Theoretical Backbone of Library and Information Science: A Quest




LIS theory, middle-range theory, grounded theory, learning theory, information studies


This study primarily aims to identify unique theories and specific uses of theories in the library and information science (LIS) domain. It provides a comprehensive list of the theories used in LIS journal articles indexed by Scopus (an abstract and citation database) from 1970–2021. It expands on the most common theories and highlights the areas and purposes for which used theories in the LIS domain. Our goal is to demonstrate the usages and applications of various borrowed theories from complementary disciplines in the LIS domain. A systematical methodology is applied, following a few open-source AI-based software packages (such as ASReview, and OpenRefine), to analyse the theories against different parameters, keeping in mind the drawbacks of the previous studies. The study's findings show that the LIS domain's theoretical foundations are understudied. Researchers mainly borrowed theories from social sciences such as sociology, psychology, and management studies to solidify their domain. The paper provides a clear road map for the theoretical development of LIS research. And the resulting outputs may help policymakers, academicians, and researchers, irrespective of disciplines in general and information science in particular, understand the foundations and theoretical and methodological trends of theories that may lead to a better understanding of the theories before their selection and applications.


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Author Biographies

  • Bijan Kumar Roy, University of Calcutta

    Department of Library and Information Science, Associate Professor

  • Parthasarathi Mukhopadhyay, University of Kalyani

    Department of Library and Information Science, Professor






How to Cite

Theoretical Backbone of Library and Information Science: A Quest. (2023). LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries, 33(1), 1-57.