Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Topic: Historical Research Methods
Fall 2016 Syllabus
Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 24th, 6 am PDT unless you are taking an intensive or a one unit or two unit class that starts on a different day. In that case the class will open on the first day that the class meets.
You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.
This class will begin on Monday, August 29. Weekly sessions run from Monday through Sunday. All assignments are due on Sunday by 5 p.m.
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.
This section of research methods will introduce students to the theory and methods of historical research and writing. It explores the ways in which historians frame research questions, assess current literature on historical topics, locate and critically use primary and secondary sources, and formulate viable and worthwhile research projects. Emphasis will be placed on the research tools historians use and the role information professionals play in their development, dissemination, and use.
LIBR 285 Waiver Reminder
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 iSchool's Graduate Advisor to waive the LIBR 285 requirement. A waiver, if granted, does not reduce the total units required for the MLIS degree.
The assignments for this course are as follows:
- Discussions. 20 points (10 discussions, 2 points each)
Participate in a series of discussions pertaining to historical research and history information sources. (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, & 4)
- IRB Certification. 5 points
- Complete the National Institute of Health’s online workshop titled: "Protecting Human Research Participants." The course can be located at: http://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php (Learning Outcome 4)
- Reference Sources Annotated Bibliography. 15 points
Prepare an annotated bibliography of 10 reference sources that provide historical background and context for your research topic. (Learning Outcome 2)
- Historiography Essay. 20 points
Locate and review 15 scholarly historical studies that interpret some aspect of your research topic. The studies reviewed should be a combination of scholarly monographs and refereed journal articles. (Learning Outcomes 1 & 3)
- Primary Sources Survey. 15 points
Locate and describe the manuscript and record collections that you will use as the foundation of your research project. (Learning Outcomes 1 & 2)
- Research Proposal. 25 points
Write a formal research proposal for a master’s thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. The proposal will be based on earlier assignments and will include an overview of the topic and its significance, a literature review, a discussion of methodology and primary sources, and an outline of proposed chapters. (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, & 4)
Required Style Manual
Historical research requires you to effectively communicate your research findings and evaluate the writings of others. An important aspect of this scholarly communication is understanding and using the standard citation formats for historical works. Because of historians' continued use of footnotes and the extensive information they provide in their references, history publishers most often use The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) for written publications. If you are serious about historical writing and publishing, I encourage you to invest in a copy of the MOS and become familiar with its rules. The online verision is convenient and easy to use:
Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th edition) is a derivative of Chicago MOS and an acceptable substitute for this class.
All assignments must be turned at 5 p.m. on the day they are due. Late submissions will be reduced by 20% of the total points possible for that assignment. No late discussion posts will be accepted.
Grading and Due Dates
|Reference Sources Bibliography||15 points||September 25|
|Historiography Essay||20 points||October 16|
|Primary Sources Survey||15 points||November 6|
|IRB Workshop||5 points||November 20|
|Research Proposal||25 points||December 11|
Reminder: Weekly class sessions run from Monday through Sunday. All assignments are due on Sunday by 5 pm.
|Aug. 29 - Sept. 4||Introduction
What is history
Why is history important
Historical work in the information professions
|Discussion 1 (Aug. 28 - Sept. 4)|
|2||Sept. 5 - Sept. 11||Historical Writing
Current trends/schools in historiography
Approaches to historical writing
Historians and their sources
|Discussion 2 (Sept. 5 - Sept. 11)|
|3||Sept. 12 - Sept. 25||History Reference Sources
Current and retrospective reference sources
How historians use reference sources
How historians evaluate reference sources
|Discussion 3 (Sept. 12 - Sept. 25)
Reference Sources Bibliography Due: Sunday, September 25, by 5 p.m.
|4||Sept. 26 - Oct. 16||Historical Monographs and Secondary Sources
Locating history books and articles
Learning the historiography of a research topic
Evaluating historical writings
Writing an historiography essay
|Discussion 4 (Sept. 26 - Oct. 2)
Discussion 5 (Oct. 3 - Oct. 16)
Historiography Essay Due: Sunday, October 16, by 5 p.m.
|5||Oct. 17 - Nov. 6||Manuscripts, Records, and Other Primary Sources
Types of primary sources
How to find archival collections
Working with primary sources
Note taking in the historical process
|Discussion 6 (Oct. 17 - Oct. 23)
Discussion 7 (Oct. 24 - Nov. 6)
Primary Sources Survey Due: Sunday, November 6, by 5 p.m.
|6||Nov. 7 - Nov. 20||Developing a Research Proposal
Components of a history research proposal
Historical writing conventions and documentation
Ethical issues in historical research and writing
Discussion 8 (Nov. 7 - Nov. 20)
IRB Workshop Due: Sunday, Nov. 20, by 5 p.m.
|7||Nov. 21 - Dec. 4||History on the Web
Types of historical web sites
Using the internet in historical research
Evaluating digitized collections
Discussion 9 (Nov. 21 - Dec. 4)
|8||Dec. 5 - Dec. 11||Final Proposal Q & A||Discussion 10 (Dec. 5 - Dec. 11)
Research Proposal Due: Sunday, December 11, by 5 p.m.
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.
INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204.
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, 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.
Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)
INFO 285 supports the following core competencies:
- L Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the ability to design a research project, and the ability to evaluate and synthesize research literature.
- Presnell, J. (2012). The information-literate historian (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Available through Amazon: 0199926042
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|
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 or Informatics) — 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 if you wish to stay in the program. 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).
Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: https://www.sjsu.edu/curriculum/courses/syllabus-info.php. Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.
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