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The Research Design Canvas

Research Question(s)
What is the overall question(s) you seek to answer? Why would answering it make a significant contribution to knowledge?

Gap in Theory Hypotheses Sample Measures


Knowledge What theory or theories are guiding What specific relationships are you From what organizations or sources What control variables will you
your study? testing? will you draw data? include and why?
What is known about your topic?
What are the core tenets within this How does your theory/ies justify your What actors (e.g., people, companies) How will you measure your
What do we need to know about your theory/ies? predictions? will you investigate and over what independent, dependent, and control
topic that we don’t know now? time period? variables?
Are you applying theory in a new What is novel and non-obvious about
Why is it important to learn this? context, uncovering a boundary your hypotheses? Why did you choose this sample And Via what data collection technique(s)
condition to theory, contrasting how does it compare to what others will these measures be obtained?
competing theories, or introducing What is the unifying theme behind have done in related studies?
something new to a theory? your hypotheses? In other words,
why these hypotheses and not
others?

Boundary Conditions Data Analysis Limitations Key Partners


What assumptions are you making about What techniques will you use to test your What are the inherent weaknesses of your Who will guide you through the research
values, time, and space? hypotheses? research design? process?
Where does your theorizing apply and not Why are these the best choices? To what extent do these limitations undermine What does this person(s) bring to the project
apply? confidence in your findings? that you lack?
What supplementary analyses could you include
What are the top alternative explanations and for robustness and endogeneity checks? What other theories could future research apply What responsibilities do you expect of co-
how do you control for them? to your topic? authors (e.g., drafting, editing, revising, data
collection, analysis, grunt-work)

Target Journal
Why is the journal a good fit for your study?

What article that has appeared in this journal can serve as a template for your paper?