2021 JHTM Paper Hackathon

Tourism & Hospitality Research in the New Normal: ARE YOU READY?


19-20 October 2021 – Research Symposium
2 November 2021  – Paper Hackathon: pitch presentations


The recordings from the symposium and hackathon are now available for download at: 2021 JHTM Research Symposium & Paper Hackathon


The Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management (JHTM) is the official journal of CAUTHE (Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education Inc.). JHTM is recognised as one of the top ranked journals in its field. Currently, JHTM has an SSCI impact factor of 5.959 and it is ranked 17/58 of journals in hospitality, leisure, sports and tourism, and 61/226 of journals in management (SSCI Journal Impact Factor rankings).

The JHTM is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary journal that publishes research making clear and significant theoretical and practical contributions in the fields of travel, tourism, hospitality, leisure, recreation and/or event management. The journal welcomes theoretical and methodological pluralism, as well as it equally values both conceptual and empirical research studies.

The 2021 Online Research Symposium & Paper Hackathon

Purpose and theme

The JHTM has been hosting an annual research symposium and paper hackathon since 2017. The two events were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. This year, we are pleased to bring these events back, using an online format. We believe this format can help increase the scope and impacts of these events, and maximise its benefits to the international research community.

The continuous growth and advancement of JHTM greatly rely on the support and engagement of the research community, contributing authors, reviewers, readers and supporters. Thus, we are committed to create this platform of knowledge sharing and exchange and to give back to the whole community. This is particularly important during the time of hardship, when almost everyone has experienced greater challenge to cope with demands from work and life. Despite a lot of destructions, budget cuts, changes and stress in our work environments, researchers are even more pressed to publish and (out)perform. These adverse circumstances penalise more early and mid-career scholars (and those who are relatively new to research), as they have little access to scholarly events, such as conferences and workshops, where they could develop or further enhance their research skills, seek mentorship supports, and build their own research networks that are essential for collaborations.

The 2021 JHTM Research Symposium & Paper Hackathon aim to provide researchers professional development and networking opportunities. Taking an online format, the events bring together internationally well-known scholars and industry professionals to share their experience and knowledge about contemporary issues in tourism research and industry alike. Embracing its title Tourism & Hospitality Research in the new normal: ARE YOU READY?, the events’ programme features various interactive, edutaining, thought stimulating but also provoking sessions that enable us to develop and challenge our research skills and mindsets and prepare us to address the research challenges and exploit the opportunities arising in the post COVID-19 period.

Paper Hackathon: aims and program

The 2021 JHTM Paper Hackathon aims to support scholars to publish their research in JHTM as well as to celebrate the successes of the JHTM. The JHTM was one of the first journals to establish the Paper Hackathons, which were successfully run in 2018 and 2019. The goal of the Paper Hackathon is to support tourism researchers to form partnerships with other researchers and established scholars with the aim to develop and pitch a paper for publication in the JHTM.

The 2021 JHTM Paper Hackathon will be announced and kicked off at the 2021 JHTM Research Symposium. Participants of the 2021 JHTM Paper Hackathon will have the opportunity to attend and benefit from the professional development opportunities and workshops taking place during the 2021 JHTM Research Symposium.

Entrants to the 2021 JHTM Paper Hackathon will have the opportunity to meet, mix and match with mentors and other participants to form research teams. The research teams will then have 2 weeks (until 2 November) to work on a study/paper proposal (paper-a-thon). Teams will have to organize their own times, tools and platforms to conduct their (virtual) team-working and collaboration. The 2021 JHTM Paper Hackathon will provide one mentor per team to help, guide and support the team towards its research goal. During the Paper Hackathon, teams will work under the mentorship of prominent tourism scholars and they will receive constructive and valuable feedback for their research proposals. Team members and mentors would need to work out themselves when and how to meet within reasonable expectations for each party. Teams will be required to pitch their research paper idea on 2 November 2021 to an evaluation panel consisting the senior Editorial Team of the JHTM. All teams will receive constructive and valuable feedback from the evaluation panel. Teams with high potentials will be invited to submit their completed manuscripts for a fast-tracked review process and a possible publication at the JHTM (within 2022). 

Paper Hackathon: program overview

Adelaide, South Australia Time

19 October 2021

8:00  –  8:15

Introduction and aims

  • Presentation of the aims and the structure of the JHTM Paper Hackathon (Prof Marianna Sigala, Editor-In-Chief JHTM)

20 October 2021

15:00 – 16:00

Team matching

  • Speed dating’ for meeting and organising participants into collaborating teams or you might already have a team or other scholar with whom you wish to work together
  • Matching of teams with mentors (by areas of interest and specialisation)

21 October 2021 –
2 November 2021

Work plan

Meet with your mentor and other team members and design a work plan for the next two weeks

  • Work with your team members to brainstorm and develop your paper-a-thon idea and presentation
  • Liaise with your mentors and agree on timelines for seeking help and feedback
  • Mentors can choose to be involved or not as an author
  • Teams schedule their own plans for the two weeks

2 November 2021

17:30 – 20:30

Pitch presentation event

  • 3-minute presentations to the panel and conference participants
  • Panel members’ meeting and People’s voting
  • Announcement and recognition of the JHTM Paper Hackathon Award winners

How and why to participate in the JHTM Paper Hackathon

The Paper Hackathon intends to foster new collaborations through an innovative hackathon format. To participate in the paper hackathon, researchers should be willing to share with other researchers resources (e.g. data sets, writing skills, time, knowledge etc.) that can help the team to develop a study/paper. The paper hackathon organisers will consolidate hackathon applications and assist participants to self-organise in teams. Teams mixing researchers with various levels of experience (early, mid and late careers) and resources will be sought. Participating teams will have two weeks to initiate a new collaboration and develop a paper-a-thon under the guidance of an experienced mentor.

