Why and How Online Experiments Can Benefit Information Systems Research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online experiments have become an important methodology in the study of human behavior. While social scientists have been quick to capitalize on the benefits of online experiments, information systems (IS) researchers seem to be among the laggards in taking advantage of this emerging paradigm, despite having the research motivations and technological capabilities to be among the leaders. A major reason for this gap is probably the secondary role traditionally attributed in IS research to experimental methods, as repeatedly demonstrated in methodological reviews of work published in major IS publication outlets. The purpose of this editorial is to encourage IS researchers interested in online behavior to adopt online experiments as a primary methodology, which may substitute for traditional lab experiments and complement nonexperimental methods. This purpose is pursued by analyzing why IS research has lagged behind neighboring disciplines in adopting experimental methods, what IS research can benefit from utilizing online experiments, and how IS research can reap these benefits. The prescriptive analysis is structured around key considerations that should be taken into account in using online experiments to study online behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)1333-1346
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Systems
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • External Validity
  • IS Research
  • Internal Validity
  • Online Behavior
  • Online Experiments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications

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