Jeanne Ross’s Lasting Impact on MISQE

Jeanne W. Ross

Jeanne Ross can look back on her contributions to MIS Quarterly Executive (MISQE)1 over the last twenty years and feel very proud. She was the linchpin in the first discussions about the journal (in 1999), and I’m pretty sure she helped Allen Lee rope Jack Rockart into taking on the role of the first Editor in Chief (EIC) for the journal. She organized the first pre-ICIS MISQE workshop in Brisbane in 2000 to promote the journal to the highly skeptical IS faculty and to rustle up submissions. I’ll bet Jack also relied on Jeanne for lots of support during his tenure in the EIC role (from 2000–2005). Jeanne followed Jack in the EIC role, from 2005–2009. Since stepping down from that role, she has continued to serve as a senior editor (SE) for the journal. She must have handled hundreds of manuscripts for the journal over the twenty years!
One of Jeanne’s many important contributions to MISQE was to invent and insist upon, gently but repeatedly, a far more civilized form of submission review. The old approach was for the SE to get paper reviews from reviewers, try to understand them, and then add a “super-review” to the package to provide direction to the authors. Jeanne’s MISQE-style review involved a phone conversation among the reviewers and SE, and the creation of a synthesized, unified report of the team’s decision. Today, reviewers first read and send brief comments on the manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses to the SE and each other. Then, during a phone call or a video conference, the review team discusses the paper and arrives at a consensus on the journal’s response to the author. The SE drafts the consensus report, the reviewers check over that draft, and off it goes to the author. The author does not have to figure out how to make sense of and synthesize comments from reviewers and SE; they are already synthesized. The author does not have to figure out what to do; it’s right there in the review. The process is highly satisfying for all participants. The entire process takes less than half the time of the old process. And we have Jeanne Ross to thank for inventing it and insisting that we try it.
Dr. Cynthia M. Beath
Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin
July 2018
1MIS Quarterly Executive, published in affiliation with the Society for Information Management (SIM), is a journal dedicated to publishing high-quality research in the information systems field in a manner relevant to practitioners.