Making a theoretical contribution can be viewed as one of the most important and confusing objectives for a doctoral researcher. Focusing on the literature review process, this paper highlights the need to develop a pedagogical artefact that will enable a new doctoral researcher to assess the theoretical strength of the literature they survey and review, while also facilitating the development of a concept-centric matrix for their chosen research topic. In this paper we present a conceptual data model design underpinning the structure of our proposed pedagogical artifact. We support new doctoral researchers through promoting a two step literature review process of [1] categorising the literature and [2] developing a theoretical framework to guide making a theoretical contribution. The artefact‟s conceptual data model design captures the most important aspects that demand the attention of a new doctoral researcher.