I am using Academica theme, and seem to be having a catalog of issues setting up the discussion boards correctly.
Among other things:
The archive title for a discussion board is neither the title of the board, nor the title specified in settings>general.
There is no new topic link on archive, despite it being set in settings>boards.
There are a number of other theme / formatting issue, but getting these sorted out would be a great start!
If you switch themes to Twenty Sixteen do the problems persist?
Please contact me direct on info(at)catapultthemes.com and I will take a look.
We fixed this by ensuring the 'Override theme template' option was selected in Discussion Board > Settings > Boards. This forces the plugin to use its own taxonomy.php template for boards rather than the theme's template.
Huge thanks to Gareth at Catapult for the support he has given to resolve the issue. He has been helpful, patient and gone above and beyond to diagnose the problem with my theme. And I just want to add that the plugin itself is excellent, feature rich, simple to set up, and intuitive for users. I am even stretching the functionality to turn the boards into a form of private groups, using the permissions associated with my community member/profile system.