Scientific and Technical Advisory Council (STAC), of the Special Journals Publisher (SJP)
Scientific and Technical Advisory Council (STAC) of the Special Journals Publisher (SJP): Conceptual framework in Law and Ethics Research. Special Journal of Law Ethics and Religion, [SJ-LER], 2020; 1 (1):1-17
A concept is an idea notion, thoughts, perception or impression about something or anything. It may be about a question, problem, challenge, strength, success or more. A framework is an outline, agenda or background of anything (1). So, the concept or framework of Law and Ethics research may be seen as the idea notion, thoughts, perception or impression of a research or investigation whereas the framework of the Law and Ethics research is the outline, agenda or background of the research. (2)
Therefore, the conceptual framework of Law and Ethics research is the outline or agenda of the researcher’s idea, notions, perception and the research or investigation (3). In other words, conceptual framework may be seen as the entire, reasonable direction and associations of Law and Ethics research ideas that forms the fundamental intellectual, structures, plans and practices and implementation of your whole research project. The conceptual framework defines the complete package made of the Law and Ethics researcher’s thoughts channeled towards the identification and mastery of the research: topic, problem, questions, literature, theories, methodology, the methods, procedures and instruments, the data analysis and interpretation of findings, recommendations and conclusions (4).
According to Miles and Huberman (5) a conceptual framework or concept map pulls together, and make visible, what Law and Ethics researchers’ implicit theory is, or clarifies an existing theory. This can allow the Law and Ethics researcher to see the implications of the theory, its limitations, and its relevance for your study. Again, it helps to develop theory and Like memos, concept maps are a way of “thinking on paper”; they can help the Law and Ethics researcher to see unexpected connections, or to identify holes or contradictions in your theory and figure out ways to resolve these. Concept maps usually require substantial reworking to get them to the point where they are most helpful (6)
Concept map development
To develop a Law and Ethics research concept map, a set of concepts to work with is needed knowing that it is all about trying to represent already existent theory the Law and Ethics researcher already have about the phenomena the Law and Ethics researcher is studying, not primarily to invent a new theory (7). On the other hand, topic key words probably represent important concepts in theory of research being implemented (8). Some of these concepts can be pulled directly from things already written about Law and Ethics research topic under investigation. These may serve as a way of broadening the scope and spectrum of coverage of Law and Ethics research area
Existent Law and Ethics research topic may be used as an example in which already written topic may be used a s template to map out the theory that is implicit (or explicit) in this topic. One key Law and Ethics concept, idea, or term may be taken and an effort made to brainstorm on all of the topics themes and subthemes that might be related to this (9). Thereafter, efforts are made to scale down, the topics and only those that seem most directly relevant to a Law and Ethics study under investigation may be studied.
The selected topic is subjected under scrutiny by asking someone to review the Law and Ethics topic under investigation to help point out areas of bias about Law and Ethics researchers’ topic, Law and Ethics concepts are not to be ignored based on personal experience rather on the nature of the literature as these can be central to a conceptual framework. Strauss (10) and Miles and Huberman (5) provided additional advice on how to develop concept maps for Law and Ethics study. Once a concept is generated to work with, how these are related and what connections exist among them need to be found out.
It is true that many publishers and authors have the right to present their Law and Ethics research report in one way or the other, one thing stands out that in all researches a generally good Law and Ethics paper include the one that has a very clear concept map making it clear for readers to locate the point of argument and what authors have achieve or tried to achieve in the paper. The significance of conceptual map or framework cannot be over emphasized and this applies to all disciples or events for which reliable answers are needed for critical questions. In this Law and Ethics study efforts were made to review in retrospect activities and updates taking place in the research world over the past 3 decades with the ultimate goal of showing the significance of conceptual framework in research
Materials and Methods
In this retrospective cross-sectional study, we downloaded and perused 486 published full-length original papers, published addendum, corrections, editorials, abstracts of meetings, conference proceedings, and review article, on the general concept of development and sustainability. This searching and corresponding download of relevant papers were made from globally recognized research-based data repository that included but not limited to the Web of Science (WoS) (11) core collection database on the nineteens of July 2020 at about 10.25 GMT+2). The database of PubMed, Research gate and Google scholars were perused to be sure no new documents relevant and necessary for this study were missed out. However, the web of science formed the major and reference database for this study because our software was more compatible to recovered data encoded in the web of science database while other databases consulted served to provide other relevant articles, we considered imported but probably missing in the web of science.
