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Research commentary-diversity of the information systems research field: a journal governance perspective

Burgess, Thomas F., Grimshaw, Paul and Shaw, Nicky E. 2017. Research commentary-diversity of the information systems research field: a journal governance perspective. Information Systems Research 28 (1) , pp. 5-21. 10.1287/isre.2016.0657

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Diversity has attracted much attention within the information systems (IS) field, with literature concentrating on diversity in topics and methods. These constitute two of three identified areas of research field diversity; the little-investigated third area includes demographic and social diversity of researchers. This study explores this gap for researchers comprising the editorial advisory boards (EABs) of 52 IS journals and links the underexplored types of diversity to topic diversity. The journals are categorized into seven intellectual communities, using topic affinity of journal content, and a social network of EAB members constructed from board interlocks. The network structure appears to reflect the topic-based community links. Journal communities are aggregated into two components of the social network: a business-school-related core set of journals and a more diverse computing- and engineering-related periphery. The strong ties at the network center do not necessarily reflect journal status. The observed combination of focus and diversity is consistent with a polycentric view of the IS field. Findings suggest low demographic diversity in the field and that demographic diversity correlates with other types of diversity. The field’s separation into business core and computing periphery is highlighted as potentially challenging to the IS field’s identity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Uncontrolled Keywords: diversity • journal governance • social network analysis
Publisher: Institute for Operations Research and Management Services
ISSN: 1047-7047
Date of Acceptance: 20 June 2016
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 03:06

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