The debate concerning the legitimacy of MIS as a field of research has endured over the last decade. The absence of theories and lack of a cumulative research tradition have been areas of particular concern. The research reported in this article provides evidence on these important issues. The study systematically analyzed MIS articles in seven core journals over the period 1968-1988. The resulting database, consisting of 792 articles, was analyzed for themes and topics, and on the basis of type of article (empirical/non-empirical). The findings indicate that MIS research efforts have refocused in some areas, while much remains to be done in others. This study provides the opportunity to pause and reflect on the last twenty years of research in MIS and to take stock so that the research of the coming twenty years will extend and build upon the existing foundations.