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Abstract

The paper examines the issue of the information systems (IS) discipline’s influence as represented by its key journals. We examine the well-studied topics of cumulative tradition and reference disciplines from two unique perspectives: cohesion and stability. We demarcate journals into “IS journals” and “non-IS journals that are receptive to IS work” and examine the sphere of influence of these journals based on citations over time. Specifically, we compute a log-multiplicative model to identify subareas in the IS discipline and assess journal influence using the index of structural influence based on citations from a basket of 42 IS and IS-related journals over four periods: 1999-2000, 2004-2005, 2009-2010, and 2013-2014. Results indicate that the IS discipline has established a stable and cohesive knowledge underpinning, which converges with emerging (newer) journals and diverges with non-IS journals during the late period. These results suggest that the discipline has developed boundary conditions and a strong cumulative tradition. Furthermore, based on our analysis, pure IS journals gradually gained dominance in their own network and even started to exert influence in the broader network of journals. These findings provide a unique complement to other recent studies that signify the IS discipline’s influence.

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