ACM Special Interest Group on Information Technology Education

IT Research

IT Research

It’s a long-standing principle among academics that research should inform our teaching; over years of SIGITE conferences, we’ve demonstrated the bi-directionality of that relationship, as teaching has often generated the source data and motivation for our research in IT education.

In 2012, we inaugurated the Research in Information Technology (RIIT) conference as a new companion to the more “venerable” SIGITE conference. A strong motivation for launching RIIT was the need to recognize “research in IT” as more than a fragmented collection of pursuits in other computing disciplines. We have been watching a body of research develop that is uniquely characteristic of information technology. With a hands-on flavor and stronger connections with industry, it is clearly differentiating itself from research in more traditional computing disciplines, and is deserving of its own conference venue.

What is IT Research?

Information Technology is an anomaly within academia whereby it was created as an academic discipline out of a need for IT graduates. Most academic disciplines instead are created out of a new research stream. SIGITE is currently heavily involved in identifying IT research. It has been found that much/most of this research is being done “at the seams” of other computing disciplines. In order for IT as an academic discipline to grow, the identification and nurturing of this research must continue.

The discussions around IT research at the SIGITE conferences have found that while IT research is being done (several graduate programs in IT exist) by graduate students and faculty, much of it goes unpublished. One theory as to why this is happening is because most IT graduate students go into industry, where it is unnecessary that they publish their research, rather than staying in academia. It is the responsibility of IT faculty to encourage/require graduate students to submit their research for publication.

IT Research Repository
For ideas from which to build upon IT research, an online repository has been created by SIGITE members. Faculty are encouraged to require students to submit their research to this repository to build upon the IT research body.