The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2006: §2523    Home    Papers/Indices    prev (§2522)    Next (§2524)
Fri, Nov 3, 2:30 - 2:55, Bordeaux     Paper (refereed)
Recommended Citation: Frank, R I.  Preface to IS Research (Advice to the Novice)  In The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2006, v 23 (Dallas): §2523. ISSN: 1542-7382.

Preface to IS Research (Advice to the Novice)

Refereed12 pages
Ronald I. Frank    [a1] [a2]
Information Systems Department
Pace University    [u1] [u2]
Pleasantville, New York, USA    [c1] [c2]

This is not a manual on how to do Information Systems research. There are many good books on the subject. Rather, it is a set of meta-comments about research in the Information Systems field. This includes writing doctoral dissertations, AND conducting corporate Research and Development (R & D). There is a common misunderstanding that research is only of interest to doctoral students or academic researchers. Research is an attitude and a skill set applied to problems we don’t yet know how to solve. I discuss why we do research, where research ideas come from, what the differences are between research and merely big projects, and how we do IS research. I present some famous examples of research which are NOT from IS but which provide general cultural background. I also provide some examples of recent IS research. This article itself falls into the category called cultural literacy. Finally, I provide some personal comments based on guiding doctoral IS students at Pace, having done Ad-tech in IBM Scientific Centers, having done research for IBM Research, and having managed research for IBM Research. In the beginning of IS, research was conducted to show customers how computers can solve their problems. Not much has changed in the ensuing 50 years but now we can look back at how some problems were solved (and how to improve on the solutions). The main difference between dissertation research and industrial research is the source of the problem. In industry, we tend to work on what promises to return value fastest (“most bang for the buck”).

Keywords: problems found in doing research, research characteristics, research process, researcher’s psychological problems

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