Methods of assessing individual and organizational information needs, with emphasis on quantitative social science research techniques. Includes evaluative methods as an essential component of planning; critiques of published research; computer laboratory sessions for statistical data analysis.
Students will gain a knowledge and understanding of the concepts and terminology of empirical methods used in social science research within the library and information science field. Qualitative research methods are included in this course as they are appropriate for certain research investigations. Selection of a particular research method will be determined based on the problem under investigation and its underlying assumptions.
For quantitative methods, emphasis throughout the course will be on theory development with attention to concept formation and confirmation in a research program. Planning, design, and sampling will be covered for various research methods covered in the course. Selected experimental designs, survey research methods, and qualitative methods will be covered as they relate to problems in library and information science research.
Students are expected to gain an introductory knowledge of topics in descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and qualitative research methods. Computer packages will be used to facilitate data analyses. Computer laboratory sessions will be held as an essential component of this course. Application of concepts learned will be demonstrated in papers and an examination.