LIBR 285-07
LIBR 285-17
Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Spring 2011 Greensheet

Jessica E. Moyer
Other contact information: phone calls by appointment only
Office location: online
Office Hours: synchronous office hours will be held at different times each week and announcements will be posted in D2L.  Available by appointment.  

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore

This course will use the new course management system, D2L.  The class site will be available shortly before the start of the semsester.  Students are expected to be able to login and view all course materials by the first day of the spring semester and to be able to access the D2L site throughout the semester.  You will be automatically enrolled into the site. I will send more information about course access through MySJSU as we approach the first day of class.

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.

This course will focus on LIS research through the lense of reading research, including reading response theory. 

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;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting research;
  • Articulate the research method(s) covered in the course, appropriately apply them, and understand their strengths and liabilities;
  • Understand appropriate data collection/analysis tools, and ethical concerns related to research.

LIBR 285 supports the following MLIS Core Competency:

  • 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. (Competency L)

Course Requirements

Students' work 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 proposal

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

Course Calendar
All assignments must be completed by 11:59 pm on Sundays

  1. January 26 - Jan 30th Introduction, readings: Chapter 1 Connoway – Research and librarianship, Chapter 1 Duke and Mallette – Introduction

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions

  2. Jan 31 - Feb 6 Literature Reviews and Research Overviews, Readings: Chapter 3 selecting the research method (overview and ethics), Chapter 7 Connoway, Qualitative versus Quantitative debate, RUSQ article (Moyer 2005)

    Assignments Due:
    Online Discussions, Group Discussions

  3. February 7 - 13 Experimental Research, Reading: Chapter 6 Connoway, Chapter 7 Duke and Mallette

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Group Discussions

  4. February 14 - 20 Statistical Methods, Readings: Chapters 3 and 11 Duke and Mallette, Chapter 9 Connoway

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Group Discussions

  5. February 21 - 27 Survey Research, Readings: Chapter 4 Connoway, Chapter 13 Duke and Mallette

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Group Discussions

  6. February 28 - March 6 Interviews and Focus Groups, Readings: Chapter 5 Connoway

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions

  7. March 7 - March 13 Ethics Review, Developing and Writing the Research Proposal

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Literature Reviews, Group Discussions, Ethics Modules

  8. March 14 - March 20 Case Studies, Readings: Chapter 2 Duke and Mallette

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Group Discussions

  9. March 21 to March 27 Historical Research, Readings: Chapter 8 Connoway, Chapter 9 Duke and Mallette

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Group Discussions

  10. March 28 - April 3 Break

  11. April 4 - April 10 Ethnographic Research, Readings: Chapter 6 Duke and Mallette

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Group Discussions

  12. April 11 - April 17 Discourse Analysis Chapters 4 and 5 Duke and Mallette

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions

  13. April 18 - April 24 Writing the Research Report, Chapter 11 Connoway

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Drafts of Proposals to Peer

  14. April 25 - May 1 Reading Response Theory Part 1, Readings: Rosenblatt chapters 1 - 4

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions,

  15. May 2 - May 8 Reading Response Theory Part 2, Readings: Rosenblatt chapters 5 - 7

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Peer Feedback on Proposals

  16. May 9 - May 15 Course Overview, Reading Research Today

    Assignments Due: Online Discussions, Completed Proposals

Course Grading

  • Participation in weekly online discussions (30%)
    Discussions will be asynchronous and in D2L
  • IRB ethics training (10%)
  • Leading a Class Discussion (in small groups) (10%)
    Small groups will lead discussions in weeks 3-6, and 8-11.
    Signups will be in D2L.  
  • Literature review (20%)
  • Research proposal (30%)
    • Written report (25%)
    • Peer Feedback (5%)

Late Work
No late work will be accepted in this course without prior written approval of instructor.  Please be aware of all deadlines and make sure to turn work in on time.  Always allow yourself enough time to access D2L and navigate to the assignments page.  Technical difficulties are not an excuse for late work unless the problem is  with D2L and it can be verified with SLIS technical services. 

Textbooks and Readings

3 Required Texts.  Plan to read 50 to 75 pages per week plus additional outside reading required to complete course assignments. 

Required Textbooks:

  • Connaway, L. & Powell, R. (2010). Basic research methods for librarians 5th edition. Libraries Unlimited. Available as free eBook through King Library arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Duke, N. & Mallette, M. (2004). Literacy Research Methodologies. Guilford Press. Available through Amazon: 159385059X arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Rosenblatt, L. (1994). The Reader, the Text, the Poem: Transactional theory of the literary work. Southern Illinois University Press. Available through Amazon: 0809318059 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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