The objectives of the study were to identify best practices in online doctoral programming and to synthesise these practices into a framework for developing online doctoral programmes. The field of online doctoral studies is nascent and presents challenges for conventional forms of literature review. The literature was therefore reviewed using a novel procedure that is based on methods of network analysis and synthesis (Stokman & de Vries, 1998 and Wijngaert, Bouwman & Contractor, 2012). Application of the procedure re- sulted in a model of student and programme performance in the online environment. The model presents four inter- dependent best practices that address a number of previously identified problems in online doctoral programming. Taken together, these practices comprise a general framework for developing online doctoral programmes within certain institutional contexts. The study indicates that network methods can be applied usefully to the review of research literature.
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