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The European Journal of Information Systems

Special Issue Call for Papers: Clinical Research from Information Systems Practice

About the Special Issue
With the advent of educational programs aimed at producing qualified practitioner-researchers, there is a rising interest in applying rigorous research methods as a basis for advancing information systems practice in organizations. Such efforts are closely related to clinical inquiry, practice-based research, and evidence-based practice. Clinical inquiry is similar to action research by studying the results of theory-based interventions in organizations as an element of professional practice. It differs by prioritizing the achievement of practical outcomes as the primary goal. In practice-based research, knowledge is gained through practice and the outcomes of practice. Evidence-based practice relies on scientifically grounded evidence, including evidence gathered rigorously for the purpose of diagnosing an organizational problem. 


Against that backdrop, the purpose of the special issue is to grow practice-based research by advancing clinical research as a new genre that provides opportunities for practitioner-researchers to offer their experiences and insights as contributions to the body of information systems knowledge. Although we draw on well-established traditions for clinical research within medicine, psychology and education, we seek to advance clinical research specifically for information systems practitioner-researchers. Hence, the special issue seeks submissions that exemplify clinical research from information systems practice and that can help develop clinical research as an important new genre for conference and journal publication within the Information Systems discipline.


We expect empirical submissions that present the results of rigorous clinical research methodology into practice. Because such work is interventionalist, it is necessarily empirical, and could be based on sound quantitative, qualitative and design research techniques. Evaluation of the outcomes of clinical research is important based on the understanding that successful, unsuccessful and indeterminate outcomes may all offer significant contributions. Clinical research achieves and reports outcomes that make impactful contributions to practice (i.e., related to real organizations, real systems, real problems, real users and real results) instead of theorized outcomes (e.g., in the form of prototypes, system designs, proposed approaches or predicted usage).


We particularly seek submissions that offer substantial information systems contributions from practitioner-researchers working in practice. Authors using other means to study practice may be referred to the process for regular submissions to EJIS. Similarly, our focus on information systems practice as the subject of clinical research reduces the suitability of work based on artificial methods like laboratory-based studies, simulations, conceptual development and theoretical inquiry. As such, it is important that submissions explicate: who of the authors’ experience is reported, in which organizational context this experience has been made, and by which methodology evidence and conclusions were established.


A broad variety of interesting research questions may be presented in the special issue. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:


•    Practical adaptations of published IS research results
•    Success and failure cases arising in information systems practice
•    Documentation of unresolved challenges or problems in information systems practice
•    Cases of intervention into information systems practice
•    Cases of innovation or improvement of information systems practice
•    Widening or narrowing boundaries for applying research results in information systems practice
•    Demonstrating research methodologies for clinical information systems research

Manuscript Development Workshop
We encourage authors who plan to submit to the special issue to submit extended abstracts of their papers to an invitation-only workshop held in conjunction with ICIS 2020 in Hyderabad. The workshop is intended to help authors develop their submissions for the special issue. An editorial review process of the abstracts will determine those selected for invitation and participation in the workshop. Participation in the workshop is nevertheless optional; authors may submit final manuscripts to the special issue without participating in the workshop.


Guest Editors for the Special Issue
Richard Baskerville, Georgia State University, USA
Jan vom Brocke, University of Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein
Lars Mathiassen, Georgia State University, USA
Helana Scheepers, Swinburne University, Australia


Submission Guidelines and Important Dates

  • Authors must include the practitioner(s) involved in the reported practices

  • Papers must present new knowledge from practice based on rigorous empirical inquiry

  • Papers are limited to 6000 words all included

  • September 15th, 2020: Extended Abstracts due 

  • October 1st, 2020: Abstract reviews to authors; selected workshop invitations issued.

  • December 12th, 2020: Author workshop at ICIS 2020 in Hyderabad, India

  • February 15th, 2021: Submission of full papers to the special issue

  • May 1st, 2021: First round of reviews to authors 

  • August 1st, 2021: Submission of revised paper 

  • October 15th, 2021: Second round of review with final decision to authors