Digital Government

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For the study domain of Digital Government, HICSS-52 marks a very special milestone along various lines.

First, after sixteen years the name of the track has been changed from “Electronic Government Track” to “Digital Government Track” to reflect the growing use of and convergence towards the term “digital” instead of the term “electronic,” which emerged from the widespread understanding of the 1990s and has been found missing to capture the accelerating fundamental digital transformation in the public sector and in society at large.

Second, HICSS-52 stands out in the history of the Digital Government Track as the year with a new record number of full-paper submissions representing an increase of almost fifteen percent compared with the 2017 submission numbers.

Third, with an aggregate 41 percent acceptance rate, the Digital Government Track is the track with the lowest acceptance rate at HICSS. While a low acceptance rate alone is not a good indicator of academic quality for any conference, at the Digital Government Track, minitracks with traditional topics have acceptance rates in the low twenties, whereas novel and cutting-edge topics are nurtured by allowing higher rates of acceptance to get the novel topic started. The aggregate between the two (41 percent) is obviously a rather ambiguous, if not meaningless measure. Nevertheless, both the high number of submissions and the low overall acceptance rate reconfirm the standing of the Digital Government Track as the premier conference outlet in the study domain, which in terms of academic merit considers on a par the top-two conferences (Digital Government Track at HICSS, EGOVCeDEM- ePa r t ) and the top- two journa l s (Government Information Quarterly, Information Polity) [1].

Fourth, while our good colleague Lemuria Carter resigned from her Track co-chair position for personal reasons, John C. Bertot joined as the new Track Co-chair. We thank Lemuria for her service, and we welcome John to his new assignment and position.

In 2018 the overall volume of peer-reviewed publications in Digital Government research has again risen in double digit percentage numbers (see DGRL, which has been also renamed from EGovernment Reference Library (EGRL) to Digital Government Reference Library, at p5w8vv), passing the 10,000 entries mark of peerreviewed 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 e-Government [1].

This year and for the thirteenth time in a row, the Digital Government Track is accompanied by a symposium, this year dedicated to the topic of “Digital Government Theory.” The symposium has become a major event in the community’s ongoing discussion, particularly, with respect to new avenues of research and collaboration with practice.

In 2019, the Digital Government Track proudly hosts peer-reviewed and accepted papers in fifteen minitracks with 1 or 2 sessions each, four of which are new:
- Cybersecurity and Government
- Dark Digital Government (new)
- Data-driven Government
- Digital Government Theory (new)
- Emerging Topics in Digital Government
- Disaster Resilience
- Gov 3.0 (new)
- Government Innovation
- Government Services
- Insider Threats
- Policies and Strategies for Digital Governance
- Smart Cities, Smart Government, and Smart Governance
- Social Innovation (new)
- Social Media in Government

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 new topics such as Digital Transformation, Distributed Ledger Technology and Government, Use of Artificial Intelligence in Government, and the Internet of Things and Government.

[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 C. Bertot
College of Information Studies
University of Maryland College Park