LIBR 285-06
LIBR 285-18
Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Fall 2013 Greensheet

Dr. Joanna F. Fountain
Phone: (512) 927-1341
Office Location: Virtual
Office Hours: Via email or phone, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (CST); Sat.-Sun. limited hours. Students may expect replies to emails within 48 hours.

Greensheet Links

D2L Login and Tutorials

D2L Information: This course will be available beginning Wednesday, August 21st. You will be enrolled into the site automatically. A Collaborate session will be held on Sunday, September 1st, at 5:00 pm Pacific Time; if you cannot attend in person (synchronously), you may attend asynchronously (i.e., later) by listening to the recording and following the chat, if you advise Dr. Fountain ahead of time. The session will consist of an overview of the course, and you will have an opportunity to ask questions. If you do not attend synchronously, and you will be sent a question to answer as evidence that you have attended. Ongoing discussion in the various forums will also afford opportunities to ask questions and make reflective comments.

Course Description

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 this general research methods class, which examines a variety of research methodologies, SLIS offers a number of applied or specialized sections of LIBR 285 - of which this is one - from which students may choose.

This section features a overview of widely used methodologies for needs assessments, followed by the application of one or more of these in assessing the needs of a library selected by the student, evaluation of grant resources useful in identifying potential grantors for an identified need, and submission of a grant application or proposal draft for review, prior to actual submission to a grantmaker.

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.

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.

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



Assignments and links will be posted on the course site. Students may optionally purchase any of the books in which the readings appear, and are also encouraged to borrow the books from local libraries when they are available (including interlibrary loan). Copies of required readings are also available in Course Reserves in King Library, and some may be available for purchase or on loan as e-books (with varying ISBNs).

In the following list, those from which required readings or viewings have been taken are in bold type:

  • Banerji, Debashish. "Introduction to Research Methodology" [video] at:
  • Connaway, Lynn Silipigni and Ronald R. Powell. Basic Research Methods for Librarians, 5th ed. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-59158-865-8 (pbk.)
  • Hall-Ellis, Sylvia D., et al. Librarian's Handbook for Seeking, Writing, and Managing Grants. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-59158-872-6 (e-book)
  • MacKellar, Pamela H. and Stephanie K. Gerding. Winning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians with Multimedia Tutorials and Grant Development Tools. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-55570-700-2 (pbk.)
  • Patten, Mildred L. Questionnaire Research: A Practical Guide, 3rd ed. Glendale, Calif.: Pyrczak, 2011. ISBN: 1-884585-94-9 (pbk.)
  • Patten, Mildred L. Understanding Research Methods: An Overview of the Essentials, 8th ed. Glendale, Calif.: Pyrczak, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-936523-00-9 (pbk.)
  • Pyrczak, Fred. Evaluating Research in Academic Journals, 4th ed. Glendale, Calif.: Pyrczak, 2008. ISBN: 1-884585-78-7 (pbk.)
  • Wallace, Danny P. and Connie Van Fleet. Knowledge into Action: Research and Evaluation in Library and Information Science. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-59884-975-2 (pbk.)
  • Other readings, as assigned and posted

Written assignments
Completion of reading and video-viewing assignments must precede work on related written assignments. Further evidence of completion is based on the content of reflective comments in the related discussion forums and appropriate application in the written assignments.

Instructions for individual assignments will be posted on the course site. Students' performance will be evaluated on the basis of appropriate application of the related readings, following the posted instructions posted, and on-time submission of the following written assignments. The assignments are listed by due date, with the percentage of the final grade indicated, along with the related Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for each:

  • Aug. 21-26 (Wed.-Mon.): Participate in Introductions forum - SLOs #1-4
  • Aug. 26 (Mon.): Submit "Student Information Form" - SLOs #1-4
  • By Sept. 5 (Thurs.) and Dec. 9: Post reflective comments on the Patten "Topics," the LIBR 285 "Introduction" handout, and the Banerji video. Participate actively in the various ongoing class discussion forums throughout the term (to Dec 9) (10% - graded at the end of the term) – SLOs #1-4
  • Sept. 6 (Fri.), at 5 pm (Pacific Time): Attend Collaborate session - SLOs #1-4
  • Due Sept. 10 (Tues.): Completion of IRB training (NIH online workshop). (5%) – SLO #1
  • Due Sept. 15 (Sun.) and Sept. 22 (Sun.): Critiques of two published research studies: #1 (Survey) due 9/15; #2 (Experimental) due 9/22. (10% each) – SLO #1, SLO #3
  • Due Sept. 29 (Sun.) and Oct. 13 (Sun.): Plan for needs assessment (due 9/29), and Needs assessment report (due 10/13). (20%) – SLOs #1-4
  • Due Oct. 18 (Fri.): Submit "Grant-Focus Approval Form" - SLOs #3-4
  • Due Nov. 3 (Sun.): Submit critique of four pertinent grant resource lists. (20%) – SLO #4
  • Due Nov. 24 (Sun.): Completed draft of the approved grant application or proposal (25%) – SLOs #3-4
  • Ongoing Aug. 21-Dec. 9 (Mon.): Active participation in the various class discussion forums throughout the course is graded at the end of the term - SLOs #1-4
  • There is no final examination in this class.

Course schedule
In the event of the need to change any of the due dates above, students will be notified with as much lead time as possible. In no case, however, will earlier dates be posted, although assignments may be submitted before their due dates. Students are responsible for reading any messages and following any posted revisions.


  • The weights of individual assignments are shown above.
  • Work will be accepted up to one day late (24 hrs.) with a 5-point penalty. If a student requests approval to revise and resubmit graded work that has earned a grade below 90, the grade of the original submission will be averaged with that of the resubmission unless the latter is lower - in which case the original grade will stand.


Other Relevant Information
This course combines an overview of widely used research methods in the field of library and information science, and focuses on the use of surveys and interviews for assessing the needs of a particular library or information-providing organization. Written assignments review existing, relevant literature, a needs-assessment of the selected library, a survey of published resources for finding a grant with an indication of the selected grantor, and the submission of a grant application or proposal ready to submit to the selected grantmaker.

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.


No Textbooks For This Course.

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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