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Journal of the Association for Information Systems

Abstract

Despite the increasing sophistication and quality of published work, the development of a cumulative body of knowledge and an evidence-base for information systems (IS) research still represents a major challenge. IS research is still predominantly undertaken by IS researchers for other IS researchers and not utilized to its full extent by IS practitioners or policy-makers. We focus on this problem and express the need for a new evidence-based research perspective. It is argued that it is time to refocus the efforts of IS academics (and practitioners) to develop a new evidence-base for IS research whereby it can more routinely inform, develop, improve and support IS practice. We contribute to this debate by defining evidence-based practice (EBP), its relevance to IS, and the need to develop an evidence-based approach. We look in particular at its brief history, and its subsequent evolution, development and widespread acceptance in Medicine; making reference to recent arguments and critiques of EBP in other disciplines such as software engineering and management. We espouse the need to develop a similar evidence-based movement and infrastructure within the IS research and practitioner communities and then put forward a possible road map for the development of Evidence-Based Information Systems (EBIS) that comprises 9 key initiatives. We conclude our argument by stating that the current extent, severity and impact of IS failures are unacceptable, emphasizing the need for a new perspective for IS research that encourages and incorporates EBP as a guiding principle to inform better IS practice.

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