The first issue of the 26th volume of the Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems sees some changes in the editorial team. Christina Keller now has the role as the editor-in-chief, Margunn Aanestad has left the team and we are happy to welcome Bendik Bygstad as our new Norwegian member. We would like to take the opportunity to thank Margunn for a splendid job as editor-in-chief and welcome Bendik to the team.

1989, 25 years ago, the very first issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems was published. It featured the following articles:

  • Systems Development Research in Scandinavia: Three Theoretical Schools by Jørgen Bansler, University of Copenhagen
  • Why Johnny Can’t or Won’t Spreadsheet by Sven A. Carlsson, Lund University
  • The Art and Science of Designing Computer Artifacts by Pelle Ehn, University of Aarhus
  • EUC Chargeback Systems and their Impacts on End User Behavior by Jukka Heikkilä, Helsinki School of Economics
  • Emancipation of and by Computer-Supported Cooperative Work by Riitta Hellman, University of Turku The Impact of Work Development on Information Systems by Kari Kuutti, University of Oulu
  • Socio-technical Design of Computer-assisted Work: A Discussion of the ETHICS and Tavistock Approaches by Agneta Olerup, Lund University
  • The Scandinavian perspective, the user perspective and the focus on work and emancipation was evident in this first issue. As 25 years has passed since then, the editorial team took the opportunity to look back over the years. At the editorial team meeting in January, we performed a quantitative content analysis of key words used in the articles from 1989 until 2013 to get an overview of the focus of Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems over 25 years. The most used keyword was, not surprisingly, «system», used in the combinations of “information systems”and “systems development”, and “design”, which occurred either alone or as in “systems design” and “IT design”. The keywords “software”, “technology” and “computer” pinpoint a focus on the technological aspects of the IT artefact, while “work”, “management”, “implementation”, “user” and “organisational” characterise the articles with a user and organisational perspective. The methods used in empirical research, as depicted in the keywords, are mostly “case studies” and “action research”, but also “genre” and “ethnography” are among the most used keywords. The findings of our content analysis are illustrated graphically in the word cloud below. Figure.

    The word cloud representing 25 years of keywords in articles in Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems. The first issue of the 26th volume of the Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems features three research papers. All three have a connection to the concept of «design»; information systems as a practice-oriented discipline, participatory design and design science research.

    The paper by Stephen P. Smith and Robert B. Johnston discusses and reformulates the notions of theory testing and research validity in information systems as a practice-oriented discipline. They do so from a critical realist perspective, as opposed to the empiricist view. The paper by Yvonne Dittrich, Sara Eriksen and Bridgette Wessels explores why and in what way the specificity and situatedness of participatory design (PD) principles are crucial for participatory design research. This is done by developing the notion of PD as learning through situated innovation based on a pragmatic epistemology. This is illustrated by referring to PD practices as experienced in PD research projects.

    The paper by Jan Pries-Heje, John Venable and Richard Baskerville analyses design science research (DSR) activities, elaborates principles and practices of risk management and applies them to DSR to develop a framework (RMF4DSR) for identifying, assessing, prioritizing, and treating potential risks in DSR. The framework classifies six potential risk areas and enumerates specific key risks within each area. Furthermore, researchers are asked to apply the framework in workshops in order to survey the participants’ opinions about the utility of the framework.

    We hope that you find this issue interesting. We look forward to receiving your best papers with a view to publishing them in the Scandinavian IS community’s own journal – the Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems.

    Christina Keller, Jacob Nørbjerg, Netta Iivari and Bendik Bygstad



    RMF4DSR: A Risk Management Framework for Design Science Research
    Jan Pries-Heje, John Venable, and Richard L. L. Baskerville