LIBR 285-05
LIBR 285-18
Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Spring 2013 Greensheet

Dr. Johanna Tunon
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
LIBR 285 Resources
Semester dates

D2L Information: Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L site for this course. The course will be automatically available to students on January 23, 2013.

LIBR 285. Research Methods in Library and Information Science — Reference Services

This course covers 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 evaluating, planning, designing, executing, and applying research. In addition to a general research methods class, which examines a variety of research methodologies, SLIS offers a number of applied or specialized sections of LIBR 285 for students to choose from.

LIBR 285 is required for all students who entered the MLIS program from Spring 2007. Effective for students who enter the program in Fall 2010 LIBR 285 must be taken within the first 24 units.

Effective Fall 2011 repeatable with different content up to 6 units.

Waiver of LIBR 285: See Waiver option for those who completed a graduate-level methods course AND completed a thesis or dissertation as part of a previous graduate degree.

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 23 - May 13
  • Spring recess - week of March 25th

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
Complete quiz for Chapter 1
Post introductions
P1: Discussion (Due Jan. 29)

Jan. 29
Wk 2

Review of the Literature
Read Chapter 2 and view course materials for the week.
Complete quiz for Chapter 2
P2: Discussion (Due Feb. 5)

Feb. 5
Wk 3

Theories, Models, and Conceptual Frameworks
Read Chapter 3 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
Complete quiz for Chapter 3
P3: Discussion (Due Feb. 12)

Feb. 12
Wk 4

Selecting a Topic
Read Chapter 4 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
Complete quiz for Chapter 4
P4: Discussion (Due Feb 19)

Feb. 19
Wk 5 Problem Statement
Read Chapter 5 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
Complete quiz for Chapter 5
P5: Discussion (Part 1: Due Feb. 26)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Mar. 1)
Feb. 26
Wk 6

Ethical Considerations
Read Chapter 6 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
Complete quiz for Chapter 6
P6: Discussion (Part 1: Due by Mar. 5)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Mar. 8)
Assignment -- Complete CITI Training
Also see SJSU's IRB (Institutional Review Board) page-- IRB training section:

Mar. 5
Wk 7 The Purpose Statement 
Read Chapter 7 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
Complete quiz for Chapter 7
P7: Discussion (Part 1: Due by Mar. 12)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Mar. 15)
Mar. 12
Wk 8 Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Operationalized Definitions
Read Chapter 8 - Creswell and view course materials for the week
Complete quiz for Chapter 8
P8: Discussion (Part 1: Due by Mar. 19)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Mar. 22)
Mar. 19
Wk 9/
Wk 10

Read Chapters 9 & 10- Creswell and view course materials for the week
Complete quiz for Chapter 9
P9: Discussion (Part 1: Due by Apr. 2)
      Peer feedback provided for assigned student (Part 2: Due Apr. 5)

If you have not done so already, individual phone consultations or Collaborate sessions by appointment to discussion research proposals can started to be scheduled.

Apr. 2

(Spring break - Week of March 25th)
Wk 11

View course materials for the week
Complete quiz for Chapter 10
P11: Discussion -- (Part 1: Due by Apr. 9)
        Peer feedback -- see instructions (Part 2: Due by April 12)
Prerecorded presentations due by Apr. 9 

Apr. 9
Wk 12

Analysis Used in Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods
View course materials for the week.
P12: Discussion  (Part 1: Due by Apr. 16)
        Peer feedback -- choose the method you want to review.
                             First come, first serve.  (Part 2: Due Apr. 19)
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. 16
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. 23)
       Peer feedback for someone posting in your discussion forum (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods). First come, first serve. (Part 2: Due by Apr. 26)

Consultations on proposal designs need to be completed before Week 14.

Apr. 23
Wk 14

P14: Discussion: APA formatting of reference citations  (Due by Apr. 30)

Apr. 30
Wk 15

Work on proposal

May 7
Wk 16

 Research Proposal due by May 11.
Wrap up
Submit SOTES (extra credit), and post when SOTES has been submitted in discussion board.

