Digital Government

Permanent URI for this community

HICSS-53 has been another outstanding year for featuring Digital Government-related research. While the record submission numbers of the previous conference were not surpassed this time, the Digital Government Track still received another triple-digit number of completed research submissions.

For a decade and a half, the Track leadership has always tried to strike a balance between accommodating promising new research avenues, on the one hand, and maintaining a stage for mature topics, on the other hand, with an overall acceptance that has been kept consistently way below the 50 percent mark. While a low acceptance rate alone is not a good indicator of academic quality for any conference, at the Digital Government Track, those minitracks with traditional topics have acceptance rates in the low twenties, whereas novel and cuttingedge topics are nurtured by allowing higher rates of acceptance to get the novel topic started. The aggregate between the two (41 to 47 percent in recent years) is obviously a rather ambiguous, if not meaningless, measure.

Nevertheless, both the high number of submissions and the low overall acceptance rate reconfirm the ranking of the Digital Government Track as the premier conference outlet in the study domain. Unlike some disciplines that either predominantly favor journals or predominantly favor conferences as their premier outlets of publication, as a multidisciplinary study domain in Digital Government Research, the top-two conferences (this very Digital Government Track at HICSS, EGOVCeDEM- ePart) and the top-two journals (Government Information Quarterly and Information Polity) venues are equally valued and have been established for quite some time [1].

In 2019 the overall volume of peer-reviewed publications in Digital Government research has again risen in double digit percentage numbers (see DGRL, which in 2018 was renamed from E-Government Reference Library (EGRL) to Digital Government Reference Library, at http://, passing the 12,000 entries mark of peer-reviewed publications in the English language. Digital Government research keeps thriving in absolute numbers and is also growing in quality.

Just like HICSS on a larger scale, so also the Digital Government Track has gained the reputation among members of the community for serving as a bellwether for important new developments in this fascinating domain of study. It has been rated the flagship conference in Digital Government [1].

This year and for the fourteenth time in a row, the Digital Government Track is accompanied by a symposium/workshop, this year dedicated to the topic of “Exploring the Ethics of Digital Government: How Will Emerging Technologies Impact Society and Human Rights?” The symposium/workshop has become a major event in the community’s ongoing discussion, particularly, with respect to new avenues of research and collaboration with practice.

In 2020, the Digital Government Track proudly hosts peer-reviewed and accepted papers in fifteen minitracks with 1 to 3 sessions each, five of which are new and another three greatly revised:
- Blockchain, DLT, Tokenization, and Digital Government (new)
- Challenged Democracies (revised)
- Cyber Deception for Defense (new)
- Cybersecurity and Government
- Data-driven Government and Artificial Intelligence (revised)
- Digital Government and Business Process Management (new)
- Digital Government and the Internet of Things (new)
- Digital Government: Social and Service Innovation (revised)
- Digital Government Theory
- Digital Transformation and Government (new)
- Disaster, Information, Technology, and Resilience
- Emerging Topics in Digital Government
- Inside the Insider Threats
- Policies and Strategies for Digital Governance
- Smart and Connected Cities and Communities

While most topics above will maintain continued interest and attract attention, in the next edition of the Digital Government Track at HICSS we will most likely see again new topics, although most probably not as many as we have seen emerge in this year’s edition of the Digital Government Track.

[1] Scholl, H. J., & Y. K. Dwivedi, "Forums for electronic government scholars: Insights from a 2012/2013 study," Government Information Quarterly, vol. 31 (2), pp. 229-242, 2014.

Hans J. Scholl
The Information School
University of Washington

John Carlo Bertot
College of Information Studies
University of Maryland College Park