Call for papers: ISJ & EJISDC Special issue on digital platforms for development

Information Systems Journal (ISJ) & Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC)  


See the full call for papers here.

Introduction and Background 

Portrayed as a key component in the new digital economy, platforms have received significant attention. Digital platforms are restructuring how companies and industries operate, and failure to adopt platforms impacts competitiveness and future growth. A common perspective on platforms is to understand them as multi-sided markets based on enabling value-creating interactions between external producers and consumers. Recent information systems literature has improved our understanding of key drivers, business models and impacts of digital platforms (e.g. Constantinides, Henfridsson and Parker 2018; Parker, Van Alstyne and Choudary 2016). 

The aim of this special issue is to identify and foster a relatively unexplored research area of the significance and impact of digital platforms in developing countries in relation to socio-economic development. Increasingly, discourses around digitalization have become central to research and practice concerning ICT for development (ICT4D), with an emergent research agenda that centres on exploring the significance of software platforms and digital innovation in relation to socio-economic development (see Nielsen 2017 and Koskinen et al 2018). We are seeking contributions on digital platforms from developmental, social, economic, technical, organizational, personal and environmental perspectives. While platforms can facilitate transactions, their significance correspondingly relates to facilitating innovation and providing organizational flexibility. Moreover, while existing research on digital platforms primarily focuses on the private sector, platforms may be equally significant in public and not-for-profit sectors. 

Based on empirical research and rooted in a concrete developing country context, we expect contributions to offer new empirical insights, develop new concepts and theories, and offer directions for practice and policy. Exemplar topics and types of contributions include: 

 Examples and implications of how developing countries participate in and take relevant roles in digital platform innovation. This can include examples of digital innovation by developing countries; theorizing digital innovation within developing country contexts, and how digital innovation relates to development. 

 Explorations of digital platforms in private, public and informal sectors. 

 Theoretical and conceptual developments related to what digital platforms are in the context of developing countries and related key concepts such as digital innovation, platform architecture, and software and innovation ecosystems. 

 Explorations of the potential gap and tensions between digital platforms developed in, for and by the global North and the global South. 

 Examples and implications of Southern countries emerging as important innovators in digital platforms. 

 Critical implications of digital platforms related to ethics, privacy, and security in the context of developing countries. 

 Case studies of digital platforms and business models emerging in the development context and how they as alternative models can foster development and sustainable livelihoods. 

Paper Development Workshop 

A paper development workshop will be organized at the 15th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries (IFIP 9.4) conference in Dar es Salam, Tanzania, May 1-3, 2019. We will organise this workshop around papers submitted to the conference track on Digital Platforms and Development, but it will also be open for all to participate. 

Submission procedure 

This is a double Special Issue for the Information Systems Journal (ISJ) and the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC). Authors can submit their paper to the special issue in either ISJ or EJISDC. 

ISJ is a premier international journal promoting the study of, and interest in, information systems. It welcomes articles on research, practice, experience, current issues and debates. The ISJ encourages submissions that reflect the wide and interdisciplinary nature of the subject and articles that integrate technological disciplines with social, contextual and management issues, based on research using appropriate research methods. The ISJ has particularly built its reputation by publishing qualitative research and it continues to welcome such papers. 

EJISDC is one of the foremost international forums for practitioners, teachers, researchers and policy makers to share their knowledge and experience in design, development, implementation, management and evaluation of information systems in developing countries. EJISDC focuses on the digital divide. Its aim is to situation contemporary trends in ICTs within a fully global context. Outside of North America, Western Europe, Australasia and Japan, diverse societies are making sense of technological advances in ways unique to their cultures and histories. 

When deciding whether to submit to ISJ and EJISDC, please consider the following. We expect submissions to the special issue in ISJ to offer a substantial theoretical contribution to the Information Systems research field (we expect authors to make this explicit in their cover letter). Submissions to EJISDC must have a broader audience than the information systems field, including practitioners and policy makers (we expect the authors to make this explicit in their cover letter). 

Submissions rejected by the ISJ may be considered for the special issue in EJISDC, and vice versa, but this is at the discretion of the editors. 

Coordinating editor 

Professor Robert Davison 

Special Issue editors 

Brian Nicholson, University of Oslo Norway & Alliance Manchester Business School, UK 
Petter Nielsen University of Oslo (Also ISJ and EJISDC Senior Editor) 
Johan Ivar Sæbø University of Oslo (Also EJISDC Senior Editor) 

Associate Editors 

Richard Heeks, University of Manchester, UK
Margunn Aanestad University of Agder, Norway 
Chrisanthi Avgerou, LSE, UK Professor
Carla Bonina, University of Surrey, UK 
Ravishankar M.N., Loughborough University, UK 
Eric Monteiro Norwegian, University of Science and Technology, Norway 
Sundeep Sahay, University of Oslo, Norway 
Mark Thompson, University of Exeter, UK 
Yingquin Zheng, Royal Holloway University of London, UK 

Important Dates 

Full paper submission deadline: September 2019 
First editorial review sent to authors: November 2019. 
Paper resubmission based on editor feedback deadline: March 2020 
Second editorial review, decision and suggestions to authors: July 2020 
Paper resubmission based on editor feedback deadline: November 2020 
Third editorial review, decision and suggestions to authors: March 2021 
Final submission of accepted papers deadline: Tentatively June 2021 
ISJ/EJISDC publication: Tentatively Late 2021 

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