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Developing a Theory in Academic Research: A Review of Experts’ Advice  

Dankasa, Jacob (University of North Texas Denton)
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Journal of Information Science Theory and Practice / v.3, no.3, 2015 , pp. 64-74 More about this Journal
Despite the number of developed theories, it still remains a difficult task for some established and emerging scholars in various academic fields to clearly articulate new theories from research studies. This paper reviews and collates the views of scholars on what a theory is and how a good theory can be developed. It explains the concept of a theory, and the different components that make up a theory. The paper discusses the different processes of theory development by emphasizing what theory is and what theory is not. This review found that scholars differ in their definition of a theory, which leads to using terms such as model, paradigm, framework, and theory interchangeably. It found the lack of theoretical constructs in a study to be one of the factors which explains why articles are rejected for publication. This paper may be of benefit to established researchers who may be struggling with theory development, and especially younger academics who are the future of scholarship in various academic fields, particularly in information science.
Theory Development; Information Science; Review; Developing a Theory;
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