LIS professionals need to do research in order to add to the body of professional knowledge and to improve the working of their organizations. This course is designed to develop a basic understanding of qualitative research procedures relevant to a variety of situations

The course is designed to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To develop an understanding of basic qualitative research procedures and their application to the LIS field;
  2. To develop the ability to collect, analyze and evaluate data effectively;
  3. To enable students to evaluate research done by others.

B.  Course Description

Introduction to qualitative research; Epistemological foundations; Research design and strategies; Interview; Field notes; Participant observation; Case study; Focus group; Qualitative data analysis; Applied qualitative research; Validity and reliability in qualitative research; Report writing

C.  Teaching Methodology

The course will be conducted as a combination of lecture, discussion, and presentation methods.  Students will be expected to do extensive reading for each topic and engage in meaningful class discussion. They will be required to evaluate published research.

D.  Course Requirements and Evaluation

Performance of students will be evaluated on the following basis:

a)  Presentations and assignments or Critique of research articles                           20 marks

Each student will select, with the approval of the lecturer, four research articles using different methods and submit a critique for each one of about 400 words following the guidelines provided in class.

                b)  Mid Term examination30 marks

                c)  Final examination50 marks

E.  Text Books

  1. Busha, C. A. & Harter, S. P. (1980) Research Methods in Librarianship: Techniques and Interpretation.San Diego:Academic Press, 1980.
  2. Gorman, G. E. & Clayton, Peter (2005). Qualitative Research for the Information Professionals: a Practical Handbook. 2nd ed.London: Facet Publishing, 2005.
  3. Powell, Ronald R. & Connaway, Lynn Silipigni (2004). Basic Research Methods for Librarians. 4th ed. Westport, Con: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.F.     

F.   Suggested Readings

  1. Chase, Lynne; Alvarez, Jaquelina. Internet research: The role of the focus group.  Library & Information Science Research, 22(4), 2000, 357-369.
  2. Drabenstott, K.M. Focused group interviews. In: Qualitative Research in Information Management, p. 85-104.
  3. Glitz, Beryl, The focus group technique in library research: an introduction.Bulletin of Medical Library Association, 85(4), 1997, 385-390.
  4. Fidel, R. The case study method: a case study. Library and Information Science Research, 6, 1984, 273-288.
  5. Maxwell, J. A. Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: sage Publications, 2005.p. 1-10.

Course Material