2017 Vienna

Preparing and Submitting Abstracts and Papers

[KEY POINTS] [Obtain Author ID] [Preparing Abstracts] [Submitting Abstracts] [Preparing and Submitting Full Papers] [Preparing and Submitting Posters] [Preparing and Submitting Presentation Slides] [Creative Commons Licensing]


  • Presentation at the conference is determined by acceptance of an abstract, which will be determined by peer review. Registering for the conference does not guarantee acceptance of the abstract or full paper.
  • See the Important Dates webpage for deadlines for submission.
  • When you submit your abstract to the ISSS Journals website, you may select a specific session (SIGs or Exploratory Groups (EG)) you wish the abstract to be considered, or you may designate it as a "poster" or "workshop" abstract.
  • If you require special handling (e.g., review before a funding deadline, or an invitation letter to the conference), PLEASE EMAIL that request to enquiryisss@gmail.com  
  • Once you have been notified of abstract acceptance, you may proceed with submission of your paper, poster, and/or presentation slides through a new submission within your account.
  • Abstracts submitted after the final deadline for abstracts (but prior to the conference program being set) will be considered for acceptance on a space-available basis.
  • Please follow the instructions in the sections below step-by-step. If you have any questions, contact the ISSS office at enquiryisss@gmail.com.

ISSS Journals are now published at http://journals.isss.org with an ISSN of 1999-6918. Proceedings from 2006 onwards are available at journals.isss.org, and on CD-ROM (until 2011). Proceedings for years prior to 2006 are available on CD-ROM from the ISSS Office.

Obtain Author ID

A new author should obtain a userid and password at journals.isss.org. Authors who have an account from a previous year can select the LOG IN link and use your existing details.

Preparing Abstracts

1.  Download the ISSS template for abstracts.

2.  Open the abstract template using a word processing program that will let you save your abstract as a Microsoft Word .doc file.

3. Complete the fields in the template, including:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Address
  • Body text

4.  Abstracts SHOULD NOT exceed 600 words and SHOULD NOT include:

  • Underscores
  • Figures and tables in the abstract
  • References
  • Footnotes
  • Font size changes.
  • Internal headings
  • Color.

5.  Save the document as a .doc file under a name that includes the surname of the lead author, e.g. 2016ISSSAuthor1.doc  We cannot use PDF files.

Submitting Abstracts

1.  Log in at journals.isss.org with the userid and password that you had previously registered. Follow the instructions for uploading the abstract file as detailed below. When you upload your abstract, there is a checklist of requirements that you should meet, including agreement with submitting your work under the Creative Commons License.

2.  Under “Proceedings of the [Current Year] Annual Meeting of the ISSS”, select the role of “Author”.

3.  That will take you to the “Active Submissions” page. Click the link under “Start a New Submission”.

4.  On the “Step 1. Starting the Submission” page:

  • From the pull-down menu under “Journal Section”, select the section to which you wish to submit your abstract (if it is for a paper) or select "POSTER", accordingly.
  • Ensure that your abstract meets the criteria on the “Submission Checklist”, and check each checkbox.
  • Enter any comments you want to give to the editor about your submission, if any. 
  • “Save and continue”.

5.  On the “Step 2: Entering the Submission's Metadata” page:

  • Please do NOT use BLOCK CAPITALS. Fill in the names and information for the author(s). Below the “Bio Statement” field, you can create additional fields by selecting the “Add Authors” button. If there is more than one author, be sure to designate the primary author using the button below that author's name.
  • Insert the working title in the “Title” field. Again, please do NOT use BLOCK CAPITALS. 
  • Copy the text of the abstract into the abstract entry box in the submission page by clicking on the W symbol on the upper tool bar. This will open a text box for you to paste in your text and this will strip all of the Word formatting from your text so it will display correctly in the online Journal.
  • Under the Indexing section, specify at least two, and NO MORE THAN FIVE, keywords into the “Keywords” field.
  • Leave the Language box selected as “en” for English, unless special arrangements have been made with the Editor to submit in another language.
  • If there are supporting agencies for your work, list those in the appropriate fields.
  • “Save and continue.”

