LIBR 285-16
Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Spring 2011 Greensheet

Dr. Johanna Tunon
E-mail -- Use the D2L e-mail for the course (not personal)
Home phone: (954)792-6814 (Please do not call afer 10 pm EST) 
Office location: Fort Lauderdale, FL (EST)
Office Hours: By appointment by phone since I live in Florida

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore

D2L Information: LIBR 285-16 opens on Jan. 13 so that you can become familiar with the course content before the course officially starts on Jan. 26.

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
  • 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:

  • Competency L: 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

Students' work will be evaluated according to the following specific criteria:
Identify a research problem, write a purpose statement, develop appropriate research questions and/or hypotheses, conduct critical literature review and analysis, address any ethical considerations in conducting research, understand the procedures in collecting data, and produce a substantial final written product containing a formalized research proposal using qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods.

Assignments % of Final Grade:

  • Participation in Part 1 of discussion 24% 
    • Topics posted in Weeks 1-10, 11/12/13, P14
    • P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P9, P10 and participate for either  P11 for Wk11, 12, or 13, P14 is posted sometime between Weeks 11 and 13
  • Peer Feedback in Part 2 of discussion 7%
    • Feedback posted three days after participations for
    • Part 1 of Weeks 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11/12/13
    • F3, F4, F6, F7, F8, F9, F11/12/13)
  • NIH’s Protecting Human Subject (Research Participants Course) 5%
  • Article Critique 14%
  • Elluminate Presentation during Weeks 14 and 15 10%
  • Proposal (10-12 pages -- Due May 12) 40%
  • 0.5% extra credit upon completion of the SOTES course evaluation.

Semester Dates
January 25 - May 17, 2011
Spring break - Mar. 28 - Apr. 1 

Course Calendar 

Week Overview of Class Activities and Assignments Due Date
Wk 1

Introduction to Research and Selection of a Research Design
Read Chapter 1 - Creswell
Read Week 1 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Post introductions and participate in brainstorming online activity

Jan. 30
Wk 2

Research Problem
Read Week 2 Overview 
Read Dr. Luo's discussion of research methods frequently used in LIS research
Discussion topic: Possible research problems
Elluminate session -- Jan. 31  7-8pm PT/10-11pm EST

Feb. 6
Wk 3

Review of the Literature
Read Chapter 2 - Creswell
Discussion topic: World view
Chapter 1 Part 1 (Feb. 13) and Part 2 (Feb. 17)

Feb. 13
Wk 4 Read Week 2 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Discussion topic: Literature review
Chapter 2 Parts 1 (Feb. 20) and 2 (Feb. 24)
Feb. 20
Wk 5 The Use of Theory
Read Chapter 3 - Creswell
Read Week 3 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Discussion topic: Theory
Part 1 (Feb. 27)
Feb. 27
Wk 6 Writing Strategies and Ethical Considerations
Read Chapter 4 - Creswell
Read Week 4 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Discussion opic: Ethical considerations
Part 1 (Mar. 6) and Part 2 (Mar. 10)
Assignment --
Complete CITI /Human Subject Training (5%)
Mar. 6
Wk 7 The Proposal - The Introduction
Read Chapter 5 - Creswell
Read Week 5 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Discussion topic:  Introduction/background/setting
Part 1 (Mar. 13) and Part 2 (Mar. 17)
Mar. 13
Wk 8 The Proposal - The Purpose Statement
Read Chapter 6 - Creswell
Read Week 6 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Discussion topic: Purpose statement
Part 1 (Mar. 20) and Part 2 (Mar. 24)
Mar. 20
Wk 9 The Proposal -- Research Questions and Hypotheses
Read Chapters 7 & 8- Creswell
Read Week 7 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Discussion topic: Research questions or hypothesis 
Part 1 (Mar. 27) and Part 2 (Apr. 2)
Spring break - March 28-31
Mar. 27
Wk 10

Read Chapters 9 &10 - Creswell
Discussion topic: Sample or population for study
Part 1 (Apr. 3) and Part 2 (Apr. 7)
Study groups for the quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods
Optional Elluminate session Mar. 30 7pm PT
Article Critique -- (14%)
Roselle, A. (2009). Preparing the underprepared: Current academic library practices in developmental education. College and Research Libraries, 70(2), 142-156.

Apr. 3
Wk 11

Quantitative Procedures (Chap. 8)
Read Week 8 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Discussion only for people using quantitative methods:
Part 1 (Apr. 10) and Part 2 (Apr. 14)
Participate in the Survey Discussion topic (P14)sometime between Week 11 and 13. (2%)

Apr. 10
Wk 12

Qualitative Procedures (Chap. 9)
 Read Week 9 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Discussion only for people using qualitative methods:
Part 1 (Apr. 17) and Part 2 (Apr. 21)
Participate in the Survey Discussion topic (P14) sometime between Week 11 and 13. (2%)
NOTE: Anyone who wants feedback on content for presentations can email no more than one page with problem, purpose, research questions, and methods for answering research questions.

Apr. 17
Wk 13 Mixed Methods Procedures (Chap. 10)
Read Week 10 Overview
View PowerPoint presentation
Discussion only for people using mixed methods:
Part 1 (Apr. 25 and Part 2 (Apr. 28)
Participate in the Survey Discussion topic (P14) sometime between Week 11 and 13. (2%)
Elluminate Presentations (10%)
 Apr. 26 7 pm PT/9pm ET
Apr. 25
Wk 14

Apr. 28 7 pm PT/9pm ET 
May 1 7 pm PT/9pm ET
Precording presentations should be posted in the discussion forum provided.
Presentations (prerecorded or live) due by May 1 (10%)

May 1
Wk 15

You have the option to submit projects by May 4 to get feedback and opportunity to resubmit.

