Call For Papers

Special Issue of MIS Quarterly

“Action Research in Information Systems”


Senior Editors for the Special Issue:

Richard Baskerville, Georgia State University

Michael D. Myers, University of Auckland

­  Please note: The Special Issue has now been published. See Baskerville and Myers (2004) for the introduction to the special issue.

Action research is a research method that solves immediate practical problems while expanding scientific knowledge (Avison, et al., 1999). Unlike other research methods, where the researcher seeks to study organizational phenomena but not to change them, the action researcher is concerned to create organizational change and simultaneously to study the process (Baburoglu and Ravn, 1992). Although there are many different forms of action research (Baskerville, 1999; Baskerville and Wood-Harper, 1998), all are based on collaboration between researchers and practitioners. Given the frequent calls for IS research to be more relevant to practice (e.g. Zmud, 1998), we believe that action research has the potential to contribute to making IS research relevant. Action research has been accepted as a valid research method in other applied fields such as organization development and education (e.g. Carr and Kemmis, 1986; Elden and Chisholm, 1993; Van Eynde and Bledsoe, 1990). With this special issue we aim to promote excellent action research by publishing empirical studies that present and clarify the ways in which action research should be done in information systems.

The aim of the special issue is to promote action research by publishing empirical studies that can serve as models (“exemplars”) of how to do action research. Because the special issue is soliciting submissions of exemplars, authors of a submission (1) must identify clearly in their manuscript's methods section the criteria by which to judge the research and (2) must show explicitly how the research in their manuscript meets those criteria. Manuscripts must address both conditions or will be returned un-reviewed to their authors. Action research manuscripts in any substantive area of information systems will be considered.

Our intention is to engage in a constructive dialogue with authors so that the final product will reflect the highest standards for work in the action research tradition. Also, we will make every effort to ensure that manuscripts receive both knowledgeable and respectful reviews. At the same time, however, we will ensure that only work of the highest standard is published.

Potential authors are strongly encouraged to contact one of the Senior Editors early on in the development of their manuscript. In this way we hope to nurture and provide feedback to prospective authors, even before formal submission. However, all manuscripts will be subject to the usual high standard of peer review at MIS Quarterly.

All papers accepted for the themed issue on action research will be made available immediately, upon acceptance, in the form of electronic pre-prints on the MIS Quarterly “forthcoming” web page, just like all other MISQ acceptances.  Accepted papers will be batched for hardcopy publication in a single issue of the Quarterly.

When submitting your manuscript, please clearly indicate that it is to be considered for the Special Issue on Action Research. All manuscripts must follow the MISQ guidelines for submission. For example, authors can nominate reviewers for their submission, but should avoid any nominations that would involve a conflict of interest. Further details regarding the manuscript submission process can be found on the MIS Quarterly web site at

We are also interested in people who would like to be reviewers for this special issue. Please send contact information and a short bio or statement of interest to Richard Baskerville or Michael Myers.

The deadline for submitting a manuscript to the Special Issue is 30th September 2002.

However, authors are welcome to submit their manuscripts earlier. The review process will begin immediately upon receipt of the manuscript.

Inquiries are welcome. Please contact either of the senior editors: 

Richard L. Baskerville 
Georgia State University 

Michael D. Myers
University of Auckland


Avison, D., Lau, F., Neilsen, P.A. and Myers, M. "Action Research," Communications of ACM (42:1), 1999, pp. 94-97.

Baburoglu, O.N. and Ravn, I. "Normative Action Research," Organization Studies (13:1), 1992, pp. 19-34.

Baskerville, R. "Action Research For Information Systems," in Proceedings of The Fifth Americas Conference on Information Systems, W. Haseman and D. Nazareth (eds.). Association for Information Systems, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1999, pp. 829-831.

Baskerville, R. and Stage, J. "Controlling Prototype Development through Risk Analysis," MIS Quarterly (20:4), 1996, pp. 481-504.

Baskerville, R. and Wood-Harper, A.T. "Diversity in Information Systems Action Research Methods," European Journal of Information Systems (7:2), 1998, pp. 90-107.

Carr, W. and Kemmis, S. Becoming Critical: Education, Knowledge and Action Research, Falmer Press, London, 1986.

Elden, M. and Chisholm, R.F. "Emerging Varieties of Action Research: Introduction to the Special Issue," Human Relations (46:2), 1993, pp. 121-142.

Straub, D.W. and Welke, R.J. "Coping with Systems Risk: Security Planning Models for Management Decision-Making," MIS Quarterly (22:4), 1988, pp. 441-469.

Van Eynde, D. and Bledsoe, J. "The changing practice of organization development," Leadership & Organization Development Journal (11:2), 1990, pp. 25-30.

Ytterstad, P., Akselsen, S., Svendsen, G. and Watson, R.T., "Teledemocracy: Using Information Technology to Enhance Political Work," MISQ Discovery, 1996,

Zmud, R.W. "Conducting and Publishing Practice-Driven Research," in Information Systems: Current Issues and Future Changes, T. J. Larsen, L. Levine and J. I. DeGross (eds.). International Federation of Information Processing, Laxenburg, 1998, pp. 21-33.


Word and PDF versions of the Call for Papers:


ISWorld Section on Qualitative Research in Information Systems

This page was last updated on August 26, 2004 by Michael D. Myers who can be contacted at