Descriptive Personal Information Management (PIM) studies inform us about PIM behavior and their findings should guide the design and development of PIM tools to support the behavior under study. Unfortunately, judging from the literature, descriptive studies do not always provide useful recommendations and PIM tool research is often carried out separately. This paper discusses what appears to be a possible research dichotomy and ways to bring the research back together. Three solutions are suggested: 1) PIM workshops where both types of studies are presented and researchers meet should be important venues for dissemination of results, cross-fertilization between different research areas, and collaboration between researchers; 2) A bridging methodology to translate research findings explicitly into design criteria could bring research and practice closer together; and 3) A general PIM framework based on the three essential PIM activities (finding/refinding activities, keeping activities, and meta-level activities).
Diekema, Anne R., "Unifying PIM Research: Fostering a Connection Between Descriptive PIM Studies and Prescriptive Outcomes" (2012). Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 143.