AIS Impact Award

About the Award

AIS is excited to introduce a new award to recognize the impact of information systems research beyond academia. Impactful research can be a powerful individual motivator. Seeing that one’s own research delivers societal value and helps business succeed is rewarding in its own right. Within and beyond our own community, multiple initiatives seek to encourage us to pursue research with societal value. Increasingly, however, impact is also a hallmark of research excellence in the view of accreditation, evaluation, and funding programs, making impact and individuals with impactful research a valuable resource to any institution.

The AIS Impact Award recognizes information systems research with widespread impact on practice in business and society. Therefore, the key criteria are breadth of use in practice as well as relevance to information systems research. The assessment of the quality of the work is considered secondary to the degree to which it has been widely adopted. Awardees can be individuals or groups of collaborating researchers. The award ceremony will be conducted at the International Conference of Information Systems (ICIS). A maximum of three (3) AIS Impact Awards per year will be granted.

Category: Societal Impact

The open-source, web-based platform DHIS2 started as a doctoral research project in South Africa in 1994, and is now, nearly thirty years later used by Ministries of Health and other stakeholders in 114 countries. Offered as a digital public good, its value is the collection and use of health data in developing countries. More than 25,000 health workers have received related training. Underlying research has been published among others in the MIS Quarterly.

See also this announcement about this Impact Award on the DHIS2 web page.


Category: Societal and Economic Impact

Dr Thomas and Dr Li are responsible for the fascinating initiative called ‘Techies without Borders’, which initiated a continuing medical education solution combining cloud technologies with edge computing to ensure reliability in frugal environments exposed to limited Internet and electricity. Strongly aligned with the SDG 3 – improving population health outcomes in vulnerable communities – the project attracted significant media attention.

The related research required substantial, high risk field work, from the deep Amazon to PNG. Testimonials received came from Gambia, Nigeria, Nepal and Vanuatu among others. Related publications, grounded in Design Science Research, have appeared among others in Information Systems Research.


Category: Technological Impact

Professor Ramesh received the award for his technological impact, particularly for the use of process knowledge to improve the quality of Information Systems Development. This research included pioneering work on the use of AI mechanisms and facilitated requirements traceability, and was foundational for a number of commercial tools, such as Siemens Product Lifecycle Management, which is used by nearly 5,000 organizations globally. Related publications have appeared in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering and Communications of the ACM and are among the most cited papers in requirements engineering. The nomination was complemented by six very comprehensive testimonials from global organizations.

  • Maximilian Schreieck, Manuel Wiesche, and Helmut Krcmar for their work on INTEGREAT Refugee Information Platform and Ecosystem.
  • Arun Rai for work on Engaged Scholarship on Digital Supply Chain Innovations.
  • Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur for their work on Thought Leadership on Business Models.
  • Edgar Whitley and Roser Pujadas – Consumer Privacy Regulation in UK Financial Services
  • Joe Valacich, Jeff Jenkins – Neuro-ID Behavioral Analytics
  • Karin Väyrynen, Arto Lanamäki – Technology Regulation in the Finnish Taxi Industry
  • Carmen Leong, Felix Ter Chian Tan, Amelia Fauzia, Fithra Faisal – Empowering Digital Entrepreneurs in Rural Asian Communities
  • Roman Beck, Christoph Mueller-Bloch, John L. King – Development of International Standards for Blockchain Governance
  • “Artificial Intelligence in the Floriculture Chain” – Alok Gupta, Wolfgang Ketter, Yixin Lu, Huong May Truong, and Eric van Heck
  • “Digital Enablement Project (DEP) for Sustainable Educational Development: A Digital Literacy Program for Children in Remote Villages of China: – Shan Pan, Haibo Hu, Lili Cui, Tingting Huang, and Delin Zeng
  • “COPLINK-Managing Law Enforcement-Data and Knowledge” – Hsinchun Chen


Individuals that are members of AIS or single sets of collaborators of which at least one person is a member of AIS can be nominated for the award. Self-nomination is permitted. None of the nominees should have received the AIS Impact award within five years prior to the nomination.


The criteria for selecting the awardee(s) is the breadth of use of their work in practice and its relevance to information systems research. The assessment of the quality of the work is considered secondary to the degree to which it has been widely adopted and/or the magnitude of change effected. The award cannot be granted for a single practice publication (cf. for this the AIS Outreach Practice Publication Award).

As of yet, there is no broadly and universally accepted set of criteria for impact. However, we will look for evidence of impact in one or more of the following areas while underlining that this is not an exhaustive or exclusive list:

  • usage impact, e.g. number of users and/or user organisations, downloads/installations, licenses/volume sold 
  • business or organizational impact, e.g. venture capital attracted, sales revenue, business benefits, competition spawned in this area, consulting engagements, patents
  • societal impact, e.g. social benefits accrued, impact on sustainable development goals, impact on public infrastructures, legislation, and regulation
  • knowledge impact, e.g. readership, keynotes, evidence of fundamentally shifting approaches and paradigms

Also, we encourage nominations in all stages of an individual’s career and value both short-term impact as well as lifetime contributions.


There is a two-step process for nominations. In the first step, a short nomination is required providing the following information:

  1. the name(s) of the person or set of collaborators responsible for the contribution
  2. a brief summary of the basis of impact (e.g. construct, model, method, software or other form of instantiation, etc.)
  3. a description of the societal/practitioner population that has been impacted by this research and what kind of impact achieved in this population
  4. the nature of the contribution made by the person or group being nominated
  5. reference(s) to the underpinning peer-reviewed research.

In the second step, the AIS Impact Award Committee will determine a short list of potential awardees by October 15. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide additional information by November 1. This includes documentation that a contribution is widely used. Additional information will be requested to better understand the precise nature of an individual’s contribution and the impact, including quantitative measures, testimonials, or other forms of evidence from benefactors of this research.

AIS Impact Award Committee 

The AIS Impact Award committee is comprised of AIS members as established in the Council Policy Manual. 

Submission Instructions

Submissions can be made on the AIS website.