Reviewing for ICIS should be taken seriously as a reviewer has significant inputs into paper acceptance decisions for ICIS and may potentially shape papers that eventually progress to publications. Therefore, this guide should provide guidance for associate editors and reviewers on how submissions to ICIS 2020 should be assessed and what are the essential steps in the review process.



Authors need to be aware of the review process (please also see the Guide to a Successful Submission to ICIS 2020)

Associate editors and reviewers need to be aware of the essential steps and criteria related to assessing submissions for ICIS 2020. They should also carefully the track description for the track for which they are reviewing as well as the Types of Submissions document that specifies criteria for the different kinds of submissions (e.g., Completed Research paper, Short paper, etc.).

Also please become familiar with the PCS system. The PCS system guides can be found at the following links:

Author Guide

Associate Editor Guide

Reviewer Guide



The review process of all papers except for Panel submissions and PDWs follows a double-blind process with several involved participants, i.e., Program Chairs, Review Coordinators, Track Chairs, Associate Editors (AEs) as well as Reviewers. Therefore, authors need to anonymize their submissions (also delete self-citations where necessary). Thus, all parties related to the review process should immediately declare a conflict of interest as soon as they become aware of this fact. This especially includes personal relationships, teacher/student/advisor or employment relationships, same institution, co-authors or current research collaborators. When in doubt, please contact your track chairs. In addition, at any point of time, all participants involved in the review process are expected to handle the submissions, reviewers, and the review process in a confidential manner.

Key Steps in the Review Process

Overall, the ICIS 2020 review process contains several crucial steps to ensure high quality proceedings and presentations. Due to the high number of submissions, it is essential that all involved parties strictly adhere to the communicated timelines to ensure a timely review process.

Desk Reject

After the submission deadline expires, Review Coordinators assess papers concerning mainly technical issues that warrant a desk rejection (e.g., exceeding the maximum paper length, non-compliance with submission template, etc.). These papers will not be assigned to Track Chairs. Authors will be informed by the Program Chairs concerning desk rejections.

Track Chair Assignment

Papers that comply with the ICIS 2020 submission requirements are assigned to Track Chairs. In very rare occasions, papers not fitting a specific track are moved to other tracks that provide a better fit.

Early and Constructive Rejects

Track Chairs assign an AE for every paper. Before submitted papers are sent out for review, AEs assess each paper’s scholarly contribution and potential for ICIS 2020. If the AE feels that a paper has very little likelihood of being accepted at ICIS 2020, the AE can recommend early rejection of the paper without sending the paper out for review. The goal is to provide authors of such papers early feedback and offer them the opportunity to submit their work elsewhere. If an AE selects a paper for early and constructive reject, (s)he should provide a detailed statement to the Track Chairs, Program Chairs and authors by pointing out why the paper, in its current form, does not have the potential for being accepted at ICIS. All other papers continue through the regular review process.

Review Phase

Associate Editors assign papers to three reviewers, ensuring a diverse and also experienced review team. Each paper should be reviewed by at least one faculty member and not by a review panel comprised entirely of PhD students. Reviewers should provide detailed and constructive reviews for each paper reviewed. Please ensure that comments to the authors and to the AE and track chairs are consistent with the quantitative scores and recommendation that you have entered in the review system.

Associate Editor Reports

AEs write a report for every paper based on the review team’s comments and their own assessment of the paper. The report should be detailed and should highlight the AE’s views about the fundamental reasons leading to the rejection/acceptance of papers. In the unfortunate case of short or non-constructive reviews by one or more reviewers, the AE should compensate by providing a more detailed report if necessary.  If the AE recommends a conditional accept of the paper, the AE should provide a comprehensive list of issues that need to be addressed by the authors to have the paper accepted at ICIS 2020, keeping in mind the short revision cycle of ICIS 2020.

Track Chair Decisions

Track chairs will review all the AE reports and reviews to prepare a final shortlist of papers recommended for acceptance from their track. As the standards of reviewers and AEs differ, Track Chairs should not depend purely on the quantitative scores provided by the review team, but should read the papers and examine the qualitative comments of the review team.

First Decision

On the basis of the Track Chairs’ decisions, the Program Chairs will assess all submissions and make the final decisions for all papers. Decisions will be communicated to the authors by the Program Chairs.


In the revision process, authors have to make adjustments to their papers in accordance to the reviews and submit their paper as a camera-ready version with author information as well as acknowledgements. The revised papers should adhere to the revision template provided for this purpose. Once resubmitted, the revised papers will be reviewed by the Track Chairs to verify that the concerns raised by the review team, as specified in the AE report, have been addressed. If the authors fail to do so, the paper will be rejected. To accelerate the process, authors are required to provide a point-by-point response to the review packet. Final acceptance notifications will be communicated by the Program Chairs.



Key aspect for assessing submissions to ICIS 2020 were communicated to the authors (please see the “Types of Submissions” document) prior to submission. Central to assessing the submissions is the contribution of the paper. Reviewers should, therefore, take three very important aspects into account:

First, paper submissions to ICIS 2020 can make a contribution to IS research by using diverse methodological and theoretical approaches. Thus, please assess papers using criteria relevant to the paper’s methodological and theoretical approach. We would encourage you to adopt an open-minded attitude when reviewing papers given the diversity of approaches in our field.

Second, there are different submission types for ICIS papers. For most tracks (except, for the Digital Learning Environments and Future IS Curricula, Panels, PDWs, and the Practitioner tracks), the relevant distinction is between completed research and short papers. Thus, please take a look at the “Types of Submissions” page for the review criteria for different submission types.

Third, a high-quality review is typically at least about one page of written text that provides constructive recommendations for concerns being raised, especially in the case of rejection. Authors will be thankful for guidance, even though their paper might have been rejected. In either case, it is important to set the tone of the review as constructive, respectful, and open-minded. Rai (2016) provides excellent guidance on how to write good and constructive reviews.

We thank you for your willingness to review for ICIS 2020, especially of you have submitted a paper to the conference, and to provide a highly quality and timely review.



Rai, Arun. 2016. “Editor’s Comments: Writing a Virtuous Review,” MIS Quarterly, (40: 3) pp.iii-x.