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9781856048132
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Research Methods in Information

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The long-awaited 2nd edition of this best-selling research methods handbook is fully updated and includes brand new coverage of online research methods and techniques, mixed methodology and qualitative analysis.
This edition includes two new contributed chapters: Professor Julie McLeod, Sue Childs and Elizabeth Lomas focus on research data management, applying evidence from the recent JISC funded 'DATUM' project; Dr Andrew Shenton examines strategies for analysing existing documents.
The first to focus entirely on the needs of the information and communications community, this handbook guides the would-be researcher through the variety of possibilities open to them under the heading 'research' and provides students with the confidence to embark on their dissertations. The focus here is on the 'doing' and although the philosophy and theory of research is explored to provide context, this is essentially a practical exploration of the whole research process with each chapter fully supported by examples and exercises tried and tested over a whole teaching career.
Readership: Students of information and communications studies and archives and records management, and practitioners beginning a piece of research.

PART 1: STARTING THE RESEARCH PROCESS1. Major research paradigms

  • Introduction
  • Positivist research
  • Postpositivism and mixed methods research (MMR)
  • Interpretivist research
  • Qualitative or quantitative methodology?
  • Qualitative research design
  • Quantitative research design
  • Mixed methods research
  • Criteria for judging research
  • Establishing trustworthiness in qualitative research
  • Establishing rigour in quantitative research
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

2. Reviewing literature

  • Introduction
  • Information searching and retrieval
  • Evaluation
  • Critical analysis
  • Synthesizing the research: developing a theoretical framework
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

3. Defining the research

  • Introduction
  • Designing a conceptual framework
  • The research hypothesis
  • Research aims and objectives
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

4. The research proposal

  • Why write a proposal?
  • Structure of a research proposal
  • The proposal as a research framework
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

5. Sampling

  • Why sample?
  • Population and sample
  • Probability sampling
  • Purposive sampling
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

6. Research Data Management - Julie McLeod, Sue Childs and Elizabeth Lomas

  • Introduction – research data and its management challenges
  • Why is research data management important?
  • The research process, data lifecycles and research data management
  • How do I manage my research data?
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Websites referred to in this chapter
  • Suggested further reading

7. Ethics in research

  • Introduction
  • Gaining access to the field
  • Informed consent
  • Anonymity or confidentiality?
  • Protecting participants
  • Ethics online
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

8. Case studies

  • Introduction
  • Phases in case study research
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

9. Surveys

  • Introduction
  • Descriptive surveys
  • Explanatory surveys
  • The survey process
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

10. Experimental research

  • Introduction
  • The nature of causality
  • The true experiment
  • Quasi-experimental design: the 'effects study'
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

11. Usability testing

  • Introduction
  • Quasi-experimental usability studies
  • Cognitive walkthroughs
  • Heuristic evaluation
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

12. Ethnography

  • Introduction
  • Components of ethnographic study
  • Virtual ethnography – 'netnography'
  • Ethics in ethnography
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

13. Delphi study

  • Introduction
  • The Delphi process
  • Rules of a Delphi study
  • Modifying a Delphi study
  • Delphi studies and new technologies
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

14. Action research

  • Introduction
  • The action research cycle
  • Trustworthiness in action research
  • Action research as reflective practice
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

15. Historical research

  • Introduction
  • The research process
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

16. Grounded theory: method or analysis?

  • Introduction
  • Defining grounded theory
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

PART 3: DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES
17. Interviews

  • Introduction
  • What is the purpose of an interview?
  • The seven stages of the interview process
  • Online interviewing
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

18. Questionnaires

  • Introduction
  • Designing questionnaires
  • Developing questions
  • Scale items
  • Forms of questionnaire
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

19. Observation

  • Introduction
  • The role of the observer
  • Recording what you see; going in with signposts
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

20. Diaries

  • Introduction
  • The purpose of diaries in research
  • Participant diaries
  • The researcher's log
  • Structure and recording
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

21. Focus groups

  • Introduction
  • Purpose of a focus group
  • Organizing a focus group
  • Online focus groups
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

22. Analysis of existing, externally created material - Andrew K. Shenton

  • Introduction
  • The different supporting roles of documents
  • LIS research principally based on documents
  • Citation analysis
  • Logs associated with computer software and the use of ICT
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

PART 4: DATA ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH PRESENTATION23. Qualitative analysis

  • Introduction
  • Phenomenological strategies
  • Ethnographic methods
  • Narrative and discourse analysis
  • Constant comparative analysis
  • Memo writing
  • Presenting qualitative findings
  • Software for qualitative analysis
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

24. Quantitative analysis

  • Introduction
  • Levels of measurement
  • Frequency distribution
  • Cross-tabulation
  • Measures of central tendency
  • Measures of dispersion
  • Correlation
  • Displaying data
  • Testing for statistical significance
  • Software for quantitative analysis
  • Summary
  • Practical exercise
  • Suggested further reading

25. Presenting the research

  • Introduction
  • Planning the final report
  • Form and structure
  • Summary
  • Suggested further reading

PART 5: GLOSSARY AND REFERENCES

  • Glossary of research terms
  • References

Dr Alison Jane Pickard is Head of Information and Communication Management and Director of Quality and Student Experience in the School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Northumbria, where she is also Programme Leader for the new Professional Doctorate in Information Sciences. She teaches Research Methods in Information and Communication Management, Information Sciences, as well as other subject areas, and has project managed a number of JISC and AHRB research projects.

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