6.  On the “Step 3: Uploading the Abstract file” page:

  • Follow the instructions on the page to upload your abstract to the ISSS Journals site.

7.  On the “Step 4: Uploading Supplementary Files” page:

  • SKIP THIS STEP when submitting your abstract. 
  • “Save and continue.”

8.  On the “Step 5: Confirming the Submission" page:

  • Under “File Summary”, verify that the correct file has been uploaded to the web site.
  • “Finish submission.”

You should receive e-mail notification on the progress of your abstract. If you do not, please email the office to check if the submission is loaded correctly. To check at any time, you can log in and return to the “Active Submissions” page to see the status.

Preparing and Submitting Full Papers

Once your abstract is accepted, you may submit your full paper for publication in the conference proceedings following similar steps to submitting an abstract. Papers should not exceed 30 pages in length. Longer papers and papers not using ISSS style for layout and accurate referencing will be returned to you for further editing.

1.  Download the ISSS template for papers.

2.  Sign in at journals.isss.org with the userid and password that you had previously registered.

3.  Under “Proceedings of the [Current Year] Annual Meeting of the ISSS”, select the role of “Author”.

4.  That will take you to the “Active Submissions” page. Click the link under “Step One of the Submission Process”.

  • DO NOT upload your paper as a supplemental file to your previous abstract submission.

5.  On the “Step 1. Starting the Submission” page:

  • For the “Journal Section”, select the category: FINAL Paper
  • Ensure that your paper meets the criteria on the “Submission Checklist”, and tick each checkbox.
  • Enter any comments you want to give to the editor about your submission, if any.
  • “Save and continue”.
  • DO NOT submit a PDF format file. Files must be submitted in a “.doc”  or ".docx" format or we will email you for the correct formatted file.

6.  On the “Step 2: Entering the Submission's Metadata” page:

  • Fill in the names and information for the author(s). Below the “Bio Statement” field, you can create additional fields by selecting the “Add Authors” button. If there is more than one author, be sure to designate the primary author using the button below that author's name.
  • Insert the working title in the “Title” field.
  • Under the Indexing section, specify at least two, and no more than five, keywords into the “Keywords” field.
  • Leave the Language box selected as “en” for English, unless special arrangements have been made with the Editor to submit in another language.
  • If there are supporting agencies for your work, list those in the appropriate fields.
  • Copy the text of the abstract into the abstract entry box in the submission page as well as uploading the electronic Word file in the next step.
  • “Save and continue.”

7.  On the “Step 3: Uploading your Paper” page:

  • Follow the instructions on the page to upload your paper to the ISSS Journals site.
  • “Save and continue.”

8.  On the “Step 4: Uploading Additional Supplementary Files” page:

  • All graphics, tables and figures should be included in the main text file when submitted. However, you can attach additional supplementary files, such as images or drawing files if you wish to be sure they are transmitted correctly. Please note in the “Brief Description” box what the additional file contains.
  • “Save and continue.”

9.  On the “Step 5: Confirming the Submission” page:

  • Under “File Summary”, verify that the correct file has been uploaded to the web site.
  • “Finish submission.”

If you have any problems with this procedure, please contact the ISSS Office at enquiryisss@gmail.com for help.

Preparing and Submitting Posters

An abstract must be submitted and accepted to present a poster. See instructions above for Preparing Abstracts and Submitting Abstracts.

For further instruction on preparing and submitting posters, see our Submitting a Poster page.

Preparing and Submitting Presentation Slides

You are encouraged to submit your presentation slides for the benefit of attendees. You should upload your ppt file in the same way as any other submission using the process above and these will be added to the proceedings.

Creative Commons Licensing

ISSS proceedings are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

In contrast to the policy of many other conferences, ISSS has never assumed the copyright on papers published in the proceedings. As a venue to develop new ideas and collaborate with other members, the ISSS encourages the contribution of content in many forms and at varying levels of completeness, ranging from early findings and through to nearly-completed research. Theoretical, empirical and applied works are welcomed. Most contributions would generally be classified as “working papers” distributed to peers for comments and discussion. Inclusion into the proceedings neither requires transfer of ownership from the original author, nor exclusivity. Thus, the copyright of the work remains available for the author to assign to publishers of prestigious journals such as Systems Research and Behavioral Science.

