should be conducted periodically to
codify and chronicle a publication’s
history, helping refine its identity over
time. This is especially important with
long-lived journals (such as
Communications) that serve as standard-bearers
for their respective disciplines. When
applied to a broad portfolio of publications, such analyses would help
readers, authors, advertisers, and editors alike better understand journals
more objectively and perhaps even
glimpse what the future holds for disciplines like computer science.
11 However, after the sudden enormous popularity of the iPhone in 2007
and 2008, interest in the iPod began to
wane, as the ongoing incorporation of
digital music capabilities into smartphones (such as the iPhone) made
the iPod an increasingly redundant
technology. Beginning around 2009
interest in the iPhone also began to decline among computing professionals,
while at the same time interest in Apple’s most current innovation—iPad—
continued to increase. Together, these
results demonstrate the viability of using n-gram analyses to help study technological evolution over time.
Findings of a 2010 U.S. Department of
Labor longitudinal study indicate col-lege-educated workers hold an average
of 11 different jobs by the time they are
16 This surprising statistic has important ramifications for all organizations, since it implies skilled workers
(such as managers) will, on average,
hold their positions of leadership and
productivity for only a few years before
moving on. Reflecting such short tenure, managers inevitably struggle to
develop the sort of deep, tacit understanding of their organizations that is
critical to strategic decision making. If
such knowledge can be found within
the archived document artifacts produced by an institution over time, then
n-gram analyses like those we have
presented here may prove invaluable
for sifting through the content of these
vast collections of archival documents,
as well as contribute to improvements
in managerial decision making.
With respect to our conclusions, we
found more recent issues of Communi-
cations contained substantially more
content than earlier issues. The nature
of this content is also changing, as ar-
ticles published in Communications
are trending away from managerial
and business subjects to focus instead
on more technical and computational
subjects. Despite this trend, the writing
style in Communications became less
formal and more personal over time,
helping it reach a wider audience.
1. agarwal, r. and lucas, J.h.c. the information
systems identity crisis: focusing on high-visibility
and high-impact research. MIS Quarterly 29, 3 (Sept.
2. benbasat, i. and Zmud, r. W. the identity crisis within
the iS discipline: defining and communicating the
discipline’s core properties. MIS Quarterly 27, 2 (June
3. bhattacherjee, a. and gill, g. Whom are we informing?
issues and recommendations for MiS research from
an informing sciences perspective. MIS Quarterly 33,
2 (June 2009), 217–235.
4. bloomer, M., hodkinson, P., and billett, S. the
significance of ontogeny and habitus in constructing
theories of learning. Studies in Continuing Education
26, 1 (Mar. 2004), 19–43.
5. bohannon, J. google books, Wikipedia, and the future
of culturomics. Science 331, 6014 (Jan. 14, 2011), 135.
6. crawford, d. editorial pointers. Commun. ACM 48, 8
(aug. 2005), 5.
7. crawford, d. editorial pointers. Commun. ACM 46, 4
(apr. 2003), 5.
8. crawford, d. editorial pointers. Commun. ACM 44, 1
(Jan. 2001), 5.
9. dennis, a., Wixom, b.h., and roth, r.M. Systems
Analysis and Design, Fourth Edition. John Wiley &
Sons, inc., hoboken, nJ, 2009.
10. descartes, r. Principia Philosophiae. kluwer academic,
nor well, Ma, 1984, originally published 1644.
11. dowling, S. apple reports first Quarter results:
Quarterly revenue & net income highest in apple’s
history. apple computer, cupertino, ca, 2005; http://
12. Manning, c.d. and Schütze, h. foundations of
Statistical natural language Processing. Mit Press,
cambridge, Ma, 1999.
13. Michel, J.-b., Shen, y.k., aiden, a.P., Veres, a., gray,
M.k., team, t.g.b., Pickett, J. P., hoiberg, d., clancy,
d., norvig, P., orwant, J., Pinker, S., nowak, M.a., and
aiden, e.l. Quantitative analysis of culture using
millions of digitized books. Science 331, 6014 (Jan. 14,
14. Misa, t.J. Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving
Computing. John Wiley & Sons, inc., hoboken, nJ, 2010.
15. netMarketShare. Usage Share Statistics for internet
technologies. netapplications.com, aliso Viejo, ca,
16. U.S. bureau of labor Statistics. Number of Jobs
Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth
Among the Youngest Baby Boomers: Results From
a Longitudinal Survey. U. S. department of labor,
Washington, d.c., 2010; http://www.bls.gov/news.
Daniel S. Soper ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an assistant
professor in the information Systems and decision
Sciences department of the Mihaylo college of business
and economics at california State University, fullerton.
Ofir Turel ( email@example.com) is a professor in the
information Systems and decision Sciences department
of the Mihaylo college of business and economics at
california State University, fullerton.