LIBR 285-12
Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Summer 2010 Greensheet

Dr. Renee Jefferson
Office Hours: ANGEL, by appointment

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

This course uses ANGEL for communication, discussion, submitting assignments, and recording grades. You will enroll in the 285-12 ANGEL site between June 1, 2010 and the first day of class. You will be given a password access code via MySJSU prior to June 1, 2010.

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:

  1. Conduct a systematic and critical literature review of published (secondary) research;
  2. Identify and apply ethical concerns connected to primary research;
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting action research;
  4. Develop, plan, and produce an action 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.

Course Requirements

All assignments must be turned in by 11:59 p.m. on their due date.  The grade for an assignment submitted after the due date and time will be reduced by 5% for each day that it is late.  Assignments submitted on or after the 7th day after the due date will not be accepted.  A grade of zero will be entered for the assignment.  Extra-credit assignments are not available.

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) Certification (Learning Outcomes 1 & 2; 5% of final course grade): Complete the National Cancer Institutes online workshop titled "Protecting Human Research Participants." Completion of this workshop is requried by all SJSU faculty and students intending to do research with living human subjects. The course is located at It will take approximately 2-3 hours to complete the course. When you complete the course you will be given a certificate, which you will submit as proof of course completion.
  • Action Research Study Exercises (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, & 4; 35% of final course grade): The purpose of the exercises is to assist you in developing in the action research study proposal.
  • Statistical Exercises (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, & 3; 35% of final course grade): The purpose of the exercises is to give you an opportunity to become familiar with and use statistical techniques used in action research studies.

Course Calendar
The following table includes the course assignments and due dates.  The due dates may change to accommodate class needs.  Sufficient notice will be provided for any change in due dates.

Assignments Points  Due Dates
IRB Certification 5 6/10
Action Research Study Exercises 60 6/10, 6/17, 6/24, & 7/1
Statistical Exercises 35 7/8 & 7/15
Total 100  

Textbooks and Readings

Required Readings
Additional required readings will be posted in ANGEL.

Required Style Manual
Scholary research in LIS requires the effective communication of findings and evaluation of the writings of others. An important aspect of this scholarly commuication is demonstrating your understanding and facility with standard LIS citation formatting. Further, when you report your research findings to an audience, you must use care that information that you have cited will be available to your reader. A style manual ensures that you have provided all the information necessary for your reader. For SLIS, the established style manual will be APA:

  • American Psychological Association (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (6th ed.). Washington, DC: APA. (Available through iSchool eBookstore)

Required Textbook:

  • Holcomb, Z. C. (2010). Interpreting Basic Statistics: A Guide and Workbook Based on Excerpts from Journal Articles (6th ed.). Pyrczak. Available through Amazon: 1884585914 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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