Boolean topic search approach
The Boolean topic search approach (12) used included “(development * AND sustainability$) OR (Sustainability of * AND development$) to encompass all relevant and available documents (13) on the subject of development and sustainability between 1990 and 2019. At the time of this study, we judged that the Web of Science Core Collection database had enough use friendly and accessible academic research database relatively covering enough journals, books, conferences as well as millions records from clarivate.libguides.com (references). To ensure the inclusion of abbreviated or shorten words, the wildcard * and $ were added to the end of the search algorithms. Thereafter, all document that meet the eligible criteria of sustainable development were retrieved and exported into BibTex file format and the authors, titles, abstracts mined in PDF file format.
All the bibliometric variables were retrieved filtered and normalized for quality control. The results were analyses in bibliophagy plug in package of 3.5.1 version of R-studio software, while the codes and commands were adopted from Https://www.bibliometrics.org to evaluate the bibliometrics indices. Tables and graph were made in Microsoft excel 16 version and network maps were visualized in 1,6 Vox-viewer software
In this study, 409 papers written by 1425 authors over a period of three decades were recovered, perused and analyzed as shown in table 1. Ninety-nine (99) documents were written by 96 authors while 1329 authors wrote 1230, multi-author documents giving 3.62 collaborative index. Authors and co-authors per documents indexes were 3.48 and 3.62 respectively. Two hundred and eighteen (218) documents were full length articles. Twenty-nine book chapters and 10 proceedings papers were originally presented as articles. Fifty-two (52) proceedings papers, 56 reviews, three of them were originally presented as journal articles while 18 were editorial materials and 18 articles were Editorial documents respectively.
From the figure1, conceptual framework received the biggest category allotment followed by research agenda, health, nursing, case study, and determination. Literature review was the next biggest category allotment and the associated variables included research, decision making, framework, bibliometrics and competitive advantage. The next category is innovation and associated variables included, sustainability, prevention, creativity, clinical research and electronic health records. The next category was qualitative research and the corresponding variables included evaluation, Africa, knowledge management, women, data privacy and communication. Collaboration and quality of life had equal category size allotment with variables of collaboration including: primary care, systematic review, critical appraisal, knowledge, action research, and epistemology whereas experiential learning, Asia, comorbidity, leadership and data repositories as the associated variables. Risk is the next category and associated variables included cooperate social responsibility, outcomes, higher education, China and ecosystems respectively
Figure 2: The word growth graph shows word usage in the studied period as relates to conceptual framework and research. While frequency of words used remained relatively stable from 1994 to 2004, the use of conceptual framework experienced a hype as seen in a steep rise from 2008 till 2018. All other words used remained relatively stable and low in occurrence from 2004 till 2014, thereafter literature review, sustainability, research agenda and innovation as shown in the fig above.
Figure 3: The trend of topics used in research involving conceptual framework are shown in the above figure. The use of words in research experienced the greatest 4-fold logarithmic growth between 2014 and 2018 with governance, participation, and context being at the base of the topic trend while management, model and impact were on top of the topic trend. Terminologies that saw a two-fold rise included information, systems, outcomes, policy, innovations, community, firms among others. Between 2008 and 2010, biodiversity, consequences’, experiences, United states, experienced less than 2-fold log rise in occurrence.
Conceptual framework cooccurred with literature review, research agenda, prevention, research, nursing, women, and heath. Among the conceptual framework variables, literature review had the strongest relationship with research while nursing, prevention, women, heath, and research agenda had similar relationship with literature review.
