Standing Committee of the European Conference on Information Systems
Minutes of the meeting held at University of Gdansk, Sopot, Armii Krajowej 119/121 street
Faculty of Management, Room 119
Wednesday June 5th 2-4.30
Present: Edgar Whitley, Bob Galliers, Tony Cornford, Stan Wrycza, Karl Heinz Kautz, Stefan Klein, Paulo Canonico, Remia Suomo, Nancy Pouloudi, Federico Rajola, Marco De Marco, Chiara Frigerio, Joze Gricar, Andrea Carignani, Philip Ein-Dor.
Apologies: George Doukidis, Eph Maclean, Karl Kubel, Marcello Martinez, Claudio Ciborra, Leslie Willcocks
2 Minutes of the last meeting
That the minutes be accepted
3 Matters arising
That Edgar had contacted a number of leading journals in the field and would circulate to future conference organisers the details he had received about the adverts they would be prepared to run supporting ECIS.
4 ECIS 2002
4.1 Review of experiences
The promotion of the conference had included a pack distributed at Bled, 4000 calls for participation, an advert in MISQ and promotion at related conferences such as AMCIS and Wirtschafts Informatik.
Details of the conference had been sent to various IS centres, to ISWorld and the track chairs.
That the organisers were very pleased to receive 439 submissions (there were some further abstract only submissions which were not formally considered).
That the desktop review management system had run the whole process, with some finding it more useful than others.
That reviews were undertaken over a two month period, with each paper have two ordinary reviewers, one associate editor and one associate chair.
That the organisers were particularly grateful to Karl Kautz for passing on his experiences from ECIS in Copenhagen.
That the firm, Erison, that had been hired to handle the logistics including hotels, meals etc. had been very good.
That the doctoral consortium had been a great success, thanks to its chairs Tony Cornford and Nancy Pouloudi.
That 195 new AIS members had been registered as a result of bundling AIS membership with the conference registration.
That around 300 participants were expected, although not that many from Poland, probably due to the economic recession at the time.
There were also problems obtaining visas for some attendees and the continued knock-on effects of September 11th.
That the proceedings had been made available on the internet two weeks in advance of the conference.
That despite the best efforts of the AIS outreach programme, of the 40 papers from Eastern Europe that had been received, only those with accepted papers had arrived. As a result, more work was needed to bring these scholars into the field.
There was an approximately 35% acceptance rate across all tracks and this should be clarified for all authors.
That the conference budget was likely to break even.
102000 Euros from fees
10 000 Euros from sponsors
That Australia and New Zealand had submitted 59 papers, strongly indicating that ECIS was now, along with the Bled e-commerce conference, part of the European 'grand tour' for IS academics.
That the panel submissions were improved after stronger guidelines were given of what is expected. Their diversity and opportunity for constructive discussion was to be encouraged.
That some more thought should be given to the wording of grades, so that a paper where all the reviewers had suggested accept with revision would not automatically lead to acceptance with revision if there were stronger papers in the track.
That for non-native speakers there should be differentiation between the sophistication of the analysis in the paper and the quality of the language used.
That there was still work to do in bringing in Central and Eastern Europe (with interesting questions of the relationship between AIS region 2 and "Europe")
That Stan Wrycza be warmly thanked for what looked like it would be another very successful conference.
4.3 Doctoral consortium
That the consortium was being held at an excellent location with a broad participation from 23 students coming from 14 countries. They were supported by 8 faculty.
There were equal numbers of male and female students
4 groups of students were set up, based on research topic and progress with the thesis.
They gave a presentation on the future of information systems
That clearer advice about preparation for the consortium might be helpful as there were still some students who were presenting a paper rather than discussing their research activity.
That it was important to give a strong signal that the next year's consortium organiser gets involved in the current year's consortium to pass on best practice. This had happened last year, with Nancy Pouloudi attending the consortium in Bled, but had unfortunately not occurred this year.
5 Final report for ECIS 2001
That the conference had been very important to the country with information systems, which had not been particularly active beforehand, now starting to grow.
