The Role of Theory in Information Science Scholarship

Dania Bilal, Heidi Julien, Diane H. Sonnenwald, Patrick Ngulube, Steve Sawyer, June Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The roles and values of theory, theoretical frameworks, and theory building in library and information science (LIS) research have been the focus of attention of many scholars for decades. However, current practices in scholarly publishing have undermined these roles and values, creating a paradox in scholarly publishing and raising questions regarding a. whether research should be theoretically grounded, b. the impact of these practices on theory use and theory building; c. the roles of scholarly journals in encouraging the use of theory, d. the adequate preparation of LIS doctoral graduates to use and develop theory, and e. the roles theory play in the master's level of LIS curricula. This panel of researchers and experts will share their work and map out their perspectives on the roles of theory, theorizing, theory building, and theoretical frameworks in scholarly publications. Attendees will share insights with the panelists about their experiences in using theory in research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-750
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Research
  • Scholarship
  • Theorizing
  • Theory
  • theoretical frameworks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Library and Information Sciences


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