Submitting A Poster

The One Sentence Explanation of a Poster:

Colin Purrington (2013) writes that "A large-format poster is a document that can communicate your research at a conference, and is composed of a short title, an introduction to your burning question, an overview of your novel approach, your amazing results in graphical form, some insightful discussion of aforementioned results, a listing of previously published articles that are important to your research, and some brief acknowledgement of the tremendous assistance and financial support conned from others — if all text is kept to a minimum, a person could fully read your poster in under 5 minutes (really)."

ISSS Poster Sessions and How to Submit:

  1. You need to submit an abstract (see preparing and submitting an abstract) of your poster for approval;
  2. You need to send a PDF of your poster to enquiryisss@gmail.com to be loaded to the Journals site for the Conference; and
  3. You need to prepare your poster to bring to the conference.

There are many poster preparation guidelines available on the web, detailing how to best display your work for the benefit of those reading and talking about the poster with you.

In this conference, your posters should preferably be Size A1 (Flipchart paper size, 59 cm by 84cm, approx 24 in by 34 in). 

Poster guidance can be found at:

Colin Purrington's excellent blog entry on why and how you should create your poster, Designing conference posters, as well as other related entries on his blog.

Awards for Best Student Papers

Student Paper Awards

The ISSS may award one or several Memorial Awards at each Annual Meeting. These awards are given in the names of Sir Geoffrey Vickers, Anatol Rapoport, and Margaret Mead, recognizing outstanding work by a student in distinct domains the systems sciences.  The Vickers award encourages contributions to areas of consideration where systems approaches stand to enrich the social sciences, humanities and the arts.  The Rapoport award recognizes works in the domains of the physical sciences, the life sciences, mathematics and engineering.  The Mead award considers contributions across the domains considered by both the Vickers and the Rapoport awards, but distinguishes those that place special emphases on feminist, collectivist, and culturally pluralistic perspectives.

The Spirit of Sir Geoffrey Vickers

The Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award commemorates the life and works of Sir Geoffrey Vickers. His view of the human condition as fundamentally embedded in a web of value relations, and of the dilemma of human action as both rational and valuative, lead him to the formulation of the Appreciative Systems approach. The spirit of his lifework is tremendously contemporary, even though he wrote his most significant works in the early second half of the 20th century: society as evolutionarily emergent; participative and interactive communication as a creative agent; humanization as the necessary normative component of socialization — all this as part of what he called "a science of human ecology." It is through a truly integrative and systemic approach to our humanity that Sir Geoffrey believed we can learn to navigate multi-valued choice in the ways we structure and value our situation. Being critical (without criticizing), judging (without being judgmental), and engaging in normative decision taking (without ignoring or subjugating the interests of others) — these are the challenges of a science of human ecology as he saw it.  The realization that "Science is human"(1) derives from his assertion that we are "incorrigible valuers."(2)  Indeed, it was Sir Geoffrey's fundamental affirmation that only by learning to be appreciative systems, ourselves, will we create social structures capable of supporting the essence of our humanity. The ISSS Vickers Award seeks to recognize promising work that advances the systems sciences toward this vision.

(1) Vickers, G. (1968) Value Systems and Social Process, Pelican Books, Middlesex, England, p.214.

(2) Ibid. 214.

