Transdisciplinary DSR Research Tracks

Submissions will designate a preferred research track. Track chairs will manage the review process to ensure a minimum of two substantive peer reviews.

Theme Track – Transdisciplinary Research and DSR


The complexity of today’s organizational and societal challenges requires efforts that integrate theoretical, conceptual and methodological perspectives from multiple disciplines. The design science research (DSR) community is well-placed to pursue such challenges that naturally cross disciplinary boundaries by its focus on relevant problems, rigor with consideration of appropriate kernel theories, and the emergent use of established and tailored research methods. DSR projects provide the vehicle to bring together not only scholars from different disciplines but also complementary organizations, government agencies and communities to address complex problems. Such “problem-driven research” can address concerns of global importance with practical consequences such as pandemic responses, disease prevention, economic development, social inequality, climate change and others. DSR scholarship allows research teams engaged in such projects to both propose and evaluate novel solutions as well as cultivate theory around the intervention and use of the novel solutions.

In the theme track, we invite submissions that use DSR to address organizational and societal problems from a transdisciplinary perspective. We welcome empirical, conceptual, and methodological contributions. Indications of transdisciplinarity may be the presence of investigators from different disciplines or the integration of conceptual and theoretical frames from multiple disciplines. The hallmark of transdisciplinary research would be the generation of novel solution frames that transcend disciplinary frames to address enduring and emerging problems. Examples of work that we encourage includes research to address the UN sustainable development goals. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • relevant and rigorous design science projects that transcend disciplinary boundaries
  • design science research methods for transdisciplinary research
  • artifacts for the solution of complex and wicked problems that have been developed with active participation from a diverse variety of stakeholders

FinTech and Blockchain Systems


In today’s rapidly changing, interconnected global economy, concepts such as FinTech and blockchain have become commonplace from the newsroom to the boardroom. Recently, disruptions from the global pandemic have worked to accelerate change and increase demand for new knowledge, leadership, innovation, and solutions to emerging complex challenges in the public and private sectors. As a result, rapidly evolving, technology-driven research domains and industry sectors involving FinTech and blockchain systems are having broad based transformational impacts on a range of diverse market spaces including (not limited to) banking, finance, financial services, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, supply chain, transport, government, legal, energy, cyber security, and utilities, among others. A general shortlist of broad topical areas for consideration might include, and are not limited to, the following:

  • DeFi and Insurtech platforms and technology
  • FinTech AI and Machine Learning
  • Algorithmic trading
  • Payment and transaction processes via blockchain
  • Robo advising and financial services
  • Blockchain systems and global supply chain networks
  • Blockchain in next generation mobile communication networks
  • Blockchain and smart contracts in financial services
  • Inter and intra sector smart contracts
  • Blockchain in applications of smart cities, IoT, and big data
  • Political, cultural, and socioeconomic implications of blockchain and smart contract technologies
  • Blockchain in public procurement

Intelligent Systems and Human Interaction


Intelligent systems leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are ubiquitous in our daily life. To exploit the full potential of intelligent systems, it is important to follow a human-centered AI perspective. The interdisciplinary research area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in general is concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them. This track specifically aims to provide a platform for discussing the latest advances in design science research at the intersection of intelligent systems and HCI.

Healthcare Systems and Quality of Life


Healthcare is infected with a multitude of wicked problems; with the current Covid-19 as a concrete contemporary example. Solutions to these problems need multidisciplinary work: professionals in the field must work together with regulators, and suppliers of technical solutions have a key role. The most important stakeholder and actor is the patient. In healthcare organizational settings, there are often complicated relationships between clinical, IT, and administrative personnel. These all are further divided into powerful subgroups. A feasible solution achieved in one environment seldom works in others, and organizational boundaries are seldom respected. In such scenarios, wide-reaching integrative solutions are required. Our track looks for research and theory-based solutions to problems related to health and social well-being. Contributions on research-based solutions to health and social problems on individual, group, organization, population, country, and world level are all welcome. Ideally, proposed solutions should be generalizable across multiple environments, with documented positive impact. 

