LIBR 285-20
Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Spring 2012 Greensheet

Dr. Johanna Tunon
E-mail -- Use the D2L e-mail for the course
Home phone: (954)792-6814 (Eastern time zone) 
Office location: Fort Lauderdale, FL (Eastern time zone)
Office Hours: By appointment by phone or via Collaborate

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore

D2L Information: Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L site for this course. The course will be automatically available to students on January 25, 2012.

Course Description

LIBR 285 addresses 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 these research methods, 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.

Semester Dates

  • January 25 - May 15
  • Spring recess - Mar. 26-30

Course Calendar 


Overview of Class Activities and Assignments

Due Date (unless
Wk 1

Introduction to Research and Selection of a Research Design
Read Chapter 1 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
Post introductions
P1: Discussion (Due Jan. 31)
Optional Collaborate session -- Jan. 31  7-8 pm PT (10-11 pm ET)

Jan. 31
Wk 2

Review of the Literature
Read Chapter 2 and view course materials for the week.
P2: Discussion (Due Feb. 7)

Feb. 7
Wk 3

Theories, Models, and Conceptual Frameworks
Read Chapter 3 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
P3: Discussion (Due Feb. 14)

Feb. 14
Wk 4

Selecting a Topic
Read Chapter 4 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
P4: Discussion (Due Feb. 21)

Feb. 21
Wk 5 Problem Statement
Read Chapter 5 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
P5: Discussion (Part 1: Due Feb. 28)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Mar.2)
Feb. 28
Wk 6

Ethical Considerations
Read Chapter 6 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
P6: Discussion (Part 1: Due by Mar. 6)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Mar. 9)
Assignment -- Complete CITI Training
Also see SJSU's IRB (Institutional Review Board) page-- IRB training section:

Mar. 6
Wk 7 The Purpose Statement 
Read Chapter 7 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
P7: Discussion (Part 1: Due by Mar. 13)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Mar. 16)
Mar. 13
Wk 8 Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Operationalized Definitions
Read Chapter 8 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
P8: Discussion (Part 1: Due by Mar. 20)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Mar. 23)
Mar. 20
Wk 9/
Wk 10

Read Chapters 9 & 10- Creswell and view course materials for the week
P9: Discussion (Part 1: Due by Mar. 31)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Apr. 3)

Mar. 27
Wk 10

 SJSU's spring recess is for Mar. 26-30. Since the LIBR 285 class schedule goes from Wednesday to Tuesday, this means that the spring break straddles Weeks 9 and 10. So, students can submit the discussion topic for Week 9 March 30 and the peer review by April 3. If other accomodations are needed because of spring break, contact me individually.
Individual phone consultations or Collaborate sessions by appointment to discussion research proposals by the end of Week 11.

Apr. 3
Wk 11

View course materials for the week
P11: Discussion -- (Part 1: Due by Apr. 10)
        Peer feedback -- see instructions (Part 2: Due by April 13)
Article Critique  

Apr. 10
Wk 12

Analysis Used in Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods
View course materials for the week.
P12: Discussion  (Part 1: Due by Apr. 17)
        Peer feedback -- choose the method you want to review.
                             First come, first serve.  (Part 2: Due Apr. 20)
NOTE: Anyone who wants individual feedback on content for draft presentations can provide me with one page that briefly identifies the problem, purpose, theory or conceptual framework, research questions, and methods for answering research questions.

Apr. 17
Wk 13

Reliability and Validity
View course materials for the week
P13: Discussion should be posted in correct methods folder (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods) (Part 1: Due by Apr. 24)
       Peer feedback for someone posting in your discussion forum (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods). First come, first serve. (Part 2: Due by Apr. 27)

Optional consultations by appointment for any individuals who want to discuss your research proposal.

Apr. 24
Wk 14

Prerecorded presentations due by May 1
P14: Discussion: APA formatting of reference citations  (Due by May 1)

May 1
Wk 15

OPTIONAL: Interested individuals have the option to submit a draft research proposals by May 4 to get feedback. This leaves enough time to make any needed changes and resubmit the proposal if needed.

