Trauth selected editor-in-chief of Information Systems Journal

Eileen Trauth, professor of information sciences and technology (IST) at Penn State, has been named one of three new editors-in-chief of the Information Systems JournaI (ISJ), an international journal that is noted for publishing “risky” research on the study and practice of information systems. In addition, Heng Xu, an associate professor at the College of IST, has been appointed as one of four new associate editors of the ISJ. Trauth and Heng assumed their new roles on July 1.

“My main goal in becoming editor-in-chief is to nurture the ‘cutting edge’ spirit that inspired the creation of this journal," said Trauth. "Things are changing so fast in our world, in general, and with respect to technology, in particular, that research needs to keep up with it. So I will be working to encourage and support high quality, leading-edge information systems research.”

Trauth's research is concerned with societal, cultural and organizational influences on information technology and the information technology professions with a special focus on the role of diversity and social inclusion. She has published numerous scholarly articles and nine books with grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland.

Xu leads the College of IST’s Privacy Assurance Lab (PAL), an interdisciplinary research group working on a diverse set of projects related to understanding and assuring information privacy. She has published journal articles and conference papers on information privacy, security management, human-computer interaction and technology innovation adoption.

The inaugural editorial in the July 2012 edition of the Information Systems Journal outlines a history of the journal and its vision for the future. The ISJ was launched in 1991 by David Avison and Guy Fitzgerald, who served as editors-in-chief for the next 21 years. Avison and Fitzgerald established the journal in response to the growing use of interpretive methods based on qualitative data by IS researchers, primarily in Europe; and also in response to the established tradition of IS journals -- mainly in the U.S. -- of publishing research based on quantitative data. Originally situated in Europe, the ISJ has expanded both geographically and methodologically over the years. The ISJ was named one of the top eight journals by the Association of Information Systems.

“In the field of information systems, the ISJ is the home for qualitative and interpretive researchers to publish their high-quality and cutting-edge research results,” Xu said.

As qualitative research has become increasingly integrated into the mainstream of IS research, said Trauth, the definition of “cutting-edge” research has evolved. Currently, she said, progressive research is focused on emerging societal and technological trends affecting the role of information systems in an organization and the information systems profession, e.g. mobile computing, social media and the global economic recession. Researchers are increasingly incorporating non-traditional treatment of theory into their work, she added.

“In traditional information systems research, theories are typically tested or are used to guide data collection and analysis,” Trauth said. “But a non-traditional approach to theory would be research that employs new and emergent theories that haven’t yet been extensively tested.”

As part of Trauth’s new role as editor-in-chief of the ISJ, she will guide the production of certain special issues. Some of the topics that she is exploring for future special issues include information systems and privacy, IS research in Africa and the contribution of art and the humanities to information systems and technology research and application.

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Last Updated September 13, 2012