Design science (methodology)

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Design science is an outcome based information technology research methodology, which offers specific guidelines for evaluation and iteration within research projects.

Design science research focuses on the development and performance of (designed) artifacts with the explicit intention of improving the functional performance of the artifact. Design science research is typically applied to categories of artifacts including algorithms, human/computer interfaces, design methodologies (including process models) and languages. Its application is most notable in the Engineering and Computer Science disciplines, though is not restricted to these and can be found in many disciplines and fields.[1] Such renowned research institutions as MIT’s Media Lab, Stanford's Centre for Design Research, Carnegie-Mellon's Software Engineering Institute, Xerox’s PARC and Brunel’s Organization and System Design Centre use the Design Science Research approach.[1]

Hevner et al. have presented a set of guidelines for design science research within the discipline of Information Systems.[2] Design science research requires the creation of an innovative, purposeful artifact for a special problem domain. The artifact must be evaluated in order to ensure its utility for the specified problem. In order to form a novel research contribution, the artifact must either solve a problem that has not yet been solved, or provide a more effective solution. Both the construction and evaluation of the artifact must be done rigorously, and the results of the research presented effectively both to technology-oriented and management-oriented audiences.

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  1. ^ a b Vaishnavi, V. and Kuechler, W. (2004/15). “Design Research in Information Systems” January 20, 2004; last updated November 15, 2015. URL:
  2. ^ Hevner, A. R.; March, S. T.; Park, J. & Ram, S. Design Science in Information Systems Research. MIS Quarterly, 2004, 28, 75-106. URL: