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Abstract

The design science research (DSR) paradigm prescribes building and evaluating an Information Technology (IT) artifact to address organizational problems incorporating and enhancing relevant theories. In this article, we present a large-scale design science project that aims to address problems in the digital-government domain. The COPLINK project started at the University of Arizona with National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funding to integrate data from multiple law-enforcement databases and subsequently broadened in scope and funding to develop methodologies for capturing, searching, analyzing, and visualizing information for law-enforcement, intelligence, and national security applications. The project involves a complete spectrum of DSR activities including problem diagnosis, technology invention, technology evaluation, and theory building, while contributing to appropriate knowledge bases and making a significant impact on the real-world IT problems. Algorithms, methodologies, techniques, and the resulting Information Systems designed as part of the project are being successfully used in over 300 law-enforcement agencies, and have generated more than forty peer-reviewed publications. In this article, we describe these artifacts and the design process behind them, present summaries of evaluative studies, and discuss the factors that we believe were behind the success of this decade-long DSR project.

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