Manuscript Categories

1. Research Article.
This category provides an opportunity for authors to:

  • Make a contribution that is sufficiently original and significant so as to warrant a full-length article wherein the authors develop and present their arguments, solutions, and evidence.
  • Ground their work in theory, whether it is a new theory being advanced and tested or an existing theory. Besides testing, authors may also be refining¬†or challenging theories in a Research Article.
  • Elaborate our understanding of digital phenomena and the role of information systems in solving high-impact business and societal problems.
  • Present evidence of the verity of their claims.

Authors who are developing new theory but do not test that theory in the current submission should categorize their article as a Theory and Review Article. See below for a description of this category.

Authors who are proposing new methods on how studies can be conducted should categorize their article as Methods Article. See below for a description of this category.

Most submissions to and most papers published in the MIS Quarterly are Research Articles.

2. Research Note.
This category provides a forum for many types of concise research contribution. This category is typically half the length of a Research Article. Three examples of a wide variety of possibilities are:

  • Empirical contributions that relate to topics that appear frequently in the MIS Quarterly and other top journals.
  • Theoretical insights from the analysis of rich data on phenomena/problems that can trigger the development of theory.
  • Discussions that relate to an important methodological issue (or issues) associated with a published article. The connections between a Note’s content and earlier published article(s) must be clear. Notes can arouse controversy and encourage dialogue on an important methodological issue.

A Research Note can also be thought of as a briefer form of the Research Article in the sense that the contribution may be at an acceptable level only because the research is presented in this more succinct format.

3. Methods Article.
This category is one where authors address methodological issues and introduce innovative methods related to the study of information systems. Logical presentation of ideas is critical in convincing the readership about the novelty in perspectives on how researchers should conduct research. Methods Articles may provide empirical evidence, such as simulations, or not, depending on the nature of the topic and the level of evidence required for that type of method. A Methods Article whose impact spans beyond the Information Systems discipline are welcome.

4. Research Commentary
For this category, senior scholars are invited by the EIC to discuss a research stream or methodological approach and offer important insights into where the field should go. A highlighting of seminal or key works that show how the topic has evolved is appropriate. Commentaries conclude with a set of research questions that are worth exploring in order to answer unanswered questions. Research Commentaries are refereed by selected MISQ editors.

5. Theory and Review Article
This category is for conceptual articles that develop novel theories and generate theoretical insights that advance the study and practice of information systems design, development, management, use, and consequences. Consistent with the MIS Quarterly‘s “big tent” strategic positioning that welcomes all perspectives to the study of information systems, the journal is receptive to different types of IS theories (for a discussion of different types of IS theories, see Gregor, S., The Nature of Theory in Information Systems MIS Quarterly (30:3), September 2006). It is also receptive to articles from a wide range of philosophical foundations and disciplinary orientations, including articles that bring together siloed theoretical perspectives and are constructively critical of established theory and practice.

Articles in this category can be of two types:

Theory-Generative Research Synthesis: Comprehensive review and synthesis of previously published research (around a theory, phenomenon, or concept) is used to generate theoretical insights and implications. These articles (1) act as repositories for the accumulated knowledge on important topics within the information systems field, and (2) clearly delineate the theoretical insights and the directions for future research that emerge from the literature synthesis.

Theory Development: Grounding in theory and/or practice is used to develop new IS theory. In contrast to theory-generative research synthesis, these articles do not engage in comprehensive review and synthesis of the literature (around a theory, phenomenon, or concept) to generate theoretical advances. Instead, they develop new IS theory through approaches such as

  • Conceiving novel constructs and relationships pertaining to a phenomenon, problem, or solution.
  • Drawing on a novel theoretical lens and elaborating it given the distinctive characteristics of the phenomenon, problem, or solution.
  • Integrating multiple theoretical perspectives into a cohesive new IS theory (including integrative, inter- and intra-disciplinary theories).
  • Falsifying assumptions of existing theories given the characteristics of novel phenomena, problems or solutions and refining theoretical perspectives for them.
  • Challenging existing and advancing new philosophical foundations.

While preparing the manuscript, authors are invited to read the following MIS Quarterly editorials:

Authors are also encouraged to read prior Theory and Review articles published in MIS Quarterly.

6. Issues and Opinions.

This category provides a forum for the communication of well-developed and well-articulated position statements concerning emerging, paradoxical, or controversial research issues. An Issues and Opinions article may be described as rigorously argued and/or relying on scholarly evidence. Issues and Opinions submissions should open new areas of discourse, close stale areas, and/or offer fresh views on research topics of importance to the discipline. They should

  • identify the issue(s) in terms that are easy to understand
  • provide appropriate conceptual frameworks for the issue
  • offer opinions and supportive arguments
  • describe the implications of these opinions to research, practice, and/or teaching
  • be supported, where appropriate, by empirical evidence

Category Lengths

Papers must be written concisely. The following are guidelines on maximum length (excluding tables, figures, appendices, and references):

1. Research Articles: 40 pages
2. Research Notes: 20 pages
3. Methods Articles: 35 pages
4. Research Commentaries: 30 pages
5. MISQ Theory and Review: 50 pages
6. Issues and Opinions: 25 pages

Submissions that have an excessive number of pages may have to be returned to authors for shortening before they are sent out for review.