarSurvey

3.5 Annual ICIS Panel

Since 2006, the CSS has organised a panel or forum at the annual ICIS conference. Panelists are drawn from the CSS, but with at least one non-member as well. Details of the panels (in reverse chronological order) with links to descriptions where available, follow. If you have additional information to update this list, please inform the CSS coordinator or the AIS office. (panel slides)

2020 – Sustainability: Rick Watson. [details to follow]

2019 – Diversity and Inclusion in Academia: Does AIS Have a Problem? Jane Fedorowicz, Yolande Chan, Yong Jin Kim, Fay Cobb Payton, Dov Te’eni. https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2019/panels/panels/3/

2018 – If Practice Makes Perfect, Where Do We Stand? Dennis Galletta, Niels Bjørn-Andersen, M Lynne Markus, Detmar Straub, Dorothy Leidner, Ephraim McLean, James Wetherbe. Communications of the AIS 45, 3, 39-64. https://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol45/iss1/3/- Panel Slides: 

2017 – IS Research Ethics in the Era of Big Data: Lynne Markus, Robert Davison, James Marsden, Bernd Stahl, Jane Fedorowicz.

2016 – Basket of Eight Report: Wendy Currie, Alan Dennis, Robert Nickerson, Fred Niederman, Doug Vogel.   https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2016/Proceedings/Senior-Scholars-Forum/1/

2015 – IS Research and Policy: Lynda Applegate Roman Beck, Roger Clarke, John Leslie King, Ann Majchrzak.   http://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2015/proceedings/SeniorScholarsForum/1/  https://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol40/iss1/5/

2014 -- Electronic Pedagogy and Future University Business Models: Fred Niederman, Brian Butler, Brent Gallupe, Bernard Tan, Cathy Urquhart. http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol38/iss1/7

2013 – The Impact of IS Research: Is it enough? How do we expand? How do we document? Fred Niederman, Burt Swanson, Kevin Crowston, Phillip Powell and Helmut Krcmar.  https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2013/proceedings/SeniorScholars/1/ https://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol36/iss1/7/

2012 – Passing the Torch – Leadership from initiating the field to building on tradition: Laurie Kirsch, Moez Limayem, Fred Niederman. http://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2012/proceedings/SeniorScholarsForum/1/

2011 – What are the Grand Challenges in Information Systems Research? A Debate and Discussion. Moez Limayem; Fred Niederman, Sandra Slaughter, Hsinchun Chen, Shirley Gregor, Susan Winter.  http://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2011/proceedings/panels/9

2009 – What Do We Like About the IS Field? John King, Michael Myers, Suzanne Rivard, Carol Saunders, Ron Weber. http://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2009/60  https://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol26/iss1/20/

2006 – Increasing the numbers of A+ published papers in Information Systems: Suggestions Generated Based on Delphi Studies: Sameh Al-Natour, Izak Benbasat, Carol Saunders.  https://misq.org/misq/downloads/download/editorial/10/

3.6 Research Rankings
The CSS commissioned a research ranking website. The website requires registration (free or US$25 donation) before you can access the data. Data is currently updated to 2019. You can rank either by university or scholar name, for any combination of the AIS basket journals. http://www.aisresearchrankings.org

3.7 Annual Journal Editorial Board Diversity Survey
At the 2019 CSS meeting in Munich, a discussion was conducted about the extent to which the AIS Basket of Eight journals exhibited diversity in their editorial boards (Senior and Associate Editors). The decision was reached at this meeting that a more careful investigation of diversity in the Basket of Eight journals' editorial boards was needed. A task force was established, led by Cynthia Beath, with Yolande Chan, Robert Davison, Alan Dennis and Jan Recker as members. The goal of the task force was to identify the extent to which the board of each journal was reflective of AIS membership in terms of gender, region and ethnicity. The task force will make its initial report to the CSS at its 2020 meeting, and is expected to continue to assess the diversity of the Basket of Eight journals' editorial boards in the future. (The report that triggered the discussion can be found here.)   

3.8 Senior Scholar Slam

For many years, Claudia Loebbecke has organised the senior scholar slam, a special one-hour event before the ICIS opening reception where at least 40 senior scholars introduce themselves within one minute to an open audience. The purpose is to help junior scholars and newcomers in particular put faces to names so that they can connect with senior scholars throughout the conference and beyond. The senior scholar slam does not run every year, but it did run in 2013 in Milano, 2015 in Fort Worth, 2016 in Dublin and 2019 in München. 

4. Coordinators
Since its inception in 2004, the CSS has been coordinated by one of its members each year. The coordinator is responsible for maintaining this website, for organising and chairing the annual meeting, and for attending to regular administrative duties of the college. The coordinator, assisted by the immediate past and immediate future coordinators, chairs the CSS Executive Committee. The complete list of coordinators (in reverse chronological order) follows. 

  • 2021 – Robert Davison
  • 2020 – Sue Newell
  • 2019 – Ferdinando Pennarola
  • 2018 – Dennis Galletta
  • 2017 – Jane Fedorowicz
  • 2016 – Richard Baskerville
  • 2015 – Fred Niederman
  • 2014 – Fred Niederman
  • 2013 – Fred Niederman
  • 2012 – Fred Niederman
  • 2011 – Sandra Slaughter, Fred Niederman, and Moez Limayem
  • 2010 – Sandra Slaughter and Moez Limayem
  • 2009 – Michael Myers and John King
  • 2008 – Niels Bjørn-Andersen and Rudy Hirschheim
  • 2007 – Joey George and John King
  • 2006 – Carol Saunders and Izak Benbasat
  • 2005 – Philip Ein-Dor and Ron Weber
  • 2004 – Elena Karahanna and Bob Zmud

Last Updated June 26th, 2020 by Robert Davison

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