Alternative Genres in Information Systems Research

Michel Avital, Lars Mathiassen, Ulrike Schultze

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this special issue, we advocate a critical stance toward the presentationalconventions that we – as authors, reviewers, and editors – accept as the academicarticle genre. We seek to highlight and illustrate the generative capacity and thesignificant role of genres in the production of knowledge. Furthermore, we wishto encourage Information Systems (IS) scholars to leverage a wider array ofalternative genres to present their research in order to develop new insights onsubject matters of interest to the IS discipline, as well as expand on howcontemporary and emergent phenomena of interest are conceived and studied.Adopting a broad view of alternative genres, we solicited articles that applyunconventional presentational modalities to expand or challenge the prevailingmodus operandi of communicating IS scholarship and practice. Six articlessurvived a rather lengthy and challenging review process. We briefly discuss thenature of the academic article genre and the role of alternative ways of writing.We also introduce the six exemplars of alternative genres in the special issue,namely conversation, French new novel, meditation, memoir, allegory, andcrowdsourced research. We highlight key insights and contemplate theirimplications for current and future IS research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Genres
  • Information systems research
  • Academic article genre
  • Conversation genre
  • French new novel genre
  • Meditation genre
  • Memoir genre
  • Allegory genre
  • Crowdsourced research genre

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