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Practitioner Research in the Library Literature How Are They Going About it?

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Title: Practitioner Research in the Library Literature How Are They Going About it?


1
Practitioner Research in the Library Literature
How Are They Going About it?
Charles R. Hildreth, Ph.D. Director, Doctoral
Program College of Information Computer
Science Long Island University/C.W. Post
Campus ALISE Conference January 22. 2003
2
Library Research Seminar II University of
Maryland November 2-3, 2001 Partners
Connections Research Applied to Practice
3
Library Research Seminar II Statement of Purpose
  • The Linking of LIS Practitioners and
    Researchers and the Elevation of the Status and
    Value of Research in the Library and Information
    Studies Community are Principle Goals of the
    Seminar Series.

4
Library Research Seminar II
  • Analysis of 50 Submitted Papers Variables
  • Setting or Context
  • Topic or Issue Area
  • Research Approach or Aim
  • Data Collection Methods
  • Statistical Analysis Employed

5
Library Research Seminar II Research Report
Analysis Setting
  • Academic Library (27)
  • General Librarianship (14)
  • Public Library (7)
  • Special (3)
  • School (2)

6
Library Research Seminar II Research Report
Analysis Topic
  • Admin/Org/Personnel/Assessmt. (17)
  • Information Technology /Automation (17)
  • Information Seeking Behavior (12)
  • Library Use and User ( 7)
  • Library Resource Use/Analysis ( 4)
  • Scholarly Publishing/Communications ( 8)
  • LIS Research/Educ/Curric. Issues ( 7)
  • Library Professional/Career Issues ( 3)

7
Library Research Seminar II Research Report
Analysis Topic-2
  • Admin/Org/Personnel (21)
  • Use/User/Info. Behavior (19)
  • Info Tech/Digital Lib/Internet (17)
  • LIS Educ/Profession Issues (10)
  • Scholarly Pub/Communication ( 8)

8
Library Research Seminar II Research Report
Analysis Strategy/Aim
  • Descriptive (19)
  • Exploratory/Inductive (21)
  • Explanatory/Confirmatory ( 1)
  • Evaluative ( 4)
  • Unknown/Not Applicable ( 7)

9
Research Approaches Defined (Russell Schutt
Investigating the Social World)
  • Descriptive Research
  • The What, Where, How often, How much questions
    are typical. Data collected is usually
    quantitative data. Measurement, sampling, and
    accurate data reporting are key concerns here.
    Valid and reliable and measurement instruments
    and techniques are critical.
  • Explanatory Research
  • Aims to identify causes and effects of phenomena
    that will explain behavior or selected phenomena
    with a high degree of probability, and support
    predictions about this behavior or phenomena. To
    establish causal connections between variables,
    experiments and/or surveys, that is, quantitative
    methods, are used.

10
Research Approaches Defined (Russell Schutt
Investigating the Social World)
  • Exploratory/Inductive Research
  • What is going on here? Search for meaning in
    actions and activities. Attempts to dig deeper
    than surface facts, to discover possible
    interpretations or explanations. Frequently
    involves qualitative methods and qualitative
    data.
  • Evaluation Research
  • Like, explanatory research, deals with effects
    and their causes. But, typically investigates the
    implementation of and actual effects of social,
    political, or educational programs and policies.

11
Library Research Seminar II Research Report
Analysis Strategy/Aim
  • Descriptive (19)
  • Exploratory/Inductive (21)
  • Explanatory/Confirmatory ( 1)
  • Evaluative ( 4)
  • Unknown/Not Applicable ( 7)

12
Library Research Seminar II Research Report
Analysis Data Collection
  • Quantitative (13)
  • Qualitative (20)
  • Both (11)
  • Not Clear ( 6)

13
Library Research Seminar II Research Report
Analysis Statistics
  • Descriptive (19)
  • Inferential ( 1)
  • Both ( 3)
  • Not Clear/Unknown (21)
  • Not Applicable ( 4)

14
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature 1998-2002
  • Purposive, Stratified Selection of Journals
  • Three Categories
  • I. Library Function or Service (10)
  • II. Type of Library (Academic, Public, etc.) (9)
  • III. General Librarianship (4)

15
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature 1998-2002
  • College Research Libraries
  • Journal of Academic Librarianship
  • Public Libraries
  • Public Library Quarterly
  • Public ( Access) Services Quarterly
  • Special Libraries
  • Bulletin of the Medical Library Association
  • Science Technology Libraries
  • Behavioral Social Sciences Librarian
  • Library Trends
  • Library Information Science Research
  • Journal of Librarianship Information Science
  • Journal of Documentation
  • Cataloging Classification Quarterly
  • Collection Management
  • Technical Services
  • Library Resources and Technical Services
  • Serials Review
  • Information Technology and Libraries
  • Reference Services Review
  • Reference Librarian
  • Library Collections, Acquisitions and Technical
    Services
  • Research Strategies

16
Practitioner Research in the Library Literature
  • Study Population 23 LIS journals, 1998-2002
  • Sample Frame 200 research project reports
  • Random Sample 100 research articles

17
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Study Variables
  • 1. Topic/Issue
  • 2. Setting/Context
  • 3. Location Site
  • 4. Research Approach/Strategy
  • 5. Data Collection Method
  • 6. Data Analysis Approach
  • 7. Sample Type
  • 8. Statistical Analysis Employed

18
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Published Report Variables
  • 1. Authorship (single/joint)
  • 2. Organization/Readability
  • 3. Critical Content (aim, lit. review, etc.)
  • 4. Procedural depth and detail
  • 5. Visual presentation of data findings
  • 6. Humility factor (study limitations, future)

