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Research methods in 30 years of information systems – a bibliometric trend study

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posted on 2023-11-10, 03:33 authored by Deirdre TateDeirdre Tate, Sander Zwanenburg, David Johnstone, Boni Adie
The research methods used by information systems scholars have changed in the course of thirty years. For example, the availability of big datasets and processing power have opened new avenues of computational research. Yet few studies have quantified the changes, and we know little about their impact on and implications for the discipline. In this paper, we present a two-stage bibliometric study. We first develop search terms that are associated with research methods in IS. We then use those in 62 searches in eight leading IS journals, to chart the relative popularity of methods over time. We identify key methodological trends, including a steady rise of longitudinal research. We also find evidence of a diversification of methods, with more methods growing than declining in relative occurrence, and identify the possible implications of this changing portfolio that deserve further study.


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Tate, D., Zwanenburg, S., Johnstone, D. & Adie, B. (2023, January). Research methods in 30 years of information systems – a bibliometric trend study.

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