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On April, 21 2020, the Insititut of Advanced Studies of the University of Siegen (“Forschungskolleg Siegen”) hosted a virtual conference on digitization. While hosting a purely digital event is well suited for a conference that seeks to discuss topics at the edges of innovation, it was also triggered by the current Corona pandemic. Therefore, we hosted this conference online to put emphasis on new opportunities of digitalization and to demonstrate that every cloud has a silver lining.

The idea of this conference emerged as a follow-up of the FoKoS future award for scholars which was awarded in 2018. While the price is intended to acknowledge indiviual scholars and their research, the ambition was to put this idea one step further and organize an event from which more colleagues can benefit. For that reason, we decided to put a topic at the core which affects us all: digitization. Digitization is fundamental for several disciplines including philosophy, linguistics, mathematics, economics, architecture, healthcare and many more. Since digitization is fundamental for local acteurs including research institutes such as the University of Siegen and likewise for industry, it seems a perfect common theme for this conference.

The slogan of this conference is “Get together – think together” to highlight the significance to address important questions in inter- and transdisciplinary teams. While this is often proves a challenge in practice, it is all the more important to think beyond boundaries of distinct disciplines. This is particularily relevant when it comes to research areas that investigate the interplay between technology and human behavior. If those questions are not addressed from a holistic perspective, lots of hidden potentials remain uncovered.

Many scholars are already adressing specific questions whitout beeing aware of related research from scholars in other disciplines. In particular, PhD candidates could benefit from additional opportunities to get in touch with other scholars and exchange ideas and initiate collaboration to enhance their research. Since a great amount of academic work necessitates cooperation, e.g. to write proposals, papers and grant applications, this kind of conferences could be an important part of scientific communities.

For this volume, we are happy to include 15 research papers from 27 scholars and 4 different research institutes across all disciplines. We clustered the contributions in four sections: “Perspectives on Digital Health” (Part A), “Perspectives on Virtual Realities” (Part B), “Perspectives on Technology Use and Adoption” (Part C), and “Future Perspectives” (Part D).

Part A covers four articles that focus on aspects related to digital health. Harder and Chavez (Digital Technology in Health Education? - Opportunities for New Mothers in Mexican Public Healthcare Services) investigate potentials of digital technologies in healthcare with a particular focus on the Mexican system. Knop (Methodological Implications of Research on Technology Use by Healthcare Professionals: A short Introduction to Multidimensional Scaling) illustrates the potential of using multidimensional scaling for scholars doing research in the healthcare domain. Müller (Exploring Emerging Patient Responsibilities in Telemedicine Use: An Empirical Study) explores responsibilities that come with telemedicine, building upon insights from qualitative interviews. Finally, Uhde et al. (Context Factors for Pro-Social Practices in Health Care) reflect on context factors that are relevant when it comes to the healthcare system.

Part B consists of four contributions that are concerned with the role of virtual realitites. Ressing (Combining the Virtual Reality with Biofeedback – State of Research in Nutrition) reflects on potentials of the combination of virtual realities and biofeedback. With a particular emphasis on eye-tracking, Schlechtinger (What Are You Looking At? Using Eye Tracking to Improve Learning in Virtual Environments) discusses opportunities for learning that can be exploited using virtual realities. Weber (Exploring the Potential of Virtual Reality for Learning – A Systematic Literature Review) adds to this debate by providing the results of a systematic literature review on the potentials of virtual realities with regard to learning. Finally, Weigel (A Design Journey: Towards a Virtual Reality Simulation and Training Application) proposes a more practical perspective on VR by outlining a design journey that supports the design and evaluation of a VR setting.

Part C addresses research questions related to technology adoption and use. Oschinsky et al. (Resist, or not to Resist, that is the Question: On the Status Quo Bias of Public Sector Employees When Dealing with Technology) reflect on the status quo bias and how this relates to technology resistance. Syed et al. (From Technology Adoption to Organizational Resilience: A Current Research Perspective) focus on the role of organizational resilience by reflecting on current research perspectives. Finally, Zeuge (The Sweet Escape – A Research Agenda on Escapism in Information Systems Research) suggests escapism as a new concept that can guide future scholars to better understand technology use.

Finally, we have gathered four papers with are more general approach in Part D (“Future Perspectives”). Kelter (New Perspectives on Statistical Data Analysis: Challenges and Possibilities of Digitalization for Hypothesis Testing in Quantitative Research) critically reflects how quantititative research is conducted, highlighting potentials for future research. Klein (Reflective Practice in the Digital Age) discusses how the concept of reflective practice can be applied in the digital age. Klesel and Henseler (Emergence in Design Science Research) suggest how the concept of Emergence can be used to evaluate design artifacts. Finally, Schäfer (Developing a Smart City Strategy by use of St. Gallen Management Model focused in Smart Mobility and Smart Environment) investigates how smart city strategies can be derived from established management models.

This conference was only possible with the support of many. We thank the Institute of Advanced Studies (FoKoS) for their support. In particular we thank Dr. Olaf Gauß, Vanessa Simon, Janine Taplan, Jonas Pees and Nick Brombach for ensuring a smooth conference. An academic conference only comes to life through the contributions of scholars. Therefore, we thank all the authors for submitting and presenting their research and for their active participation in the sessions. We hope that this collection contributes to a better dissemination of digitalization research across displinces and increases its visibility.