Introduction to Research in Information Studies

Required masters-level course aimed at conveying the role and value of research

Taught in 2006, 2008, 2011

This course explores the nature of social science research and its role in the field of Information Studies. Students learn about research in the field through critical evaluation of published research, experience in developing problem statements and research questions, and writing a research proposal. The course examines a range of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis techniques, including descriptive and inferential statistics.

Although most students in our masters program do not intend to be researchers, they commonly do intend to become leaders in their careers as information professionals. My primary aim in this course is to help students understand how being capable of critically evaluating published research and designing and conducting their own research studies can be valuable professional skills. To this end, students in this course are expected to:

  • Understand the nature and value of scientific research, particularly in the field of information studies
  • Critically evaluate research performed and published by others
  • Write problem statements and research questions that lead to research that addresses real world problems in library and information science
  • Understand and apply other components of the research process (e.g., literature review, data collection, analysis of data) to a proposed research study involving qualitative and/or quantitative data
  • Understand and use the vocabulary of descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Demonstrate successful communication through research proposal writing

Course Sections Taught

Spring, 2011 Syllabus and website
Fall, 2008 Syllabus and website
Fall, 2006 Syllabus and website