The Vision of Anatol Rapoport

The Anatol Rapoport Memorial Award is offered in recognition of the best student paper presented at the annual ISSS Conference in a quantitative, engineering, hard science, natural science, tehcnological, or logico-empirical systems framework.  Submissions that present any one or combination of these perspectives will be eligible for this award.  As such, it is distinct from the Sir Geoffrey Vickers Award which, as described above, is offered in recognition of work presented in a qualitative, humanistic, social science, artistic, phenomenological, or spiritual-intuitive systems framework (again, any one or combination of these).  This award honors the contributions of one of the original founders of the Society for the Advancement of General Systems Theory, the original precursor of which the ISSS is a direct decendent.(3)  Rapoport joined his skills in mathematics and formal logic with those of biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy, economist Kenneth E. Boulding, and psychologist, Ralph W. Gerard to establish the aims of the original Society in 1954 in support of what came to be known as the Systems Movement.  These aims included the idea that, as a result of work across different disciplines of knowledge, there would arise a high-level meta-theory of systems that could be mathematically expressed.  His vision focused on what he characterized as "the creative exploration of analogies,"(4) especially those deducible from mathematical models.  Such efforts served to illustrate his conviction of the fundamental interconnectedness of everything to everything else, as he expressed so eloquently in his keynote address to the ISSS/World Congress of the System Sciences in 2000.  On that occassion, he pointed out that the symbol for the Society was the integration symbol from mathematics — the ∫ sign — and that exploration of mathematical analogies or "isomorphisms" is the main interest of a general system-theory.  The ISSS Rapoport Award seeks to recognize promising work in the systems sciences in this spirit of inquiry.

(3) Checkland, P. (1993) Systems Thinking, Systems Practice, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England, p. 93.

(4) Hammond, D. (2003) The Science of Synthesis, University Presss of Colorado, Boulder CO, USA, p. 157.

The Empowerment of Margaret Mead

The Margaret Mead Memorial Award was established in 2013 to commemorate the memory of the first woman to serve as President of the ISSS (at a time when it was called the International Society for General Systems Research – ISGSR – in 1972).  Margaret Mead was involved with the society since it was first established as the Society for the Advancement of General Systems Theory at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1956.  At that meeting, she admonished the newly formed society to apply systems principles to itself as an organization, "with the aim of fostering a more collaborative and inclusive organizational structure."(5)  Her work with indigenous – or more properly, autochthonous – peoples the world over emphasized the role of the individual in the collective, and the role of the collective as enabler for the flourishing of the individual.  Deeply committed to social process, Mead's view of systems was fundamentally relational.  Sir Ken Robinson notes that ‎"human communities depend upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability, and the heart of our challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability and of intelligence."(6)  It is in this spirit of relational intelligence, drawing on the type of systemic consciousness so well embodied by Margaret Mead, that this award has been established.  Whereas the other two Student Paper Awards both celebrate the vision for inspired systemic thought, being, and action as embodied and manifest through the efforts of individuals such as Sir Geoffrey Vickers and Anatol Rapoport, the Margaret Mead Memorial Award recognizes contributions to systems experience, thinking, design, and action that empower individuals in communities, and in so doing, empower communities as purposeful systems in their own right.  This award invites papers that address contemporary challenges in ways that advance understanding of how collective intelligence and collective impact(7) foster emergence, thrivability and systemic wellbeing.   The ISSS honors Margaret Mead and the inspirational role her work continues to play in the life of the society, as attested to by her presence on the main page of our website (http://isss.org/world/).  

(5) Hammond, D. (2003). The Science of Synthesis, University Press of Colorado, Boulder CO, USA, p. 249.

(6) Robinson, Ken (2010).  Bring on the learning revolution! TED Talk – online at http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html [sourced 10 February 2013]. 

(7) Kania, J. and Kramer, M. (2013). Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity, Stanford Social Innovation Review – online at http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/embracing_emergence_how_collective_impact_addresses_complexity  [sourced 10 February 2013].


Prospectus for students presenting a paper at an annual meeting

In memory of the humanistic vision of Sir Geoffrey Vickers, the integrative vision of Anatol Rapoport, and the collectivist vision of Margaret Mead, and in recognition of their deep commitment to, and belief in, the power of young people to contribute creatively to the betterment of the human condition, a plaque and check for $500 will be awarded for the best student paper in each of the three award domains.  The Vickers Award, the Rapoport Award, and the Mead Award recognize outstanding work done in the domain of the systems sciences, and are considered the most prestigious prizes in the field at the pre-doctoral level.  Submissions that draw on pespectives covered by any of these three Awards are warmly invited. Generally speaking, it will be in the author's best interest to indicate for which award they wish to have their submission considered.

