Evidence-based practice and qualitative research: A primer for library and information professionals

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Abstract

Conclusions ' LIS professionals are encouraged to: 1) select research methods ' including qualitative approaches ' that best suit LIS questions; 2) design collaborative projects that combine quantitative and qualitative approaches, that will address research questions in a more complete way; 3) consider qualitative measures of rigor in assessing quality ' rather than imposing quantitative expectations; and 4) revise existing models of 'evidence' to recognize the value and rigor of qualitative research projects. Objective: This paper discusses the importance of qualitative research in evidence'based library and information practice (EBLIP), with a focus on practical tips for evaluating and implementing effective qualitative research projectsObjectives ' This paper discusses the importance of qualitative research in evidence'based library and information practice (EBLIP), with a focus on practical tips for evaluating and implementing effective qualitative research projects. Methods ' The paper provides a brief introduction to the nature of qualitative inquiry and its status within current models of evidence assessment. Three problems of excluding qualitative research from the evidence'base in library and information studies (LIS) are identified: 1) ignoring the social sciences and humanities traditions that inform research in the field; 2) privileging of quantitative and experimental methods over others in evidence assessment; and, 3) focusing attention away from the best evidence for LIS research problems. Results ' Qualitative approaches commonly used in library and information contexts are discussed, along with strategies for assessing quality in this work and some of the common ethics'related issues that researchers and professionals must consider.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalEvidence Based Library and Information Practice
Volume2
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

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