19
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Study
Variables Research Topic
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Admin/Org/Personnel 10
  • Operations/Functions 5
  • IT/Systems 1
  • Collections/Resources 12
  • Services 19
  • Users 7
  • Info. Seeking/Use 17
  • Indexes/Bibliographies 6
  • IR/Database Searching 4
  • Publishing/Communication 5
  • Citation Analysis 1
  • Cooperation/Networks/Consortia 0
  • Other (e.g., professional issues) 13

20
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Study
Variables Research Topic (Collapsed)
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Admin/Technical/Ops 34
  • Use/User Behavior 47
  • Professional Issues 13
  • Publishing/Communication 5

21
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Study Variables
  • Setting Frequency/Percent
  • Academic 64
  • Public 7
  • Special 5
  • General 24
  • Location Site
  • Single Site 33
  • Site Independent 67

22
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Study
Variables Research Approach/Aim
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Descriptive 85
  • Exploratory 25
  • Explanatory 22
  • Evaluative 4
  • Multiple 35

23
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Study
Variables Data Collection Methods
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Survey 62
  • Observation Description 13
  • Semi-structured Interview 10
  • Experiment 5
  • Computer Logging 2
  • Bibliometric/Citation Analysis 14
  • Content Analysis 8
  • Case Study 5
  • Delphi 0
  • Other 12
  • Multiple Methods 31

24
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Study
Variables Data Collection Approach
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Quantitative 71
  • Qualitative 10
  • Both 19

25
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Study
Variables Type of Sample
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Randomized, probability 17
  • Non-probability 75
  • Unclear, not applicable 8

26
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Study
Variables Statistical Analysis
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Descriptive 73
  • Inferential 7
  • Both 9
  • Not applicable 11
  • Association/Correlation 19
  • Hypothesis Tested 5

27
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Report
Variables Organization/Readability/Content
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Well-structured, identifiable sections 89
  • Research question/aim clearly stated 91
  • Literature review present 81

28
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Report
Variables Procedural Depth and Detail
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Sample selection and makeup 88
  • Detailed data collection procedures 93
  • Data-supported analysis of findings 86

29
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Report
Variables Visual Presentation of Data
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Tables 59
  • Charts (Bar, Pie, Histogram) 7
  • Both 18
  • None 7
  • Not applicable 9

30
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Report
Variables Humility Factor
  • Frequency/Percent
  • Reliability/validity addressed 18
  • Study limitations addressed 25
  • Future research to be done 38

31
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Summary
  • LIS Practitioner Researchers
  • - are largely academic librarians
  • - address a wide variety of research topics
  • - write well-structured, readable research
    reports
  • - but seldom use charts or graphs to present data
    findings
  • - conduct less exploratory, qualitative research
    than academic researchers
  • - conduct very little program or policy
    evaluation research

32
Practitioner Research in the Library
Literature Analysis Findings Summary (cont)
  • LIS Practitioner Researchers
  • - rely heavily on survey, interview, and
    structured observation methods
  • - but do not appreciate the importance of random,
    probability samples
  • - and are generally unsophisticated
    (undertrained?) in the use of statistical data
    analysis
  • - and, finally, seem to be unaware of the need to
    address study shortcomings, limitations, and
    reliability or validity issues.

33
Practitioner Research in the Library Literature
  • Key LIS Research Literature Studies
  • Crawford, Gregory A. The Research Literature of
    Academic Librarianship A Comparison of College
    Research Libraries and Journal of Academic
    Librarianship. College Research Libraries, May
    1999, 224-230.
  • Dimitroff, Alexander. Research for Special
    Libraries A Quantitative Analysis of the
    Literature. Special Libraries, 86(4), 1995,
    256-264.
  • Feehan, Patricia E., W. Lee Gragg II, W. Michael
    Havener, and Diane D. Kester. Library and
    Information Science Research An Analysis of the
    1984 Journal Literature. Library Information
    Science Research, 9. 1987. 173-185.
  • Hernon, Peter. The Elusive Nature of Research in
    LIS. In C. McClure and P. Hernon, eds., Library
    and Information Science Research Perspectives
    and Strategies for Improvement. Norwood, NJ
    Ablex, 1991, 3-14.
  • Jarvelin, Kalervo and Pertte Vakkari. Content
    Analysis of Research Articles in Library and
    Information Science. Library Information
    Science Research, 12, 1990, 395-421.
  • Julien, Heidi. A Content Analysis of Recent
    Information Needs and Uses Literature. Library
    Information Science Research, 18(1), 1996, 53-65.
  • McKechnie, Lynne E.F., Lynda Baker, Martha
    Greenwood, and Heidi Julien. Research Method
    Trends in Human Information Behaviour Literature.
    Paper presented at ISIC-2002 Information
    Seeking in Context. The Fourth International
    Conference on Information Needs, Seeking and Use
    in Different Contexts. Lisbon, Portugal,
    September 11 - 13, 2002.
  • Powell, Ronald R. Recent Trends in Research A
    Methodological Essay. Library Information
    Science Research, 21(1), 1999, 91-119.
  • Van House, Nancy A. Assessing the Quantity,
    Quality, and Impact of LIS Research. Library
    Information Science Research, Norwood, NJ Ablex,
    1991, 85-100.
  • Wang, P. Methodologies and Methods for User
    Behavioral Research. In M. Williams, ed. Annual
    Review of Information Science and Technology, 34.
    Medford, NJ Information Today, 1999, 53-99.
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