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23 FEBRUARY 2015

Conceptual Frameworks and Theoretical Frameworks

"Current usage of the terms conceptual framework and theoretical framework are vague and imprecise. In this paper I define conceptual framework as a network, or 'a plane,' of interlinked concepts that together provide a comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon or phenomena. The concepts that constitute a conceptual framework support one another, articulate their respective phenomena, and establish a framework–specific philosophy. Conceptual frameworks possess ontological, epistemological, and methodological assumptions, and each concept within a conceptual framework plays an ontological or epistemological role. The ontological assumptions relate to knowledge of the 'way things are,' 'the nature of reality,' 'real' existence, and 'real' action (Guba & Lincoln, 1994). The epistemological assumptions relate to 'how things really are' and 'how things really work' in an assumed reality (p. 108). The methodological assumptions relate to the process of building the conceptual framework and assessing what it can tell us about the 'real' world."

(Yosef Jabareen, 2009)

Jabareen, Y. (2009). Building a Conceptual Framework: Philosophy, Definitions, and Procedure. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8(4).


2009academic research • building conceptual frameworks • concepts • conceptual analysis • conceptual construct • conceptual development • conceptual framework • conceptual frameworks • conceptual model • conceptually specified categories • consistency of the concept • discipline-oriented theories • Egon Guba • epistemological assumptions • epistemological criteria • general theoretical framework • grounded theoryInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods • interpretative approach • interpretive framework • methodological assumptions • network of linked concepts • ontological assumptions • ontological perspective • plane of linked concepts • research paradigmresearch process • ResearchGate • specific paradigm of enquiry • theoretical explanation • theoretical frameworktheoretical frameworks • Yosef Jabareen • Yvonna Lincoln


Simon Perkins
24 MARCH 2014

The Digital Methods Initiative

Call for Participation – Digital Methods Summer School 2014, On Geolocation: Remote Event Analysis (Mapping Conflicts, Disasters, Elections and other Events with Online and Social Media Data), 23 June – 4 July 2014

"The Digital Methods Initiative is a contribution to doing research into the 'natively digital'. Consider, for example, the hyperlink, the thread and the tag. Each may 'remediate' older media forms (reference, telephone chain, book index), and genealogical histories remain useful (Bolter/Grusin, 1999; Elsaesser, 2005; Kittler, 1995). At the same time new media environments – and the software–makers – have implemented these concepts, algorithmically, in ways that may resist familiar thinking as well as methods (Manovich, 2005; Fuller, 2007). In other words, the effort is not simply to import well–known methods – be they from humanities, social science or computing. Rather, the focus is on how methods may change, however slightly or wholesale, owing to the technical specificities of new media.

The initiative is twofold. First, we wish to interrogate what scholars have called 'virtual methods,' ascertaining the extent to which the new methods can stake claim to taking into account the differences that new media make (Hine, 2005). Second, we desire to create a platform to display the tools and methods to perform research that, also, can take advantage of 'web epistemology'. The web may have distinctive ways of recommending information (Rogers, 2004; Sunstein, 2006). Which digital methods innovate with and also critically display the recommender culture that is at the heart of new media information environments?

Amsterdam–based new media scholars have been developing methods, techniques and tools since 1999, starting with the Net Locator and, later, the Issue Crawler, which focuses on hyperlink analysis (, 1999, 2001). Since then a set of allied tools and independent modules have been made to extend the research into the blogosphere, online newssphere, discussion lists and forums, folksonomies as well as search engine behavior. These tools include scripts to scrape web, blog, news, image and social bookmarking search engines, as well as simple analytical machines that output data sets as well as graphical visualizations.

The analyses may lead to device critiques – exercises in deconstructing the political and epistemological consequences of algorithms. They may lead to critical inquiries into debates about the value and reputation of information."





academic researchalgorithm • Almila Akdag Salah • Amsterdam • analytical machines • Anat Ben-David • Anne Helmond • Bernhard Rieder • blogosphereCarl Rogers • Carolin Gerlitz • Cass Sunsteinchart • chart data • Christine Hine • critical enquirydatadata analysisdata scraping • data sets • data visualisation • device critiques • digital methods • Digital Methods Initiative • Digital Methods Summer School • discussion forum • discussion lists • epistemological consequences • Erik Borra • Esther Weltevrede • folksonomiesFriedrich Kittler • • graphical visualisationshyperlink • hyperlink analysis • index • information environments • information validity • Issue Crawler • Jay David Bolter • Koen Martens • Lev Manovich • Liliana Bounegru • Lonneke van der Velden • Marc Tuters • Marieke van Dijk • Matthew Fuller • Michael Stevenson • Nadia Dresscher-Lambertus • Natalia Sanchez Querubin • natively digital • Net Locator • new medianew methods • older media forms • online newssphere • politicalrecommender culturereferenceremediationRichard Grusin • Richard Rogers • Sabine Niederer • scrapesearch engine • Simeona Petkova • social bookmarking • software-makers • summer schooltag • technical specificities • telephone network • Thomas Elsaesser • thread • virtual methods • web epistemology