May 8
Wk 16

 Research Proposal due by May 12.
Wrap up
Submit SOTES (extra credit), and post when SOTES has been submitted in discussion board.

May 15

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

Class Assignments

  • Participation (Part 1) 2% x 12 = 24%
    Part 1 of participation grade entails the initial discussion posting on weekly topic:
    Grading Criteria:
    • Demonstrated grasp of principles addressed in the textbook.
    • Well-written posts and clearly articulated
    • Grammatically correct and used APA formatting when appropriate.
    • Postings posted in a timely manner.
  • Participation (Part 2) 1% x 9 = 9%
    Some weeks there is no peer feedback, but other weeks, Part 2 is included for peer feedback. When there is a Part 2, check because some weeks have assigned peer reviews, and some weeks people select the person they wish to review (first come, first serve). The schedule is posted in the Course Content folder.
    Grading Criteria:
    • Feedback demonstrated a firm grasp of principles addressed in the textbook and class lectures.
    • Peer feedback provided substantive/detailed feedback that articulated the original posting successfully addressed the question asked or how it failed to do so.
    • Feedback was well-written, and any suggestions and criticisms were provided in a constructive manner.
    • The writing was grammatically correct, and APA formatting was used correctly when appropriate.
  • CITI  (online course) 5% Successful completion of the CITI certification is required by San Jose State University’s Institutional Review Board for all people working with human subjects. Information about CITI training is provided on the IRB page:  Submit the CITI completion certificate in the provided dropbox. This is a pass/no pass activity.
  • Article Critique (17%)
    For this assignment, each student will be asked to review:  


Roselle, A. (2009). Preparing the underprepared: Current academic library practices in developmental education. College and Research Libraries, 70(2), 142-156.



Griffin, K. L. (2011). Starting from ground zero: Establishing a collection for a new doctoral program. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 33, 223-245.

Write at least a 5-page paper (double spaced, 12-pt font) The five pages does not include the cover page and reference list.
See the video on formatting class assignments.
The paper should  have a brief introduction or overview and then discuss the methods, analysis, and findings, and identify any missing or weak components.
Grading criteria:

- Research question or problem
- Theory, conceptual framework, or model
- Research design or approach followed
- Sample and participant recruitment procedures
- Methods of data analysis
- Procedures for establishing trustworthiness of study
- Any limitations
- Relevant ethical issues
- Research findings
- Identify any weaknesses or missing elements in the research design of the study
- APA formatting

Prerecorded Presentation (10%)
Students can deliver their presentations using Elluminate, Collaborate, or another technology such as PowerPoint with voiceovers, YouTube video, or Jing video to create a prerecorded presentation. The presentation should be 10-12 minutes long. Presentations provide an introduction/overview of the research project and should include information on the research problem, purpose statement, research question(s), theory or conceptual framework, and methods to gather data to answer the research questions. Participants, instruments, and the design for collecting and analyzing data should be addressed briefly. Additional information can be included as time permits.
Grading Criteria:



  • The presenter used the technology selected effectively to provide a presentation that helped clarify the research project being discussed.
  • 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, theory/model/conceptual framework, and research questions.
  • The research process is described clearly and succinctly, and the topic is clearly defined and relevant.
  • The participants, instruments, and design for collecting and analyzing data are clearly identified and briefly described. 
  • Good delivery style (well paced and clear speaking style) 



Proposal (35%)
Write a 20-page research proposal (double spaced using 12pt font) using the template provided in the Course Content folder.  
Grading Criteria:
 The research proposal will be graded on the following:

  • Chapter 1 includes introduction, research problem, purpose statement, and definition of key terms. -- 10 points
  • Chapter 2 includes primary resources including key research studies, theory/conceptual framework, and research questions.  -- 10 points
  • Chapter 3 includes the participants, instruments, and procedures/design for collecting and analyzing data, limitations, ethical considerations, etc. -- 10 points
  • Alignment of research elements in the study, well written, appropriate grammar, use of template, APA formatting --5  points


0.5% SOTES extra credit upon completion of the SOTES course evaluation. 

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

Optional Textbook: 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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