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Theory and Theorising in Information Science Scholarship

Theory and Theorising in Information Science Scholarship
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Author(s): Patrick Ngulube (University of South Africa, South Africa)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 22
Source title: Handbook of Research on Connecting Research Methods for Information Science Research
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patrick Ngulube (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1471-9.ch002

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Abstract

Theory is one of the major pillars of research. Methodologies as another pillar assist in theory testing and construction. Theories help to explain reality, which is the subject of any research process. Theories and methodologies should be relevant to their context if they are going to contribute to the production of progressive and transformative knowledge. This chapter looks at the understanding of theoretical and conceptual frameworks as tools of conceptualising the research process. Some scholars confuse theoretical with conceptual frameworks. Sometimes they regard research frameworks such as paradigms as theoretical frameworks. Some scholars do not even explain how these research conceptual tools help them to design and execute their research. The implications of not using context specific theories in research, and its consequences to epistemic freedom, is presented. Researchers should focus on theorising instead of theory itself and develop theories that are interesting and relevant to the profession and discipline. That will also reduce dependency on borrowed theories.

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