Innovation and Entrepreneurship


There is growing interest in design theory and design science among entrepreneurship and innovation scholars, who appear attracted by the combination of conceptual fruitfulness, scientific rigor, and practical relevance. To help advance this agenda, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship track seeks high-quality design science submissions on innovation and entrepreneurship topics. We are open for empirical, conceptual, and constructive works which make a strong contribution to the body of design knowledge by, directly or indirectly, aiming for significant practical ‘value-added.’ Suitable topics are important yet unresolved how-to problems in the innovation and entrepreneurship domain such as: ‘how to design new ventures’, ‘how to design innovation ecosystems,’ or ‘how to design effective entrepreneurship training.’ We also welcome methodical papers providing guidance on how to conduct design science research in the innovation an entrepreneurship space, as well as papers concerned with the conceptual and philosophical underpinnings of innovation and entrepreneurship as design.

Sustainability and Responsible Design (Environmental Issues, Human Values and Ethical Design)


The Sustainability and Responsible Design Track favors practical impact potential aligned with environmental sustainability challenges (e.g., UN SDGs) and social and responsible design grounded in pertinent concepts and theories. Information systems design science research has a key role to play in addressing these issues by attending to both the direct (e.g., in terms of research consumption and emissions through their production, use, and disposal) and indirect (e.g., in terms of more sustainable business processes) impacts of designing IT artifacts. Moreover, in the age of AI, responsible design is coming to the forefront. We embrace research that can provide early insights via a range of design science research approaches and outcomes, including prototypes, frameworks, design principles, and full-blown design theories. Moreover, we welcome the full spectrum of evaluation methods, including small-scale practical evaluation, demonstration, simulation, human-based evaluation, machine-based evaluation, and new evaluation methods going beyond immediate utility evaluation to consider the sustainable impact of artifacts. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Design artifacts for environmental, social, and economic sustainability (e.g., climate change)
  • Design artifacts for the circular economy (e.g., blockchain)
  • Sustainability by design
  • Evaluating the sustainability and long-term impact of design artifacts
  • Responsibility by design (including fairness, inclusiveness, transparency, explainability, accountability, security, safety, and robustness)
  • Responsible and sustainable artificial intelligence
  • Design artifacts and values

Human Safety and Cybersecurity


Rapid advancements in connectedness, computation, and accessibility of cyberinfrastructures have introduced cybersecurity as a grand challenge in modern societies. Securing cyber infrastructure against nation-state or individual adversaries is a multi-disciplinary research area spanning computational design science, social, and behavioral sciences. Design science scholars are uniquely positioned to contribute to this area of research by applying (design) knowledge to examine organizational, social, and behavioral cybersecurity challenges, as well as developing knowledge by designing and evaluating novel artifacts to address practical human safety and cybersecurity concerns. 

This track invites papers that expand the design knowledge base at the intersection of information systems and security. To this end, we welcome a broad variety of papers that develop novel artifacts, methodological knowledge, and/or theoretical contributions. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Cyber threat hunting and risk mitigation
  • AI-enabled cybersecurity
  • Adversarial attacks against cybersecurity infrastructure
  • Automatic Vulnerability detection and remediation
  • Security of social media
  • Malware and Phishing detection, analysis, and prevention
  • Botnet and intrusion detection
  • Human-centered design to address cybersecurity
  • Unintended consequences of systems design on human safety and cybersecurity
  • Designing IoT Privacy and Security
  • Blockchain and security
  • NeuroIS tools and methods for behavioral information security and design secure systems
  • Design theorizing for human and cybersecurity