Linda Carroli

Research Professional: an online database of research funding opportunities and research policy news



Simon Perkins
18 AUGUST 2013

Thinking aloud: a method for systematically collecting and analysing data about the design process

"Suppose that you want to understand the design process of architects, the knowledge that they use, the cognitive actions that they take and the strategies they employ. How would you go about this? One obvious possibility is to ask some architects how they design a building. Interestingly enough, they will not find this an easy question to answer. They are used to do their job, not to explain it. If they do try to tell you how they go about their design work, it is quite possible that their account of it will be incomplete or even incorrect, because they construct this account from memory. They may be inclined to describe the design process neatly in terms of the formal design methods that they acquired during their professional training, whereas the real design process deviates from these methods. Psychologists have demonstrated that such accounts are not very reliable. Another possibility is to look at the architects' designs and at their intermediate sketches. However, now you are looking at the products of the thought processes of these architects, and not at the thought processes themselves. What is needed are more direct data on the ongoing thinking processes during working on a design. If you want to know how they arrive at their designs, what they think, what is difficult for them and what is easy, how they reconcile conflicting demands, a different research method is needed.

A good method in this situation is to ask architects to work on a design and to instruct them to think aloud. What they say is recorded and used as data for analysis of the design process. This is a very direct method to gain insight in the knowledge and methods of human problem–solving. The speech and writings are called spoken and written protocols. In this book we will describe a method for systematically collecting and analysing such think aloud protocols. This method can be used by psychologists and other social scientists who want to know more about cognitive processes. It is also an important method for knowledge engineers whose goal is to build a knowledgebased computer system on the basis of human expertise."

(Maarten W. van Someren, Yvonne F. Barnard, et al., 1994, pp.1–2)

Maarten W. van Someren, Yvonne F. Barnard and Jacobijn A.C. Sandberg. (1994). "The Think Aloud Method: A Practical Guide to Modelling Cognitive Processes".


academic researchanalysing dataarchitectural thoughtcognitive actionscognitive processescognitive psychologycognitive sciencecognitive theoriesconceptual modeldata collection and analysisdata collection techniquesdesign knowledgedesign process • design strategies • design workdirect observationexperimental knowledgeformal design methods • human expertise • knowledge engineer • knowledge-based systems • problem-solvingpsychological analysispsychological modelsresearch methodsketching ideas • social scientists • spoken protocols • task analysis • testing theories • theoretical model • think aloud (research method) • think aloud protocols • thinking processthought process • unreliable evidence • user testinguser-based evaluation • written protocols


Simon Perkins
21 JULY 2013

Validity Concepts in Research: an Integrative Approach

"Research involves drawing upon elements and relations from three basic domains: (a) a conceptual domain, which includes concepts and relations considered in abstract form, (b) a methodological domain, which includes instruments and techniques for obtaining observations and for relating sets of observations; and (c) a substantive domain, which includes events, processes, and phenomenon in the 'real' world.

Any research project must contain elements and relations from each of these domains. Thus, it is not possible to conduct research, without some method, some concept (or set of concepts), and some event or process. Elements and relations from each of these domains are not all combined simultaneously. Research generally proceeds by combining two of the domains, to form some structure, and subsequently incorporating (i.e., integrating) the third domain with the developed structure. With three domains, there are at least three patterns for combining the domains. Those three ways represent three distinct research paths; and they pose different advantages and limitations for the investigator."

(David Brinberg, 1982)

David Brinberg (1982) ,"Validity Concepts in Research: an Integrative Approach", in NA – Advances in Consumer Research Volume 09, eds. Andrew Mitchell, Ann Abor, MI : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 40–44.


1982 • abstract form • academic research • advantages and limitations • analytic technique • Association for Consumer Research • concepts and ideas • concepts and relations • conceptual domain • David Brinberg • events • forms of validity • instruments and techniques • integrative scholarshipintegrative techniqueinterrelationships • investigator • knowledge domain • measuring device • methodological domain • obtaining observations • phenomenon • processes • real world • relating observations • relationsresearch designresearch method • research paths • research processresearch projectresearch strategiesresearcher • substantive domain • theory buildingUniversity of Marylandvalid knowledgevalid scholarshipvalidity


Simon Perkins

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