May 8
Wk 16

NOTE: Projects by May 4 to get limited feedback and opportunity to resubmit.

Final Project Due May 13.
May 15
Wrap up

Submit SOTES
Make sure all discussion topics and assignments have been submitted no later than midnight on May 17

May 17

** Adjustments may be made subject to change with fair notice.

Class Assignments

  • Participation (Part 1) 2% x 11 = 24%
    In Weeks 1 - 14 (Note: P11 is for discussion in either Wk11, 12, or 13) each week's participation topic is posted in that week's discussion board in the Lessons folder.  Because someone will be providing peer feedback on your posting in three days, it is important for students to get their responses posted in a timely manner. P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P9, P10, P11, P14

    Grading Criteria:
    • Demonstrated grasp of principles addressed in the textbook.
    • Well-written and clearly articulated
    • Grammatically correct and used APA formatting when appropriate.
    • Postings were posted in a timely manner.
  • Participation (Part 2) 1% x 7 = 7%
    See the table in Lessons > Research Resources for LIBR 285 > Table assignment students for each week's peer review feedback.

    Grading Criteria:
    • Feedback demonstrated a firm grasp of principles addressed in the textbook.
    • Do not just say that the student did or did not address something. You should actually articulate or summarize how he or she did so.
    • Feedback was well-written and clearly articulated in a postive manner.
    • Grammatically correct and used APA formatting when appropriate.
  • NIH or CITI  (online course) 5% Successful completion of the CITI or NIH certification is required by San Jose State University’s Institutional Review Board for people working with human subjects. Links to both are on the IRB page:  Submit the completion certificate in the dropbox provided in Week 5. This is a pass/no pass activity.
  • Article Critique (14%)
    For this assignment, each student will be asked to review the article listed below, and then write a 3-5-page paper (double spaced, 12 pt font). See the video on formatting class assignments. The paper should  have a brief introduction or overview and then discuss the methods, analysis, and findings. The following are the elements you must identify and succinctly describe from the Roselle article:
    • Research question or problem—2 point.
    • Research design or approach followed—2 point.
    • Kind of sample and participant recruitment procedures—2 point.
    • Methods of data analysis—2 point.
    • Procedures for establishing trustworthiness of study—2 point.
    • Relevant ethical issues—1 point.
    • Research findings—1 point.
    • Your comments and reaction to the published study, including identified weaknesses in the study —3 points.
    • APA formatting -- 1 points.
    Use this article for your critique:
    • Roselle, A. (2009). Preparing the underprepared: Current academic library practices in developmental education. College and Research Libraries, 70(2), 142-156.
  • Elluminate or Prerecorded Presentation in Weeks 13-14 (10%)
    The presentation designed to give students the opportunity to explain the research project that they have been working on before submitting it for a final grade. Students can deliver their presentations using Elluminate or use whatever technology you want for a prerecorded present. The presentation should for short (about 7 minute/no longer than 10 minutes). The presentation does not cover everything discussed in the proposal, but it should provide an overview of the research problem, purpose statement, research question(s), and methods to answer those questions. Because the sessions also provide the rest of the class with the opportunity to hear about other projects, it may provide one last opportunity to see any problems with your own research plan. For people who want to use Elluminate to provide a live presentation, I have requested student assistants to help with any questions about using Elluminate or loading PowerPoint files. The sign-up wiki page is located in the Lessons > Research Resources for LIBR 285 folder. The presentations will be during either Week 13 or  14. I do not expect you to be present for all the live presentations, but those of you who cannot attend should take the time to listen to the archived sessions as time permits.
    Grading Criteria:

    • Presentation is well organized and covered the major steps in the research process as time permits.
    • The presentation provides a clear statement of the problem, purpose, and research questions.
    • The research process is described clearly and succinctly, and the topic is clearly defined and relevant.  -- 1 point
    • The research problem, purpose statement, and research questions are clearly identified and described. 3 points
    • The participants, instruments, and design are clearly identified and described. -- 3 points
    • The presenter talked clearly and provided a useful PowerPoint presentation that helped clarify the research project being discussed.  -- 3 points
  • Proposal (40%)
    Write a 10--12 page paper (double spaced using 12pt font). A template is provided. Use APA formatting.  The Creswell textbook walks you through the process of writing your research study. Use the quantiative format unless you have a compelling reason to modify the format. If that is the case, provide your reasons when you submit the paper. Your proposal should include a title page, Chapters 1, 2, and 3, and reference list. No abstract or table of contents are needed. 

    Grading Criteria:
    Your article critique will be graded in the following way on the accuracy, coherence, and logic of your descriptions of the required elements:
    • Chapter 1 includes introduction, research problem, purpose statement, research questions, and definition of key terms. -- 10 points
    • Chapter 2 includes primary resources including key research studies and theoretical framework.  -- 10 points
    • Chapter 3 includes the participants, instruments, and procedures/design. -- 10 points
    • Ethical considerations -- 4 points
    • Reference list (APA formatting) -- 2 points
    • Correct layout for the proposal (use template provided), grammar, and APA formatting -- 2 points

Course Grading
All work is due by the date listed. If you are unable to complete the work by the assigned date, you should email me to make alternative arrangements. No work will be accepted after the last day of class unless arrangements have been made in writing and approved for an incomplete.

Check the grading criteria with class assignments before submitting assignments to be sure that you are addressing all of the elements that should be included in the assignments.

Textbooks and Readings

You may also wish to have a copy of of the APA publication manual, but I will provide some resources for APA formatting.

Video on APA formatting for class assignments

  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Required Textbooks:

  • Creswell, J. W. (2008). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods (3rd ed.). SAGE. Available through Amazon: 1412965578. 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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