A commonly held belief in the IS discipline is that rigour and relevance are contrary to each other and that addressing both is virtually impossible. It is also believed widely that the editorial practices of our premier conferences and journals over-emphasise rigour on the cost of relevance. However, while these two topics have been filled with numerous subjective discussions, more solid evidence into the true relationship between rigour and relevance and the impact of conference editors on this relationship is still outstanding. This paper contributes to this debate by deriving empirical evidence from a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the characteristics of the submissions and the reviewing practices of three recent IS conferences. It provides first insights into the actual relationship between rigour and relevance and into the role conference chairs play in balancing rigour and relevance. Besides the outcomes that the current set of evaluation criteria does not provide a straight forward proxy for relevance to practitioners, the paper offers two main contributions. First, empirical insights are provided that rigour and relevance do in fact not have to be mutually exclusive. Second, the editorial practices at conferences are skewed towards rigour papers rather than relevant papers.
Rosemann, Michael and Recker, Jan, "Rigour versus Relevance revisited: Evidence from IS Conference Reviewing Practice" (2009). ACIS 2009 Proceedings. 79.