May 13

** Dates on the schedule are subject to change with fair notice. Contact the instructor if any last minute changes present problems. Reasonable accommodations can be made upon request.

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.
    • Student Learning Outcomes addressed: SLO #1, SLO #2, SLO #3, SLO #4
  • 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.
    • Student Learning Outcome addressed: SLO #4
  • Quizzes (10%)
    The ten quizzes are based on the ten chapters in the Creswell textbook as well as my supplemental video lectures. The quizzes are open book, untimed, and unproctored, but you only have one attempt to take each quiz.
  • Prerecorded Presentation (15%)
    Since the Creswell textbook does not specifically address some research methods used for library science studies, choose a research methodology that might be used for library-related research on reference services or library instruction. 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 10-15 minutes long. The file or link should be provided in a Word document and submitted in the appropriate dropbox. The presentations will be posted in the provided discussion forum. However, since there may be some duplication of research methods, the presentations will not be posted until after the due date for the assignment.
    • Grading Criteria:
      • The presenter used the technology selected effectively to provide a presentation that helped clarify the research method 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 merits of the selected research method for reference services or library instruction.
      • The strengths and liabilities of the research method were identified and discussed.
      • Appropriate scholarly sources were used and cited at the end of the presentation.
      • Good communications (proper grammar and spelling) and delivery (well paced and clear speaking style).
    • Student Learning Outcomes addressed: SLO #3
  • Individual Consultation on Research Design (2%)
    Schedule a phone or Collaborate consultation with the instructor to discuss your design for the research proposal. These can be scheduled any time before Week 15. The consultation is a pass/no pass activity.
  • 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:
      • The proposal is well-structured and organized with a title page and chapter and section headings use APA formatting.
      • One or more research questions are posed.
      • The problem and purpose statements are clearly identified in Chapter 1 introduction, and they are aligned with the theory, research questions, and methods for collecting data to answer the questions.
      • Terms are defined, and a theory or conceptual framework is identified as the foundation for the research question(s) asked.
      • St least ten (10) current, pertinent, scholarly resources are used. Some of these sources need to be primary studies that address empirical research findings. APA (6th ed.) is used for text and reference citations.
      • Chapter 3 identifies the participants, instruments, and procedures/design, limitations, ethical considerations, etc
      • A research methodology is identified and applied, and methods for collecting and analyzing the data are clearly aligned to the research question(s).
      • The summary in Chapter 3 reiterates the problem and purpose of the study and has a strong concluding paragraph.
      • The author’s voice is clear and consistent, and sentence structure flows well.
      • The author’s language reflects a solid grasp and application of the research process, and the research proposal contains correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
      • APA citation style (6th ed.) is applied consistently and correctly throughout the proposal.
    • LIBR 285 supports the following core competency: 
      • L -  Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods and of the evaluation and synthesis of research literature.
    • LIBR 285 Student Learning Outcomes addressed: SLO #1, SLO #2, SLO #3, SLO #4
  • 0.5% SOTES extra credit upon completion of the SOTES course evaluation. 

Course Grading
All work is due by the date listed. All discussions are due by the date assigned or there will be a 10% penalty. If you are unable to complete major assignments by the assigned date, there is a two-day grace period with no questions asked, or you need to email me to get permission to make alternative arrangements. After the grace period, there will be a 10% penalty for major assignments unless you have contacted me and have written permission for alternative arrangements. See the university policy for the criteria to earn an incomplete. No work will be accepted after the last day of class unless written arrangements have been made and approved to qualify 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.

Optional Textbook

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

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200, LIBR 202, LIBR 204

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the difference between primary and secondary research.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting research.
  3. Articulate the research method(s) covered in the course, appropriately apply them, and understand their strengths and liabilities.
  4. Understand appropriate data collection/analysis tools, and ethical concerns related to research.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 285 supports the following core competencies:

  1. L Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods and of the evaluation and synthesis of research literature.


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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