Communications of the Association for Information Systems


This article inductively examines the question of the IS field's core. We argue that as a socially constructed field, the core aspects of IS can be identified from the work conducted and published by members of IS community. The abstracts (including titles) of 1,197 IS studies in three premier IS journals for the past 26 years were examined to identify the core of the field and explore its evolving nature with help of a neural network software as the analysis tool. The field, contextual, transitory, and evolving core of IS are identified through the analysis of 267,034 words in the knowledge base constructed. The results show both stability and evolution of the core of IS field. The three journals examined show sufficient commonality on core of the field, with slightly different preferences for research topics and methods. Given the diverse nature of the IS field, we believe that such a retrospective and descriptive study can document evidence of the "core" and facilitate a better understanding of the evolution of the field.





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