LIBR 285-01
Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Summer 2010 Greensheet

Rose M. Chenoweth
E-mail  (preferred method of contact)
Office:  Elluminate
Office Hours: Tuesdays 8 p.m. Pacific Time or by appointment

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
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ANGEL & Elluminate Information: Class Activities will be carried out in both the Angel and Elluminate systems.  The Angel course site will be available for self enrollment June 1.  Access code for enrolling in the Angel Course site will be sent through messaging in MySJSU. 

Course Description

Research methods covering fundamental principles, processes, values and roles of research for professional application in information organizations. Students will become critical consumers of research products and learn the basic skills of planning, designing, executing and reporting research as well as evaluating and applying published research findings. Emphasis will concentrate on developing, planning, and producing a quality research proposal.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR200, LIBR202, LIBR204, and demonstrated writing proficiency required.

285 Waiver Option:

If a student has taken and passed a graduate level-research methods course AND completed a thesis or dissertation as part of a previous graduate degree (as documented by an official transcript), the student can petition the SLIS Graduate Advisor to waive the LIBR 285 requirement. A waiver, if granted, does not reduce the total units required for the MLIS degree. See Waiver option

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:

  • Understand the difference between primary and secondary research;
  • Conduct a systematic and critical literature review of published research;
  • Articulate different types of research methods, appropriately apply them, and understand their respective liabilities;
  • Identify and apply ethical concerns connected to primary research;
  • Gain exposure to appropriate data compiling tools and procedures;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting research;
  • Develop, plan, and produce a research proposal.

LIBR 285 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • Understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups;
  • Articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom.
  • Evaluate programs and services on specified criteria;

Course Requirements

More details are included on the class webpage.  Some information on the greensheet may change by the time the class website is finalized.

Class Meetings
This is an online class that does not meet regularly.  There are required discussion boards each week with four team assignments with the fourth being the final project.  Optional Elluminate meetings will be held on Tuesday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time.  The first 30 to 60 minutes may be lecture or directed discussion by the instructor or a guest speaker with the remaining time open for class discussion on readings, projects, and related issues.  If there is lecture or discussion,  it will be recorded and made available the next day to everyone else.  Your attendance is encouraged but not required. 

Discussion boards will be posted weekly where you will be asked to post something related to the readings and comment on two other postings.  Both the original posting and the comments should be thoughtful and thought provoking.  More detail about this will be on the class website. 

All assignments must be turned in by 11:59 p.m. on their due date.  If you do not understand assignments, readings, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the instructor with your questions, allowing enough time to complete the assignment. 

All assignments except discussion forums are to be submitted with the following information in the upper right hand corner of the first page:

  • Name of Assignment
  • Your first and last name
  • Date
  • Summer 2010
  • LIBR 285-10

Use the assignment name and your last name for the file name when attaching the assignment to an email.  The subject line of the email should include the same information.  If you have questions about an assignment, include the assignment name in the subject line of the email. 

Students' work for assignments will be evaluated according to the following specific criteria:
Identify research problem, conduct critical literature review and analysis, collect data, develop a conceptual hypothesis and theory, and produce a substantial final written product containing a formalized research paper.

IRB Training Requirement
Complete the National Institute of Health’s online workshop titled: “Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP).” Completion of this workshop is required by all San José State University faculty and students intending to do research with living human subjects. The course can be located at: link goes to non-SJSU web site  You can take this 2-3 hour online course at any point before the last week of the summer session.  When you have finished the course, you will be given a certificate, which you will submit as proof of course completion.  This will be worth 5% of your grade.

Course Calendar
More details on the assignments and discussion boards and the criteria for evaluation is included on the class website.  Additional readings may be added. 

Week Readings Discussion Board Assignment Due Date
     1 Matthews. Chapters 1-2

Brief biography discussion board.  Teams will be self chosen from information provided in the biography.

Second discussion board based on readings

Teams chosen and reported to instructor June 12
     2 Matthews. Chapters 3-4 Discussion board related to readings    
     3 Matthews. Chapter 5-6 Discussion board related to readings  1st group project due  June 26
     4 Matthews. Chapter 7-8 Discussion board related to readings    
     5 Matthews. Chapter 9-10 Discussion board related to readings  2nd group project due  July 10
     6 Matthews. Chapter 11-12 Discussion board related to readings    
     7 Matthews. Chapter 13-14 Discussion board related to readings  3rd group project due  July 24
     8 Matthews. Chapter 15-16 Discussion board related to readings    
     9 Matthews. Chapter 17-18 Discussion board related to readings    
     10 Matthews. Chapter 19-20 Discussion board related to readings Final Group Project August 10

Course Grading
More information on the grading rubrics and requirements will be included on the class webpage.

The grade for an assignment submitted after the due date will be reduced 5% for each day that it is late.  Assignments  submitted after the 7th day will not be accepted, and a grade of zero will be entered for the assignment.  There will be no extra credit.

Your grade will be broken down by:

  • IRB training  5%
  • Discussion board 30%
  • 3 group projects 33%
  • Final group project 25%
  • Group's self evaluation 7%

Textbooks and Readings

Recommended Text
Style Manual--A style manual ensures that you have provided all the necessary information for readers to find the information themselves. For SLIS, the established style manual will be APA.

  • American Psychological Association. (2001) Publication manual of the American Psychological Association.  5th ed.  Washington, D.C.: APA.   (It is available in an online version at )

Required Textbook:

  • Matthews, J. R. (2007). The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services. Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591585325. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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