Categorisation of Information Systems Journals
The issue of categorising Information Systems Journals has been raised by a number of users of the Index.
In 2002, there was some discussion of this, which is recorded
This discussion has given rise to a research project to develop a categorisation system for use in the Index
and elsewhere. The results of this ongoing research is reported in the following papers.
Lamp JW and Milton SK (2003) "An Exploratory Study of Information Systems Subject Indexing"
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS2003), Perth
Australia, Edith Cowan University
The motivation for detailed study of information systems research subject indexing schemes
is explained, along with an analysis of two indexing schemes proposed for use in the area. A number of
reference disciplines are examined for their ability to provide insights and analysis approaches.
Lamp JW and Milton SK (2004) "The Reality of Information Systems Research", in Hart, D. and Gregor, S.
(eds) Information Systems Foundations: Constructing and Criticising, Canberra Australia,
ANU E-Press, 25-34
The examination of a practical issue with a web site has lead directly to the
consideration of the need for, and impact of, an approach based on fundamental theories of
“what is” to examine what information systems research is and the relations of the component
areas of endeavour. This paper presents an examination of the use of the philosophical field
of ontologies, and specifically the use of the ontological approaches upon which to base
categories of information systems research activities. This theoretical analysis is intended
to be used as the basis from which to develop a methodology to undertake the development of
the categorial scheme.
Lamp, J. W. and Milton, S. K. (2007) "Indexing Research: An Approach to Grounding Ingarden's Ontological Framework", in Hart, D. and Gregor, S.
(eds) Information Systems Foundations: Theory, Representation and Reality, Canberra Australia, ANU E-Press, 115-132
Attempts to produce an adequate and long-lived subject indexing of information systems
research have failed. In this paper we seek to address this by proposing an approach by which the terms
expressed in research literature, such as that in information systems, can be systematically and
meaningfully categorised. The approach is significant in that it draws upon rigorous and philosophically
compatible bodies of work in two areas. Firstly, from work addressing the nature, existence, and
categorisation of literary expression found in research papers (Roman Ingarden’s ontological analysis of
the scientific work of art). Secondly, from qualitative research methods addressing how meaningful
categories can be analysed from text and related to each other (Grounded Theory). The resulting approach
has potential to be applied in many scientific disciplines beyond information systems and form the
intellectual core of an information tool in e-Research.
Lamp, J. W. and Milton, S. K. (2007) "Grounded Theory As Foundations For Methods In Applied Ontology", Proceedings of QualIT, Victoria University of Wellington
Research into domain specific ontologies is difficult to treat empirically. This is because it is difficult to ground domain ontology while simultaneously being true to its guiding philosophy or theory. Further, ontology generation is often introspective and reflective or relies on experts for ontology generation. Even those relying on expert generation lack rigour and tend to be more ad-hoc. We ask how Grounded Theory can be used to generate domain specific ontologies where appropriate high level theory and suitable textual data sources are available. We are undertaking generation of a domain ontology for the discipline of information systems by applying the Grounded Theory method. Specifically we are using Roman Ingarden’s theory of scientific works to seed a coding family and adapting the method to ask relevant questions when analysing rich textual data. We have found that a guiding ontological theory, such as Ingarden’s, can be used to seed a coding family giving rise to a viable method for generating ontologies for research. This is significant because Grounded Theory may be one of the key methods for generating ontologies where substantial uniform quality text is available to the ontologist. We also present our partial analysis of information systems research.
Lamp, J. W. and S. K. Milton (2008) "Generating an ontology from scientific works: initial results",
Proceedings of the Nineteenth Australasian Conference on Information Systems, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Attempts to produce adequate and long-lived subject indexes of information systems and computer science
research have failed. In this paper we report preliminary results of an approach by which the terms expressed in
research literature, such as that in information systems, can be systematically and meaningfully categorised. The
approach is based on Roman Ingarden's ontological theory of the written scholarly work: its nature, existence,
and categorisation, and builds on Grounded Theory: a rigorous grounded qualitative research method
addressing how meaningful categories can be analysed from text and related to each other. We have found that
the key guiding unit of analysis operationalising Ingarden's approach through Grounded Theory is the "reported
research activity" and that the process is possible although labour intensive. On the basis of using the approach,
we propose simple steps to improve the quality of keywords in reported research.