Design Science or Design Research is a method for performing research in information systems, which aims to make the design process more scientific. Design science focuses on the development and performance of artifacts (namely information systems), with the explicit intention of improving the functional performance of the artifact.
My own perspective on design science argues that systems’ design should be grounded in theory of human behavior, and in my various projects I try to bridge behavioral and design research. My approach to theory-driven design is detailed in a manuscript titled “A Theory-Driven Design Framework for Social Recommender Systems” (now under review at JAIS).
Some important papers on this topic:
Hevner, A., March, S., Park, J. and Ram, S. (2004). "Design Science in Information Systems Research." MIS
Quarterly 28(1): 75-105.
March, S. and Smith, G. (1995). "Design and Natural Science Research on Information Technology." Decision
Support Systems 15 (1995): 251 - 266.
Orlikowski, W. and C. Iacono (2001). "Desperately Seeking the "IT" in IT Research - A Call to Theorizing the
IT Artifact." Information Systems Research 12(2): 121-134.
Purao, S. (2002). “Design Research in the Technology of Information Systems: Truth or Dare.” GSU
Department of CIS Working Paper. Atlanta.
Walls, J., Widmeyer, G. and El Sawy, O. (1992). "Building an Information System Design Theory for Vigilant
EIS." Information Systems Research 3(1), 36 - 59.
Some relevant links: