The beginnings of a new era: time to reflect on 17 years of the ISJ

Avison, D. E., Dwivedi, Y. K., Fitzgerald, G. & Powell, P., Jan-2008, In : Information Systems Journal. 18, 1, p. 5-21 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

In this paper we reflect on the first 17 years of the Information Systems Journal (ISJ). The reflections are considered under three headings: origin of papers (authors, geographical period, gender and departments), research paradigms (positive/interpretive, qualitative/quantitative, non-empirical/empirical, espoused theories and research method) and finally, topics. We find that throughout the period, the published papers evidenced a greater internationalization of the journal. On the other hand, some regions and countries are poorly represented. Another imbalance concerns the lack of practitioner papers along with an author-gender imbalance. Qualitative research exceeds quantitative research by a factor of more than 2:1. Interestingly, papers classified as descriptive/conceptual/ theoretical have been largely superseded in the period by those that have some empirical evidence to illustrate the points made. Sometimes it is argued that the discipline of information systems lacks theory and thinking pieces but the ISJ suggests that this is far from the truth. Further, our analysis has revealed around 250 topics discussed using many research methods to explain the phenomena. Depending on the point of view, this may show that the discipline either lacks focus or is exciting and pluralistic. We lean to the latter view, but others have argued for focusing on fewer topics and research methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalInformation Systems Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2008
Externally publishedYes


  • information systems, journals, theories, topics, research approaches, INFORMATION-SYSTEMS RESEARCH, DISCIPLINE

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