In the figure 5 above, there are 3 main clusters, the blue, green and red clusters. The green cluster located in the North-East quadrant of the multiple comparison analysis of the conceptual structure map MCA/CSM which represents positive conceptual framework that is strongly related to the associated variables such as: performance, competitive advantage, governance, perspective, context, management, and information technology, all clustered in a distance considered most discriminatory to the conceptual framework and research.
To further interpret the observed category and variable relationship nested within the north east quadrant, the distance from the central category to the variables depicts strength of relationships with the closest having a stronger relationship than the distant variables. Therefore, in the green words cluster: conceptual frame work map is strongly related to knowledge and weakly related to resource-based view, networks, organizations, and technology
The green cluster in the south eastern quadrant depicts presence of inclusion and diversity weekly related to perspective, identity, business, construction, and firm performance.
Finally, the red cluster lies between the south west and the north west quadrant depicting no inclusion and diversity and the associated variables are relatively normally (neither strong or weak) associated the listed variables. However, within the red cluster, nested within the south west and north west quadrant: faculty, women, medicine, care, cultural competence, improving diversity, African Americans, climate, workplace and leadership are all distantly discriminated against inclusion and diversity compared to closely related experience education, science, gay, discrimination, schools, minority in figure 5
From the figure 6 of topic dendrogram above, community and design are related to each other while strategies and firms are related to each other. However, community/design is different from strategies/ firms. Information technology and knowledge are similar but not similar to completive advantage. Context and performance are similar bit different from management and technology. On the other hand, risk and sciences are similar, but different from policy. Consequences and quality are similar but different from behavior. Organizational culture and program are similar but different from trust and systems Experience is similar to life but different from challenges. And so on
The bubbles represent authors, the size of the bubbles represent the magnitude or number of publications. Line between authors represent coauthorship links, line between two authors or bubbles shows that those authors have coauthored one or more articles, authors that have coauthored articles tend to be located close to each other. Colors indicates clusters of authors that are connected by coauthorship. The figure above shows there were relatively no collaboration but the bubbles overlap may indicate coauthorship connection between authors. Authors on the left of the figure relatively low number of articles with no collaboration and no coauthorship.
The figure above shows there were relatively no Institutional collaboration that is outside a given location since there is no line linkage. However, bubbles overlap shows size overlap and may not indicate any consortia of collaboration.
The figure above shows there were collaboration between countries. United Kingdom collaborated more with other counties followed by USA. Other counties were all connected to either USA or UK but rarely to each other. Three main clusters can be seen the blue, purple and red. United Kingdom, worked more with Netherlands, and France, then followed by Kenya and Italy, and by Belgium, Sweden, and Finland. USA worked more with Switzerland, Ireland and South Africa followed by Bangladesh, Pakistan, Columbia Mexico, India and China. The red cluster is between Germany Japan and Spain. And the green cluster is between New Zealand Australia and Canada
While standard Medical procedures and principles unquestionable continues to define the path of success in disease management (14), professionalism and good ethical practice has emerged as the fulcrum which determines good or bad interventions (15). Medical emergence of complex health epidemics and pandemics (16) continue to emphasize the need for research alertness if humans are to continue living on the planet earth (17). Treatment failure poses great a challenge to successful diseases interventions especially during epidemics. There are ample literature widely confirming that resistance to treatment agent, compliance to treatment directives and prescription, holds the key to effective intervention (18). Medico-legal issues underlying disease management including avoidable associated untoward effect (19) continue to stress the need for a reassessment of the role of law and ethics in mitigating treatment failure (20) and thereby underscoring the need for elaborate Law and Ethics research intervention to improve treatment outcome (21). The need for a good Law and Ethics research conceptual framework that will help a carefully designed Law and Ethics researched to achieve its set objective cannot be over emphasized. Therefore, a description a good concept is necessary.