  • The competition takes place only once a year.
  • It is open to all students from any country.
  • The student must actively request that their paper be considered for the Vickers Award OR the Rapoport Award OR the Mead Award OR any combination of the three.  However, a paper may receive only one award.
  • The student must submit the paper to the ISSS Office in addition to submitting the paper online to the Journals site. The eMail to the ISSS Office accompanying the paper should indicate that the student wishes this paper to be submitted for the Award(s) of their interest.
  • Only student authored papers are eligible for consideration, and preference will be given to individually authored work. If any part of the paper is the work of a student’s supervisor or other mentor, then the paper is not eligible.
  • Only one paper per student should be submitted for consideration in any given year.
  • A single outstanding paper will be selected each year for each award category (Awards will no longer be split between two winners).
  • A full paper must be submitted by the publication deadline and will be included on the web Journals.isss.org proceedings unless stated otherwise by the Student Award committee.
  • Certification must be provided showing that this work was performed while the contestant was a student and, in the case of recent graduates, that it has been submitted for consideration no later than one year from the date of the award of their terminal degree (Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate).
  • Previous winners of this Award Competition may not enter again.
  • Student papers will be judged for each Award by separate committees convened by the ISSS board of directors.
  • In any given year, any one or even up to all three Awards may not given if no paper is found to qualify for the established Award categories.  As such, none of these Award need be granted obligatorily each year, but will only be bestowed if merited by specific submissions.

A student registration form and the student registration fee should accompany the paper submission. The registration fee includes membership in the ISSS for the following year, with the usual membership benefits.

The successful paper may be scheduled for presentation in a plenary session during the conference at the discretion of the President and the Program Committee.

If it is not possible for the student to travel to the conference, it may be possible to arrange for a video link (depending on the facilities available to the conference) or another person may make the presentation on the student's behalf. The preferred options are as follows and in order of preference:

  • that the winning Vickers, Rapoport, and Mead Award papers be presented in Plenary in person by the winners; or
  • that they be presented "virtually"; or
  • that they be presented in absentia by a designated proxy as long as the student has also submitted and paid for registration of their paper.


Previous Sir Geoffrey Vickers Award Winners

1985 New York Ib Ravn
1986 Philadelphia Doug Elias
1987 Budapest two awards: Alexander Laszlo (sole author); Lynda J. Davies and Paul W.J. Ledington (co-authors)
1988 St Louis Donald de Raadt
1989 Edinburgh Bela A Banathy
1990 Portland two awards: Sally Goerner; Daune West
1991 Sweden Erin Artigiani, Cliff Joslyn
1992 Denver Sen Suan Tan
1993 Australia Jeremy Chui
1994 Asilomar T. Dahl and Darek Erikson
1995 Amsterdam two awards: Craig Crabtree; Jennifer Wilby
1996 Louisville Parviz Ahari
1996 Budapest No Award
1997 Seoul, Korea No Award
1998 Atlanta Martine Dodds
1999 Asilomar Molly Dwyer and Jane Zimmerman
2000 Toronto two awards: Gabor Horvath; Kathia Laszlo
2001 Asilomar Lynn M. Rasmussen
2002 Shanghai, China two awards: Pamela Buckle; K. C. Wang
2003 Crete Sabrina Brahms
2004 Asilomar Janette Young
2005 Cancun Honorato Teissier
2006 Sonoma Hanne Birgitte Jensen
2007 Tokyo Nicholas Magliocca
2008 Madison Devin Wixon
2009 Brisbane Anne Stephens
2010 Waterloo Todd D. Bowers
2011 Hull Mary Edson
2012 San Jose William J. Varey
2013 Hai Phong, Viet Nam Victor MacGill
2014 Washington, DC Anne Powel Davis
2015 Berlin, Germany Alexandre Strapasson
2016 Boulder, Colorado Skyler Knox Perkins
2017 Vienna, Austria No award.


Previous Anatol Rapoport Award Winners

This award was first given in 2011.

2011 Hull David Greenwood
2012 San Jose, USA Andreas Hieronymi
2013 Hai Phong, Viet Nam Novie Setianto
2014 Washington, DC No award
2015 Berlin, Germany Kwamina Ewur Banson
2016 Boulder, Colorado Aleksandar Malecic
2017 Vienna, Austria Anh B. Tong


Previous Margaret Mead Award Winners

This award was first given in 2013.

