Seminal Papers

As researchers, we are almost always building upon results from research that came before us. But it’s pretty clear that not all research is created equal. Some papers become influential while others are forgotten. It is expected that competent researchers know the seminal results in their field of study. But graduate students, new to the field, typically won’t know all of the important papers. And even faculty may not know all of the important results outside of their scope of study.

I think it would be valuable to have a list of papers that various researchers think are important. To that end, I have started to collected a list of seminal papers in Operations Management and Information Systems. Seminal papers include classical results, well-cited results, and results that have inspired other research.

I started this effort in my department at Indiana University in 2014. If you are a researcher or practitioner in OM, IS, or a related field, please consider sending me ( a list of 1-10 suggestions for seminal papers. I will add your suggestions to the list. In any results I distribute, I won’t show who suggested which paper, so please don’t be concerned if you think your list will differ from others significantly. Variety is to be expected in this endeavor.

My hope is that this list will help new graduate students and outsiders learn the fields while simultaneously reminding everyone of historic and inspiring results. Download the list of suggested papers to see how many you have read.

The list of seminal papers is split up into the following 4 Excel files. Feel free to download and share.
Suggested Papers in Operations Management
Suggested Papers in Information Systems
Ten Most Influential Papers of Management Science’s First Fifty Years
M&SOM Paper Awards (updated 2014)

Thank you to the following people who contributed to this list:
At Indiana University: Alan Dennis, Doug Blocher, Gil Souza, Goker Aydin, Jingjing Zhang, Kyle Cattani, Ruomeng Cui, Qiuping Yu, Shanshan Hu, Tony Gerth, Vijay Khatri, Wayne Winston, Owen Wu

(Yes, the list is specific to IU professors so far, but I would be very interested in getting suggestions from professors, graduate students, and practitioners at other organizations. Please send 1-10 suggested seminal papers to Eric Webb at