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Changeover and celebrating change: 20 reasons for celebrating 20 years

In this issue of the European Journal of Information Systems, we have a special section on Locating Packaged Software in Information Systems Research guest edited by Sawyer and Light as well as four general papers. Coincidentally one of the four general papers is also authored by Ben Light, introducing the subject of masculinity studies to IS researchers.

My time as Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Information Systems finishes with the next and last issue of 2007, and Richard Baskerville takes over for 2008. I expect the next issue will have some debating papers in it, which might occupy the available editorial space in comment. So I have decided to look back on my involvement with the European Journal of Information Systems in this issue, an involvement of some 20 years. To match the years I have selected 20 events that are worth comment on or are milestones in the journal's lifetime.

20 reasons for celebrating 20 years

  1. 1

    At sometime(s) during 1987–1988 the idea of a journal called the European Journal of Information Systems was raised in discussions with my then colleagues at the London School of Economics. One in particular, Georgios Doukidis is sure he initiated the idea, and since this is entirely consistent with his general behaviour, always full of ideas and advice, I do not doubt him. So to Georgios Doukidis I give the credit for the idea.

  2. 2

    In 1988 at a conference in former Yugoslavia I had dinner alone with Tony Christer, then a Vice-President of the Operational Research Society (ORS). I mentioned my view that the ORS should publish many journals, and when Tony asked me to suggest a journal, I raised the idea of the European Journal of Information Systems. Tony liked the idea and did all the political and practical work necessary to turn the idea into a journal owned by the ORS and profit-shared with its publisher. To Tony Christer I give the credit for setting up the journal.

  3. 3

    As Chairman of the Editorial Board, in order to make the journal work I needed to find one or more editors, which I did. They worked hard producing the first eight volumes, making the journal known and commercially successful after its launch in 1990. To Steve Smithson I give the credit for being one of the Founding co-editors.

  4. 4

    And to Jonathan Liebenau I give the credit for being the other Founding co-editor.

  5. 5

    When Steve and Jonathan indicated they wished to step down as editors, Bob O'Keefe suggested to me that the two of us should offer our services. Our offer was accepted and we took over in 2000 starting with volume 9. Since I was at that time Deaning, Bob was effectively offering to do the work while I spent a smaller proportion of time on any political issues. To Bob must go the credit for taking the successful foundation of the journal into a more professional approach with Associate Editors and computer systems to support.

  6. 6

    In 2004 we persuaded Richard Baskerville to join us as an editor, which to his credit gave us more impact in North America and hence faster success.

  7. 7

    In 2007 Hans van Heijden joined the editors after Bob resigned in 2006 (now effectively being overwhelmed at a Dean level) and to Hans will go the credit for making the managing of the journal fully automated.

  8. 8

    From 2003 until now I have written 12 ‘Change Editorials’ (the 11 previous are listed below) and I thank readers for their patience in reading these.

  9. 9

    In 2005 I published an Editorial View paper which is widely recommended by those who have read it to those who have not, since I am credited with explaining how to publish in journals very well (Paul, 2005).

  10. 10

    In 2005 we published the Claudio Ciborra special issue as a fifth issue for that year and clearly the contents (20 plus short readable papers) are a credit to Claudio's immense contributions.

  11. 11

    In 2006 we moved from four issues a year to six, which are being sustained this year. Each volume for a year always ends on time, and subscribers are getting more issues earlier than before (for example, issue 3 out of four issues would appear during or before September, while issue 3 out of six appear around July or before). I must be held to blame for any lateness in some in-year issues since credit for going to six issues can also be placed at my door.

  12. 12

    Over the last 4 or 5 years the journal pages published have more than doubled, and credit must go to the Editors, Associate Editors and reviewers for achieving this with an improved quality of papers as well.

  13. 13

    The Editors should be credited with launching the IS debate as explained in the last issue.

  14. 14

    I am proud enough of the simplicity of my advice on writing journal papers that I repeat it here:

    • If any paper submitted to the right subject journal gives the appropriate answers to the following three questions, then there must be a very high probability of acceptance:

      • — What story are you trying to tell the reader?

      • — What will the reader know after reading your paper that they did not know before?

      • — Why should anyone believe you?

  15. 15

    I am also proud of my call for readability while remembering that

    • Research with dissemination is a research contribution

    • Research without dissemination is a hobby

  16. 16

    I am a great believer in honesty, since honest people do not have to remember things and they act as consultants to colleagues thus spreading good practice. I have been open and honest in my editorials. For readers seeking more examples of this style of writing, I commend one of my autobiographical books that will demonstrate more clearly what I mean. The book called Living with Parkinsonism: Shake, Rattle and Roll is not listed in the references below because I have not written it yet – that's honest!

  17. 17

    I am particularly proud of my definition of IS (Paul, 2007b) which has been seen by many people and largely agreed to.

  18. 18

    Credit must go to the Editorial teams over the past 20 years: the editors Steve, Jonathan, Bob, Richard and Hans; the Managing Editor Marinos Themistocleous; and the administrative staff, Carolyn Bailey, Neela Rungien and Kathryn Goodwin all at Brunel University.

  19. 19

    Credit to the Publisher's teams: the publishers David Bull and Mariam Hasan; and the production team Jane Torr, Charlotte Ayre. Through Palgrave the European Journal of Information Systems continues to steadily increase its subscription base even when lately journal subscriptions have been sinking. Profits have been rising too.

  20. 20

    Credit to the OR Society for launching the European Journal of Information Systems and providing the professional base from which the journal prospered. My view that the OR Society should publish more journals is slowly being realised with the recent launch of the fourth journal, Journal of Simulation for which I have been the Guiding Editor.

References

  • Paul RJ (2005) Editor's view: an opportunity for editors of IS journals to relate their experiences and offer advice. The Editorial View of Ray J Paul. First in a series. European Journal of Information Systems 14, 207–212.

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The Change Editorials

  • Paul RJ (2003a) Time, changes and paradoxes. European Journal of Information Systems 12, 77.

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  • Paul RJ (2003b) More changes and responses. European Journal of Information Systems 12, 167.

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  • Paul RJ (2004a) Time, experience and change. European Journal of Information Systems 13, 93–94.

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  • Paul RJ (2004b) Time, change and beliefs. European Journal of Information Systems 13, 165.

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  • Paul RJ (2004c) Time, change and EJIS. European Journal of Information Systems 13, 245–246.

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  • Paul RJ (2006a) Changing issues: sixes and specials. European Journal of Information Systems 15, 1–3.

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  • Paul RJ (2006b) Views, change and changing views. European Journal of Information Systems 15, 239–240.

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  • Paul RJ (2006c) Making the changes. European Journal of Information Systems 15, 525–526.

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  • Paul RJ (2007a) Change strikes back. European Journal of Information Systems 16, 1–2.

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  • Paul RJ (2007b) Changes to information systems: time to change. European Journal of Information Systems 16, 193–195.

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  • Paul RJ (2007c) Changing the challenge: To challenge makes you larger and being challenged makes you small. European Journal of Information Systems 16, 299–302.

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  • Paul RJ (2007d) Changeover and celebrating change: 20 reasons for celebrating 20 years. European Journal of Information Systems 16, 525–526.

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Paul, R. Changeover and celebrating change: 20 reasons for celebrating 20 years. Eur J Inf Syst 16, 525–526 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.ejis.3000710

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.ejis.3000710