2013 Hai Phong, Viet Nam Magda Kaspary
2014 Washington, DC Raghav Rajagopalan
2015 Berlin, Germany Eshantha Ariyadasa
2016 Boulder, Colorado Jackwin Simbolon
2017 Vienna, Austria Kendra Rosencrans


Prospectus for students (in Spanish)

El Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award se estableció en memoria de la visión humanística de Sir Geoffrey Vickers y su profundo compromiso y convicción en el poder de la gente joven para contribuir creativamente al mejoramiento de la condición humana. De la misma manera, se estableció el Anatol Rapoport Memorial Award para reconocer trabajo sobresaliente hecho por gente joven en las áreas quantitativas y de modelación formal.  Y en 2013, se estableció el Margaret Mead Memorial Award para promover contribuciones de la gente joven en ambitos de investigaciones feministas, colectivistas, y de un carácter culturalmente pluralista.  Los tres premios consisten en una plaqueta y un cheque por U$D 500. cada uno — a ser otorgados a los mejores trabajos de un estudiante universitario, y son los premio más prestigiosos en esta área del conocimiento en el nivel pre-doctoral. Los trabajos ganadores son presentados en una sesión plenaria de la conferencia anual de la entidad.

ISSS2017 Hotels in Vienna

As always, it is also good to search other Hotel booking sites such as Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, etc., and there may be availability on home stay websites as well.




Hotels further away who have given discount:

25h vienna/at museumsquartier

Lerchenfelder Straße 1-3, 1070 Vienna

Phone: +43152151151

Email: wien@25hours-hotels.com

Website: http://www.25hours-hotels.com/en/museumsquartier/home/home.html

Single Room: €156; Double Room: €172.

Includes Breakfast: Yes; Includes WiFi: Yes.

Booking available until: 9/5/2017.

Booking Directions: by phone or simply go to http://www.25hours-hotels.com/en/museumsquartier/home/home.html. Select a date, enter your personal code “ISSS2017” and the friendly elves in our booking engine will do a no-obligation availability check for you. The unique booking code which identifies you and/or your company as a friend of 25hours is: ISSS2017

Booking Code (if needed): ISSS2017






ISSS2018 Graduate Programme Plans

We will be offering our 4th Annual Graduate Programme in Graduate Research starting on Friday 20th July and finishing on the 27th July 2018.

Designed and facilitated by academics with a track record of running highly successful PhD/Graduate programs associated with conferences  - in Vienna, Austria; Denmark, Germany; UK and USA, this year's Course will be held in Corvallis, Oregon and features: 

  • Learning with contributors to the specialist Graduate components, all of international standing in the Systems field...in addition to having access to all of the conference elements and speakers
  • Networking and relationship building with other Graduate students using, or keen to use, Systems ideas and methods in their practice, including research practice
  • Learning with and from alumni of previous Graduate programs
  • Co-developing the conference experience as a critical learning system with opportunities to feedback to the conference on your joint learning.  
  • You may be able to negotiate arrangements for credit with your home institution.
  • Participation certificate from ISSS.

Here is what previous participants have said:

"Thank you very much for everything. It's a great experience for myself, and I do believe all other students have the same feeling!"

"First of all I would like to thank you once more for the fantastic opportunity to be part of the PhD group. I can definitely say that this experience has opened my eyes to approaches I did not know existed."

"Nonetheless ISSS PHD Course ... will be for my work and my thinking a life changing experience, and after some days of holidays I am looking forward to start writing and making more and more connections to the systemic theories and practices."

Please Note:

  • Participation requires ISSS conference GRADUATE registration of $445 which includes a $100 course fee and attendance at the ISSS conference 22-27 July. The fee will increase to $545 on May 15, 2018.
  • Meals, teas and coffees from July 20-22 are not included in the fee, but lunch and coffee breaks will be included during the ISSS conference (10-14 July). Accommodation throughout is not included in the registration fee. Accommodation booking will be available on the website early in 2018.

You will be required to be present from the early morning (9am) of Friday 20th July till 4pm on Friday 27 July to obtain your certificate of participation.