The idea is to work out the basics of a research paper, which will be presented to an evaluation panel consisting from the senior Editorial Team of the JHTM. Teams will pitch their paper-a-thon proposal to the evaluation panel and they will receive constructive feedback on how to progress and advance their research. Teams with highly ranked papers-a-thon will have the opportunity to submit their completed paper for a fast-tracked review process and a possible publication in the JHTM. The Paper Hackathon pitch event will take place on 2 November 2021. This event will be a virtual zoom event which will be open to other tourism scholars who can also participate and contribute to the presentation discussions. The pitch event is a great opportunity to promote your research skills and ideas to the international tourism community, but also to benefit from peer feedback.

In addition, the JHTM Paper Hackathon is a great opportunity to:

  • enhance your research and publication skills and capabilities through peer-learning and mentorship
  • foster new and/or enrich existing collaborations by networking and collaborate with other researchers
  • achieve a paper publication by sharing work with others
  • promote your skills and knowledge to the tourism community
  • develop and enhance your self-confidence and skills in working with others and debating your research work to a panel of experts
  • meet journal editors and other editorial board members and learn more about the evaluation and review process of manuscripts

Three steps to participate in the JHTM Paper Hackathon

Step 1 – Share, Brainstorm & Collaborate – Bring your data, theory, phenomenon, or good writing skills. Meet others who can complement what you have. Join resources with other participants and collaborate in teams to brainstorm and develop a new paper idea. Applicants will submit a short bio and research profile/idea. Paper hackathon organizers will use this information to rank and select applicants to participate in the 2021 JHTM Paper hackathon. A ‘speed dating’ session will be scheduled on the 20th October 2021, to enable hackathon participants to meet, develop their teams and start working immediately.

Step 2 – “Work & Write – Work and write fast. You will have almost 2 weeks (until 2 November 2021) to elaborate on your study/paper idea and develop a 3-minute power point presentation. Presentations of papers-a-thon should provide an extended outline of the proposed study including: research aims; proposed methodology; contribution to the field; expected findings; practical and theoretical contributions. Teams will get help from mentors. Mentors may decide or not to be involved as co-authors, if everyone agrees.

Step 3 – “Pitch & Win – on 2 November 2021, teams will have 3-minute (very strict!) to present their paper-a-thon in front of the evaluation panel and other scholars attending the pitch Paper Hackathon event. Teams with highly evaluated papers-a-thon will be invited to submit their completed manuscript for a fast-tracked review process and a possible publication at the JHTM (within 2022).

There will also be two JHTM Paper Hackathon awards:

  • a ‘judges’ best paper-a-thon award
  • a ‘people’s voice’ best paper-a-thon award.

Submission process for participation in the JHTM Paper Hackathon

To participate in the 2021 JHTM Paper Hackathon submit a 1-2 pages proposal, by 10 September 2021, describing what you can bring to the hackathon, for example: data sets, access to key informants, methodological specialty and knowledge, theoretical or domain expertise, innovative perspectives, domain expertise, writing/editing skills story telling skills, data analytics skills etc.

Each proposal should come from an individual describing that individual’s unique skills and contributions. Research teams are also welcome to apply; teams should submit a single application that will include the names and profiles of each team member. Individuals/teams who bring data sets need to clarify their rights to the data sets and certify that they have the rights to use the data for a new research paper.

Note that the paper-a-thon is NOT a paper development workshop where you can work on papers that you already have. It is about creating something new, with new collaborators, and new ideas. Please do NOT submit completed papers.


Registration is now closed

The 2021 JHTM Research Symposium & Paper Hackathon will take place online. Participation is FREE but real-time participants numbers will be capped to enable quality interactions and debates. Please ensure to register your interest to attend on time if you wish to participate online. The online sessions will be video-recorded and shared with all registered scholars to be watched for a limited time period.


The 2021 JHTM Research Symposium & Paper Hackathon are supported and funded by CAUTHE.


If you have any questions about the 2021 JHTM Online Research Symposium & Paper Hackathon, please contact:

Prof Marianna Sigala
Editor-In-Chief of JHTM
Chair of the 2021 JHTM Research Symposium & Paper Hackathon


Dr Samaneh Soleimani
Chair of the Volunteers’ Organising Committee

Scientific Committee


  • Professor Marianna Sigala, Editor-In-Chief JHTM, University of Piraeus, Greece


  • Associate Professor Emily Ma, Associate Editor JHTM, University of Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Associate Professor S. Mostafa Rasoolimanesh, Associate Editor JHTM, Taylor’s University Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Dr. Edmund Goh, Associate Editor JHTM, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Organising Committee

Overall Chair

  • Professor Marianna Sigala, University of Piraeus, Greece

Chair of the Volunteers’ Organising Committee

  • Dr Samaneh Soleimani, Australian Institute of Business, Australia

Members of the Organising Committee

  • Fani Efthymiadou, PhD Candidate, Hotel and Tourism Management, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus
  • Jia Geng, PhD Candidate, Department of Tourism, Sport & Society, Lincoln University, New Zealand
  • Sabiha Matin, PhD Candidate, Newcastle Business School, The College of Human and Social Futures, The University of Newcastle, Australia