That there had been around 400 participants.
That the donation from Vienna had been passed on, untouched.
6 Forthcoming conferences
6.1 ECIS 2003
That there had been problems with the UPS delivery of the call for papers, which had left Italy last Tuesday but were currently held up in Warsaw customs offices.
That the doctoral consortium would be held in Capri, with Eric Monteiro and around 20 students and 5 faculty plus 1 assistant.
That the conference was expecting up to 500 participants with 35,000 Euro in sponsorship.
That the fee was likely to be around 500 Euros.
Details of the gala dinner and keynote speakers was still to be confirmed.
That there was an inspection visit in February
That the organisers were proposing a further layer of theme co-ordinator to take the high-level decisions between tracks to ensure the same proportion of papers per theme
That the programme committee had already been divided between themes
That efforts were underway to liaise with local cultural organisations for some of the social events.
That experience suggested that 5 faculty for 20 students was probably too low (this year there had been around 3 students per faculty member) suggesting 6-7 faculty for 20 students
6.3 ECIS 2004
That the conference would be held in a new building at the University where there were good internet connections
That the date of the conference had been moved to 14-16 June to accommodate University exams.
10000 Euro had been set aside for the start up
That there would be 15 tracks
That the main conference officers were on board
7 Proposal for new conference
No proposals had been received
That Germany / Switzerland were possible sites
That Sweden might be another possible site
That existing countries might begin to get involved.
Formally to invite German colleagues to make a proposal to host ECIS in 2005/2006
8 Towards a closer relationship between ECIS and AIS
That AIS was extremely grateful to Stan for the increase in AIS membership.
That although the patterns were more even between the regions, in practice there were virtually no members from south of the Equator.
That in terms of regional conference, ICIS and AMCIS were completely integrated
That region 2 and 3 conferences could probably benefit from closer integration.
Amongst the benefits that could be provided were some form of insurance towards the financial responsibility, making past proceedings available, an experienced negotiator for dealing with hotels and conference venues.
That AIS had a formal policy for conferences that it was prepared to sponsor.
That whilst most members of the ECIS standing committee were members of AIS (one of the conditions) it was not clear what was meant by the notion of the nett income being used to the good of the discipline as this could have significant impacts on the form of the conference. For example, whilst ECIS has a 35% acceptance rate and attempts to break even, AMCIS has an 80% acceptance rate and traditionally generates a significant surplus.
That in many cases, sponsors find it easier to deal with a formal organisation.
8.3 AIS outreach award
That some things had been attempted, at short notice, to increase participation from the rest of region 2, their effects had been limited and that further steps were being considered for future conferences.
9 Possible further sponsorship for Doctoral consortium
Tony Cornford gave a brief summary of the discussions that he had held with the Journal of Management Studies who would like to be formally associated with ECIS.
That management studies increasingly recognise the importance of information systems, but existing sponsors (AIS and SIGMIS) might be reluctant to having their long-standing support of the doctoral consortium affected by the renaming of the doctoral consortium.
That there would be no problem with them becoming one of a list of sponsors of the doctoral consortium
That there was scope for more imaginative proposals, including a follow-on doctoral consortium for scholars from non-traditional backgrounds.
That Edgar write to the journal explaining the current situation and making various alternative proposals.
10 Journal special issues - fast tracking and choice of journals
That whilst there had been a tendency for journals to publish papers from ECIS conferences, the procedures for doing so had become a little unclear and the amount of fast-tracking seemed to vary.
That an offer had been received from JAIS to publish papers from the conference
That this was a useful mechanism for journals and authors to learn more about each other
That Edgar prepare a formal document relating to issues of:
* Which journals were included (including schedule)
* What the fast-tracking procedures would be (if any)
* A mechanism for introducing new journals to the list
11 Any other business
11.1 There was no other business
12 Date of next meeting
To be held at ICIS (not clashing with the women's breakfast).
Dr. Edgar A. Whitley