Communications of the Association for Information Systems

About This Journal

The Association for Information Systems (AIS) began publishing two electronic journals in 1999 - Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS) and Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS). These journals are designed to be complementary and the first part of this statement of editorial policy is common to both. In content, each will fulfill the role usually associated with the terms "communications" and "journal". Communications is intended to foster the free flow of ideas within the IS community; its emphasis is on originality, importance, and cogency of ideas; it is also a vehicle for case studies, survey articles, tutorials, debates, commentaries and other materials of general interest to the IS community.

About the Communications of the Association for Information Systems

The primary role of a professional society is to facilitate communication among its members. Communications of the Association for Information Systems carries out this role by publishing articles on a wide range of subjects of interest to the membership, including but not limited to original research papers, community debates, panel reports and workshops discussions, plus IS pedagogy and other topics of interest to the global community.

Mission of Communications of the Association for Information Systems

At the forefront, Communications of the Association for Information Systems is a classical, reviewed outlet for research articles with every intention of being equal to the best in the field. Communications of the Association for Information Systems publishes “traditional” research articles as long as they are characterized by novelty, originality or otherwise uniqueness.

The philosophy of Communications of the Association for Information Systems, as explained in this editorial, is defined by four key differentiators:

  1. The first key differentiator is the broad purview of the journal, in its role as a “communications” journal. We strive to publish a broad range of research articles, often those that may find it difficult to make it to our top journals, IS pedagogy matters, commentaries, reflections, debates, panel discussions as well as other scholarly matters worth communicating to the association’s members.
  2. A second differentiator is an inclusive mindset on topics, paper styles and genres. We urge everyone involved in our reviewing to avoid putting on a “traditional research review” hat. We adhere by guidelines such as “be a rigor gatekeeper, but not an ideology gatekeeper”. We attempt where possible to avoid judgments like “this is not an IS paper” or “this is not the right methodology.” Overall, we strive to encourage openness in our review processes, which is also why we peruse a single-blind review process and disclose in most cases the names of editors handling a paper. We seek to publish articles that are characterized by innovativeness, originality and relevance to the association. We strive in particular to consider submissions that are “different” and that would struggle to find consideration in other, traditional IS research journals. By contrast, we would opt not to consider articles that are “normal” research articles and are not coined by a difference in topic, originality, contribution or genre. These papers could rather be submitted to another AIS journal.
  3. A third differentiator is rapid turnaround. CAIS does not encourage a culture of multiple, extended rounds of review. We strive to give a very fast initial decision. When authors are invited to revise and they return their revision for a second round of review, we expect a clear pathway to ultimate publication. If that path is not obvious, we prefer to decline the paper rather than continue into extended rounds of major revision. Of course, there are exceptions and it may be that the Editor-in-Chief or an Associate Editor really wants to work closely with an author on a paper of clear potential significance.
  4. A fourth essential part of the culture is constructive reviewing. These days, many journals strive to be developmental in their review process and culture. Rather than being adversarial, they seek to help authors develop their work to the best of their ability. The reviewers look for the “golden nuggets” in a paper – even if those nuggets are not well articulated in the initial submission – and strive to help develop those into a paper that makes a contribution. Even if the paper is declined, the review team would provide actionable guidance and feedback to explain the basis of the decision, which hopefully would give authors ideas for how to take their work in a positive direction.

Types of papers Communications of the Association for Information Systems considers

Communications of the Association for Information Systems provides an outlet for subjects falling outside the focus of many traditional academic journals including:

  • Original, novel research papers including papers making empirical and/or theoretical contributions.
  • Tutorials on novel technologies, methodologies or state of the art concepts.
  • Commentaries, opinions and debates.
  • Education and pedagogical scholarship in information systems.
  • Panel and workshop reports from leading AIS conferences.

Research articles are expected to provide original and novel contributions either to empirical or theoretical knowledge of information systems phenomena, broadly and inclusively understood. Our emphasis is on originality, importance, and cogency of ideas and we seek to publish rigorously conducted empirical findings or novel theoretical ideas that are of broad interest to the community.

Tutorials are expected to provide substantive discussion and explanation of a topic, technique, or method of interest to the general IS academic community. Tutorials provide a way to disseminate this information for continuing professional development in our community. A clear IS focus is expected.

Education and pedagogical scholarship addresses broader curricular and program issues, including teaching innovations and pedagogical theory in IS. Community-wide curricular efforts are also relevant, notably the continuing innovations in the IS model curriculum.

Panel and workshop reports summarize the conversations, points of view, and outcomes of community discussions held in dedicated symposia, panels, workshops and similar formats. The goal of such reports is to make the conversations persistent and accessible to audiences not present during the event.

Information on the Review Process

A hallmark feature of Communications of the Association for Information Systems is that papers are processed in single blind mode. The Editor-in-Chief makes consultation with an Associate Editor and a set of reviewers (if the paper is processed in peer review mode). More information about the review modes are provided in the Submission Instructions section on his webpage.

The turnaround time for ERB papers, since 2018, is 36 days (Avg.) and for peer review papers it is 61 days (Avg.). The average number of review rounds to final decision is 2.0. Acceptance rates for different categories of papers are were as follows (data since 2018):

  • Regular research article submissions: 13%
  • Tutorial submissions: 20%
  • Philosophy and History of IS submissions: 17%
  • IS Education submissions: 7%
  • Panel report submissions: 87%
  • Debate submissions: 94% (* solicited papers only)

Ranking Information

Communications of the Association for Information Systems is featured prominently in a range of journal rankings. For example, it is classified as an A journal in the Australian Business Dean Council journal ranking; and ranked A in the Australian Excellence in Research Australia journal ranking. It is indexed by Scopus and Web of Science and has a current SJR Impact Factor of 0.574 (2018).

Citing the Communications of the Association for Information Systems

In order for the Communications of the Association for Information Systems to be recognized by certain indexing services, it is important that the journal name be cited consistently. The preferred way to cite the journal's name is as Communications of the Association for Information Systems, rather than using the acronym CAIS or "Communications of the AIS". Please use the name for the journal when you cite the articles that have been published here. Thank you.

CAIS policy regarding “fast track” publication of conference and workshop papers

We advise our community that CAIS will no longer offer an explicit “fast track” publication process for papers recommended from conferences or workshops. The reasons are:

  • While there will always be occasional outliers, CAIS offers a fairly rapid turn-around as part of our normal service-levels.
  • We do not feel it is appropriate for the CAIS editorial team and reviewers to be constrained by decisions they have not had the opportunity to engage with.

Individual authors are warmly encouraged to extend high quality papers from workshops or conferences for submission to CAIS using our normal submission process.

Editorial teams who may wish to curate a set of papers (for example, associated with a workshop or conference track) are encouraged to contact the Editors-in-Chief to discuss the possibility of a special section.


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