Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Spring 2011 Greensheet
Textbooks and Readings
Mission of the School
The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) educates professionals and develops leaders who organize, manage and enable the effective use of information and ideas in order to contribute to the well-being of our communities.
SLIS utilizes a content management system called ANGEL for class communications, submitting assignments, and grade records. You should enroll in our section of LIBR 285 ANGEL site between 18-25 January. You will be required to use a password access code I will email to you via the MySJSU e-mail Messaging system prior to 18 January 2010.
Our class begins officially on Tuesday 25 January. Weekly sessions end on Saturdays. And Saturdays at 5pm (Pacific time) will be the due time for most of our assignments.
This course focuses on the most current methods for studying, researching, & evaluating youth services. But this is not a section on general research methods. Nor are any sections of LIBR 285 intended to produce original primary source research. That is not the purpose of LIBR 285.
We will cover fundamental principles, processes, values and roles of research for professional application in information organizations serving youth. Students will become critical consumers of youth research products. Emphasis will concentrate on developing, planning, and producing quality program evaluation.
This section of research methods (LIBR 285) will chiefly introduce students to the theory and methods of evaluating youth services (children and young adults) and scholarship on youth services. It explores the ways in which professionals identify and frame research and evaluation questions, assess current scholarly literature on youth services topics, locate and critically use primary and secondary source data, and formulate viable and worthwhile evaluation projects. Emphasis will be placed on the research tools and processes professionals use and the role information professionals play in their development, dissemination, and use.
Course Prerequisites: LIBR 203, 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), you 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
Student Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course you will be able to:
- Understand the difference between primary and secondary research;
- Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting evaluative research;
- Articulate the research method(s) covered in the course, appropriately appy them, and understand their strengths and liabilities;
- Understand appropriate data collection analysis tools and ethical concerns related to research
You will also be able to:
- Explain current trends in youth services research
- Show proficiency in using primary, secondary, and tertiary sources in the conduct of research
- Appreciate the importance of protecting human subjects in research and demonstrate the ability to work with an institutional review board in developing a research plan
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.
- Elluminate Class Sessions (3 sessions): 4 points each
Mandatory participation in all three, three-hour Elluminate sessions (dates and times listed below)
- IRB Certification: 5 points
Complete the National Cancer Institute’s online workshop titled: “Human Participant Protections Education for Research Teams.” 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:
You can complete this short on-line mini-course at any point during the semester. It will take about two hours to complete. When you have finished the course, you will be given a certificate, which you should submit to me as proof of completion via the appropriate Angel Drop Box.
- Discussion Board Topics (6 throughout the term): 3 points each
Based on relevant readings and other course experiences, these interactive posts demonstrate, articulate, and share your learning with fellow students
- Briefs (4 throughout the term): 5 points each
1-2 page content-based and skill-enhanced writing assignments
- Primary Source Survey: 10 points
Discover, locate, describe and evaluate primary sources important for professionals conducting research youth services (3-5 pages)
- Research Study Evaluation: 10 points
Discover and evaluate a recent monographic study of youth (3-5 pages)
- Term Project: 25 points
Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of an actual library youth program (15-20 pages)
All assignments are must be turned at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on the day they are due. Late submissions will be reduced by 20% of the total points possible for that assignment.
|Deliverable||Grade Weight||Due Date|
|Elluminate sessions: (3)||4 points each||5-8pm (Pacific Time)
on each of following dates:
|Online Discussions: (6)||3 points each||TBA|
|IRB Workshop||5 points||TBD|
|Brief papers (1-2 pages): (4)||5 points||
|Short papers (3-5 pages): (2)||5 points each||
|Research Study Evaluation (3-5 pages)||10 points||
|Term Project||25 points||
Textbooks and Readings
Recommended Style Manual
Scholarly research in LIS requires the effective communication of findings and evaluation of the writings of others. An important aspect of this scholarly communication is understanding and demonstrating facility with standard LIS citation formatting. Thus, if you have not done so already, I strongly encourage you to invest in a copy of the: American Psychological Association (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) Chicago: American Psychological Association. (Available through our iSchool eBookstore. Free electronic version is available at: http://ischool.sjsu.edu/resources/apa_refguide.htm)
Please consider purchasing your text book from the new iSchool eBookstore (a project of Amazon Affiliates program) because it will generate revenue exclusively for SLIS student scholarships: http://ischoolapps.sjsu.edu/gss/textbooks/ebookstore.php
Other articles and resources will be assigned throughout the term. These will be available through the King Library’s full text databases, the web, or furnished to you in our Course Documents.
- Best, A. L. (2007). Representing Youth: Methodological Issues in Critical Youth Studies. New York: New York University Press. Available through Amazon: 0814799531.
- Dimitriadis, G. (2008). Studying urban youth culture. New York, NY: Peter Lang. Available through Amazon: 0820472697.
- Dresang, E. T., Gross, M., & Holt, L. E. (2006). Dynamic Youth Services Through Outcome-based Planning And Evaluation. Chicago: American Library Association. Available through Amazon: 0838909183.
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|
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).
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 http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/S90-5.pdf. More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at http://info.sjsu.edu/web-dbgen/catalog/departments/LIS.html. 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 http://info.sjsu.edu/static/catalog/policies.html. Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at http://www.sjsu.edu/provost/services/academic_calendars/. The Late Drop Policy is available at http://www.sjsu.edu/aars/policies/latedrops/policy/. 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 http://www.sjsu.edu/advising/.
Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material
University Policy S12-7, http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/S12-7.pdf, 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."
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 http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/F15-7.pdf 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 http://www.sjsu.edu/studentconduct/.
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 http://www.sjsu.edu/president/docs/directives/PD_1997-03.pdf requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at http://www.sjsu.edu/aec to establish a record of their disability.
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