Emerging DSR Methods and Processes


Design Science Research (DSR) Methods and Processes (as well as Tools and Techniques) guide DSR researchers in planning and conducting DSR. The Emerging DSR Methods and Processes track seeks contributions that stimulate scholars to critically reflect on our scholarship, paradigms, methods, and fundamental assumptions in DSR. We particularly welcome research on philosophy, methods, processes, tools, and techniques that address the theme of the conference - The Transdisciplinary Reach of Design Science Research. Because all applied disciplines undertake DSR in some form (although they may not use the term DSR), there are many ripe opportunities for considering how DSR in Information Systems and Technology fits and integrates with DSR in other disciplines, as well as how DSR practices in other applied disciplines (or Sciences of the Artificial) can contribute to methodological practices in DSR in IS and IT. We seek both conceptual and empirical studies that advance our understanding and facilitate improvement of DSR methods and processes. The track seeks conceptual studies of foundations of DSR including paradigms, ontologies, epistemologies, ethics, the nature of artefacts and human purposes, etc., where such conceptualisations advance our knowledge about design science methods and practice. This interest extends to DSR methods that enable true 21st century Promethean thinking - the newest, cutting edge philosophies and research methodologies, or adaptations to existing ones, which can truly enable the advancements of which our technologies are theoretically capable. We also welcome empirical studies that contribute evidence concerning the strengths, weaknesses, requirements, efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, and/or ethicality of existing and emerging DSR methods and processes, particularly in transdisciplinary contexts.

Designers and Collaborative DSR


The increasing sophistication and interconnectivity of digital systems creates vast possibilities for designers and design teams, provided they have the necessary tools, structures, and knowledge. This means designers must develop collaborative processes and systems that allow them to harness insights from a range of actors, such as technology specialists, artists, managers, and of course, the intended users. These new possibilities enable and require strong interaction with transdisciplinary design research to better model how these new ways and means can relate to improved generativity and resilience of design - or understand the risk of impeding them. These new possibilities raise new questions for design methods, procedures, supporting tools, and design theory (e.g., C-K theory, axiomatic design, situational method, etc.).  This track invites research on the designers and teams that can effectively navigate these challenges, as well as the processes and/or systems that they can use. It invites participants to link empirical works with theoretical approaches. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Designer collaborative strategies in transdisciplinary DSR
  • Cognitive and psychological issues in collaborative design
  • Variety of designers in transdisciplinary teams and impact of designers’ heterogeneity on design creativity
  • Tensions and conflicts in collaborative design
  • Co-design and other new methods for collaborative design 
  • The management of collaborative design
  • Remote teams and open development environments
  • Collaborative design for innovation in the digital world
  • Knowledge generation and reuse in collaborative design
  • Design theory for collaborative design
  • Different forms of prescription for collaborative design
  • Designing for adaptability and appropriation (reuse, redesign)
  • Creating meaning in collaborative design

Education and DSR


The Education and DSR (EDSR) track is a premier forum for research, applications and experience reports on challenges and best practices in (a) teaching and learning DSR as well as (b) using DSR for teaching and learning. As curricula develop slowly, DSR is often underrepresented in curricula and courses on research design and methods, and we invite contributions that offer guidance on what and how to teach in a DSR course in a way that enables new and early career academics to conduct DSR according to high standards. DSR artifacts are useful in solving many challenges within the educational domain. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education systems globally. Yet new and promising artifacts have been designed and evaluated that enable remote education. We particularly invite contributions in this area, but also in other educational fields. With this first DESRIST track on educational issues, we want to establish teaching and learning issues as a permanent concern in the DSR community. We welcome all submissions that contribute to this goal, for example by:

  • presenting successful syllabi, teaching materials and experience reports from conducting DSR courses at all advanced educational levels,
  • analyzing specific DSR challenges and solutions in the context of research education,
  • identifying potentials and limitations of mutual learning between DSR education in research and practice,
  • reporting foundational research on DSR competencies and skills,
  • developing methods of teaching DSR competencies and skills,
  • evaluating teaching and assessment methods in DSR education,
  • reporting empirical studies describing DSR education in different contexts,
  • reporting pedagogical approaches for DSR education in distributed and remote digital environment,
  • analyzing educational technologies for DSR education,
  • describing and evaluating innovative artifacts that enabled education during the pandemic.