Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems


The present essay discusses the ontology, epistemology, methodology and ethics of design science. It suggests that Information Systems as a design science should be based on a sound ontology, including an ontology of IT artifacts. In the case of epistemology, the essay emphasizes the irreducibility of the prescriptive knowledge of IT artifacts to theoretical descriptive knowledge. It also expresses a need for constructive research methods, which allow disciplined, rigorous and transparent building of IT artifacts as outcomes of design science research. The relationship between action research and design science research is also briefly discussed. In the case of ethics, the essay points out that Information Systems as design science cannot be valuefree.