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 an (invitation only) meeting of the senior scholars themselves in conjunction with ICIS.

The primary 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. CSS working groups have undertaken evaluations of a variety of topics including the quality and timeliness of reviews at IS journals. In 2007, the CSS also created a basket of six premier journals. This was updated in 2011, (with the addition of two more journals) and in 2023 (when a further three journals were added and the name was changed to the CSS List of Premier Journals). The intention of the CSS in creating the list of premier journals was 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. 

An ongoing concern relates to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues in the IS discipline. CSS members share a responsibility to promote the diversity, equity, and inclusivity of both the CSS itself and of the AIS more generally. The CSS has organised a variety of activities along these lines, including: a DEI census of CSS members; the creation of mentorship programs for colleagues within minority groups; and constructive input relating to DEI for other products and services offered through the AIS. Our commitment to DEI extends to research and education on DEI-related issues in practice, given that IS are implicated (for good and bad) in many DEI-related issues in the world. The members of the CSS are encouraged to contribute to the goals of the College by contributing to its mission, on a personal and professional level, within their own institutions and lives.

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 by-laws were revised and approved during 2023.

2. Membership

Membership of the College of Senior Scholars is by invitation only. The following categories of people are eligible for membership, so long as they are also paid-up AIS members (with the exception of LEOs who are lifetime AIS members):

  • All AIS LEO and Fellow award winners
  • All current and former Presidents of the AIS
  • All current and former Editors-in-Chief of the journals listed in the AIS CSS List of Premier Journals
  • All current and former Conference Chairs and Program Chairs of ICIS (new members are added after the completion of each conference)

In 2022, we identified the opportunity to create a new category of membership: emeritus/emerita. This can be applied for by any current member of the college who is no longer active in the community but who wishes to retain a connection. Members of the college who wish to relinquish their membership, or to join the ranks of emeritus/emerita members should contact the Secretary, who maintains the list of members.

3. Activities and Initiatives

3.1 CSS List of Premier Journals 
What is now known as the AIS CSS List of Premier Journals was initiated during 2007. It was expected that the list would be reviewed approximately every five years. The first review (2011) was led by Detmar Straub, Frantz Rowe, and Fred Niederman. A second review (2016) was led by Alan Dennis, Wendy Currie, Rob Nickerson, Doug Vogel, and Fred Niederman. A third review (2021) was led by Carol Saunders (Chair), Michael Chau, Annette Mills, Jan Pries-Heje and Cathy Urquhart. A summary of the Impact Factors for each of the journals, plus other selected reputable journals from 2011 onward, can be found here.

3.2 Niche Journal lists for Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
In 2016, the list of Premier Journals was supplemented with up to five journals that were exemplary for each SIG. The list of SIG journals can be found here. For information about this initiative, contact Doug Vogel.

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 all IS journals 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 2022 the committee received 18 paper nominations, which were evaluated by 33 reviewers. Best IS Papers of the Year Awards are presented at a ceremony at ICIS. Details of all past best papers can be found here.

3.4 Annual Journal Review Survey
The CSS commissions an annual survey of the experiences of authors who submit to the CSS List of Premier Journals. The current coordinators are Carol Saunders and Michael Chau. The results of the most recent survey can be found here

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 members of 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. 

2024 - Future Studies as a Reference Discipline for MIS: Fred Niederman

2023 - Using opportunities to shape research (The Case of Gen AI): Cynthia Beath, Tilo Bohmann, Atreyi Kankanhalli, Matti Rossi, Frantz Rowe, Daniel Schlagwein, Ramesh Sharda, Doug Vogel, Sunil Wattal

2022 - Ethical Issues in the Publication Process: Andrew Burton-Jones, Robert Davison, Michael Myers, Daniel Schlagwein
- Future of Work: Damien Joseph, Natalia Levina, Fred Niederman, Leslie Willcocks, Deborah Armstrong. https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2021/panels/panels/4/   PDF
How can IS scholars increase global sustainability, both collectively and personally? Rick Watson, Jane Webster, Jacqueline Corbett, Steve Elliott, Sridhar Radhakrishnan, Wolfgang Ketter.  https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2020/panels/panels/7/   PDF

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/ (panel slides)

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/ 

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/

2008 – Training  our Information Systems PhD candidates for the right purpose in the right way: Niels Bjørn-Andersen, Gordon Davis. Lynda Applegate, David Avison, Sirkka Jarvenpaa
 – 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 2022. You can rank either by university or scholar name, for any combination of the AIS basket journals. http://www.aisresearchrankings.org

3.7 Journal Editorial Board Diversity Survey
At the 2019 CSS meeting in Munich, a discussion was conducted about the extent to which the AIS List of Premier 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 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's initial report has been completed and was presented to the CSS at its 2020 meeting; a modified version was published in the Communications of the AIS. The task force continued its work in 2021 but was forced to terminate it prematurely after allegations and complaints were made. A new task force was created in early 2022 and has produced a statement about the nature of diversity in the CSS, which is now included in section 1 above.  (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 Milan, 2015 in Fort Worth, 2016 in Dublin, 2019 in Munich, and 2022 in Copenhagen. 

4. Convenors
Since its inception in 2004, the CSS has been coordinated by one of its members each year. The convenor is responsible for maintaining this website, for organising and chairing the annual meeting, and for attending to regular administrative duties of the College. The convenor, assisted by the immediate past convenor and (from 2023 onwards) the Secretary, chairs the CSS Executive Committee.  The complete list of convenors (and secretaries) (in reverse chronological order) follows. 

  • 2024 - Yolande Chan (Robert Davison as Secretary)
  • 2023 - Yolande Chan (Robert Davison as Secretary)
  • 2022 - Robert Davison 
  • 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

The CSS website was named as an AIS Outstanding Community for 2021:


Last Updated September 2nd, 2023 by Robert Davison

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