Elements of concept map
Law and Ethics Conceptual map (22) has 4 unique elements, namely: concept, lines/arrows, linking words, and proposals. A concept is that word that is used to identify facts, processes, objects or situations that share the same characteristics, and differentiate them from those that are different from them (23). Lines and arrows are used, within a conceptual map, to represent the connection between one concept and another (24). Linking words are short descriptions that are located between one concept and another, next to the lines that connect them, with which the way in which concepts are related. Concept maps are time schemes containing preselection, presentation of information in segments which are later integrated. Concept maps answers questions which helps build knowledge (25). When new knowledge is gained, stakeholders appreciate elaborate approaches to things and strive to implement it, leading to negotiation of meaning and self esteem
There are so many ideas that comes in and goes out in Law and Ethics researchers mind but not all these ideas are researchable. The decision on which thoughts or idea should be studied are based on many premises but the most outstanding are challenges to: advancement, wellbeing, existence, supremacy and more. Advancement is a broad term that may include but not limited to knowledge, technology, economy, and many other interests. Wellbeing covers health, social, economic and environmental. Existence challenge deals with survival from extinction while supremacy challenge deals with fame, power, respect and more. Care and caution are needed when sieving through information to know what to study or investigate to confirm a concept.
Information quality for concept map development
Quality of information considered when designing a good concept include, relevance, faithful representation, Neutral, comparable, verifiable, concise, timely, Relevant ideas keeps the research in focus to the objective and prevent frivolities and waste of resources and increase the feasibility of the study. Correct representation gives the true picture of the idea in real terms with no fabrication, falsification or extrapolation. Neutral idea is not swayed to the left or right and mostly remain in the center but subsequently impacts both left, right and center. Nature and quality of ideas are defined by its comparable, verifiable, concise and timely characteristics. These are the basis for which a good concept map or framework is made.
Figure 1, shows word tree map of certain terminologies used to show relevance of this study to Law and Ethics research. Such terminologies include but not limited to: risk, data privacy, Africa, conflict, decision making, knowledge, leadership, corporate social responsibilities, epistemology, women and others. These are terms that can come to mind when conceptualizing a research study in Law and Ethics. In Figure 2, management, model and impact were on top of the most trending topics. Many of the Law and Ethics research are tested on experimental models, and the outcome of the experiments definitely has impacts on disease management in the long or short term.
In deceasing order of magnitude, conceptual framework cooccurred with literature review, research agenda, prevention, research, and more fig 4. In Law and Ethics research, the first step is to conceptualize the research, look for literature to determine its relevance in the research world stage, develop an agenda of the research and implement the research in such as a way as to achieve the ultimate goal of disease prevention. Among the conceptual framework variables, literature review had the strongest relationship with research depicting the strength and influence of literature review in Law and Ethics research both of which remain strong variables to conceptual frame work.
There was little or no authors and institutional collaboration figures 7 and 8. Probably depicting the challenges and road blocks militating against Law and Ethics research. However, collaboration was noticed at country level with United Kingdom and United states playing major role in synchronizing global research agenda especially in the context of Law and Ethics research.
As a master plan, which a conceptual framework is, some questions are necessary in the context of Law and Ethics research, and needs answers for a good concept to be produced. The questions include but not limited to the following: what the researcher wants to do in the context of Law and Ethics research? (26) Why he or she wants to do it with respect to importance, target, objective, and spectrum of coverage in Law and Ethics research? How the researcher wants to achieve its objective with respect to methods, participants, sampling and data analysis, interpretation of data, worldview of data with respect to positive or interpretative, critical or pragmatic paradigm in the context of Law and Ethics research? How will the report or publication of the findings be with respect to: a research paper, seminar paper, a conference paper, a book chapter, a book or thesis in the context of Law and Ethics research?
The Conceptual framework is important in Law and Ethics research, provision of the fundamental principle for setting up a standard for a scientific research, enhancement of consistency and comparability, generally accepted criteria and principles governing science disciplines are ascertained. such as Law and Ethics research. The objective identifies the goals and purpose while the fundamental provides the how to achieve the Law and Ethics research research objectives.
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