(2014) Course Outline

(Please note that this is an archived web page. This is not the current course outline. {Archived 10/1/2014})

This course covers all of the various stages of designing an effective library science research project: research ethics, developing effective research questions and objectives, operationalizing research, method selection (qualitative and quantitative), sampling, and logistical considerations. It also provides detailed instruction on how to collect and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data.  Attention will also be given to mixed-methods research.

Illustrative examples and personal consultation will be provided throughout the course to exemplify principles that are covered. The course is comprised of lecture, containing numerous illustrative examples of concepts discussed, discussion, and group work with consultation from the instructors.  Small group work will provide students the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned and get feedback on their ideas from peers and course instructors. Two instructors will be available throughout the training, increasing the amount of time devoted to personalized instruction.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and address ethics considerations specific to library research
  • Explain the conceptual logic behind various data collection approaches and describe the rationale for selection of specific methods
  • Describe several different integrated research designs
  • Write effective research questions and hypotheses
  • Design an effective research framework for a library science study
  • Explain the conceptual connection between sampling and research design
  • Identify appropriate sampling strategies for research projects
  • Use and apply three qualitative data collection methods (participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus groups)
  • Assess and execute different qualitative data analysis options
  • Articulate the various forms of surveys and the advantages/disadvantages of each
  • Design and implement a survey
  • Analyze basic survey data
  • Write an effective research report


Arrive in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Check in to your apartment and attend the welcome reception in the evening. The Institute coursework begins on June 16, 2014. The weekend of June 21 and 22 are free for you to explore Los Angeles; we will be planning optional excursions for you. The Institute ends with a closing event the evening of June 26. June 27 is your departure day.

Course Readings:

Books (hard copies will be supplied to Institute Scholars)

Fink, A. 2009. How to Conduct Surveys: A Step-by-Step Guide, 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Guest, G and K. MacQueen. In press (2011). Applied Thematic Analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Guest, G., M. Mitchell, and E. Namey. In press (2011). Collecting Qualitative Data: A Field Manual. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Articles and chapters (PDFs will be provided to Institute Scholars on CD)

Bickman, L. and D. Rog. 2009. Applied research design: a practical approach. In Handbook of Applied Social Research Methods, 2nd ed. L. Bickman and D. Rog (eds.). Pp. 3-43. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Creswell, J. 2009. The purpose statement (chapter 6). From Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Creswell, J and V. Plano Clark. 2011. Choosing a mixed methods design (chapter 3). From Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research, 2nd ed.. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Elliott, H. 1997. The use of diaries in sociological research on health experience. Sociological Research Online 2( 2). http://www.socresonline.org.uk/socresonline/2/2/7.html.

Fricker, R. and M. Schonlau. 2002. Advantages and disadvantages of internet research surveys: evidence from the literature. Field Methods,14:347 – 367.

Gray, D. 2009. Research design: quantitative methods (chapter 6). From Doing Research in the Real World, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Guest G, A. Bunce and L. Johnson. 2006. How many interviews are enough? an experiment with data saturation and variability. Field Methods 18:59-82.

Hill, C. 1998. Decision modeling: its use in medical anthropology. In Using Methods in the Field: A Practical Introduction and Casebook, V. de Munck, ed. Pp. 139-164. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Johnson, B. 2001. Toward a new classification of nonexperimental quantitative research. Educational Researcher, 30(2): 3-13.

Johnson, A and R. Sackett. 1998. Direct systematic observation of behavior. In Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. H. Bernard, ed. Pp. 301-331. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Magnani, R, K. Sabin, T. Saidel and D. Heckathorne. 2005. Review of sampling hard-to-reach and hidden populations for HIV surveillance. AIDS, 19 (suppl 2):S67–S72.

McCaston, M. 2005. Tips for collecting, reviewing, and analyzing secondary data. Electronic document.

Meho, L. 2006. E-mail interviewing in qualitative research: a methodological discussion. Journal of The American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57(10):1284-1295.

Patton, M. 2002. Purposeful sampling (excerpt). From Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, 3rd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Ryan, G. and H.R. Bernard. 2000. Data management and analysis methods. In Handbook of Qualitative Research, 2nd edition, N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln (eds.). Pp. 769-802. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Silverman, G. ND. A Comparison between Face-to-Face Focus Groups, Telephone Focus Groups and Online Focus Groups. Online document.

Smith, G. and J. Pell. 2003. Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ 327:1459–61.

Thomas, G. 2009. The rights tools for the job: data gathering (chapter 8). From How to do Your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Trotter, R, R. Needle, E. Goosby, C. Bates and M. Singer. 2001. A methodological model for rapid assessment, response, and evaluation: the RARE program in public health. Field Methods 13:137-159.

Wasserman, S and K. Faust. 1994. Social network data (chapter 2). From Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

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