Empirical research methods reported in high-profile LIS journal literature

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This study describes a content analysis aimed at identifying the distribution of empirical research strategies and techniques reported in high-profile LIS journal literature published in 2005. For each article, researchers identified the overall research strategy, the data collection technique, and whether the type of analysis was quantitative or qualitative. The taxonomies used in the analysis were those based on Järvelin and Vakkari's [Järvelin, K., & Vakkari, P. (1990). Content analysis of research articles in library and information science. Library & Information Science Research, 12, 395-422] study in order to compare the results with the earlier findings derived from the 1975 and 1985 literature. The survey approach remains the predominant research strategy in both library science and information science. However, there was a marked increase in experimentation. There were more modest increases in the use of qualitative approaches, except for historical research, which showed a marked decline. This study's findings will inform development of methods courses in doctoral programs, which aim to cover the most commonly used strategies and techniques in contemporary LIS research. Revised taxonomies, which include previously unspecified strategies and techniques such as ethnography and transaction log analysis, are suggested for future content analyses of LIS research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalLibrary & Information Science Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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