The importance of a thorough and systematic literature review has long been recognised across academic domains as critical to the foundation of new knowledge and theory evolution. Driven by an exponentially growing body of knowledge in the IS discipline, there has been a recent influx of guidance on how to conduct a literature review. As literature reviews are emerging as a standalone research method in itself, increasingly these method focused guidelines are of great interest, receiving acceptance at top tier IS publication outlets. Nevertheless, the finer details which offer justification for the selected content, and the effective presentation of supporting data has not been widely discussed in these method papers to date. This paper addresses this gap by exploring the concept of ‘literature profiling’ while arguing that it is a key aspect of a comprehensive literature review. The study establishes the importance of profiling for managing aspects such as quality assurance, transparency and the mitigation of selection bias. And then discusses how profiling can provide a valid basis for data analysis based on the attributes of selected literature. In essence, this study has conducted an archival analysis of literature (predominately from the IS domain) to present its main argument; the value for literature profiling, with supporting exemplary illustrations.
Gaffar, Afreen; Deshpande, Amrita; Bandara, Wasana; and Mathiesen, Paul, "Importance of Literature Profiling: An Archival Analysis with Illustrative Examples for IS Researchers" (2015). PACIS 2015 Proceedings. 103.