Track 5:  Alternative Approaches and Genres in IS

Information Systems research tends to follow certain conventions, including expected content, a more or less defined genre of presentation, and a recognizable structure. The Alternative Approaches and Genres in IS Track seeks to encourage researchers to break from these conventions to explore new and innovative ideas and formats. We encourage novelty with respect to epistemological perspectives, research methods, emerging topics, and literary styles such as drama, stories, monologue, and confession. Furthermore, we invite alternative media of expression such as short films, videos, animations, or graphics. In this way we urge IS scholars to take a fresh look, evoke new insights, and gain a deeper understanding of their subject matter. In particular, we seek contributions that balance novelty with insight. Whether the novelty is in the topic, approach, or presentation, we are looking for research that is interesting, that is, it draws our attention to new ways of seeing, conceptualising, and communicating IS phenomena.

The conference theme, “Data, Knowledge and Decisions” invites an investigation of the way in which technology is contributing to a re-framing of worlds – the world of work, the social world, even what we consider to be the world of ‘reality’. In a so-called ‘post-truth’ era, we may need to reconsider how we define, explore, and communicate understandings of such notions as information and facts. A problematisation of such concepts may inform research topics but also inspire researchers to consider alternative and compelling ways in which research can be presented.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Applications of alternative genres and forms of writing to convey IS scholarship
  • Explorations of new and interesting research topics that are relevant to but are not previously addressed in IS
  • Illustrations using other media instead of, or in addition to, text to convey research results
  • Literary and semiotic approaches to information and computer-based information systems
  • Visual media based representations of IS scholarship
  • Comics representations of IS scholarship
  • Translation of alternative representational genres from other disciplines to IS research
  • Re-telling the same empirical findings using different genres
  • “Shadow papers” that respond explicitly to existing papers by exploring the inverse phenomenon of what has been previously explored
  • Papers that explore the generative capacity of alternative genres
  • Alterative genres as a way of spanning boundaries between research traditions
  • A consideration of the implications when including alternative genres in the IS discipline
  • Unintended consequences of alternative genres – from serendipitous to undesired outcomes
  • Strengths and weaknesses of existing genres in IS research

If your submission is non-standard in format (e.g. multimedia), we ask that you submit a document to EasyChair that explains the nature of the research artefact (e.g. a one-page document with the work’s title and a brief description of the submission). We will then liaise with the authors regarding submission of the actual research artefact. Questions about such submissions should be directed to

Track Chairs

Karlheinz Kautz
RMIT University, Australia
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Ella Hafermalz
The University of Sydney, Australia
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Tina Blegind Jensen
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
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