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Library Science Research: One Administrator’s Overview. Workshop & Conversation 18 January 2010 Srinakharinwirot University Bangkok, Thailand Lynn Scott Cochrane, MSLS, PhD Director of Libraries Denison University Granville, Ohio, USA cochrane@denison.edu. Education.

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Library Science Research: One Administrator’s Overview

Workshop & Conversation

18 January 2010

Srinakharinwirot University

Bangkok, Thailand

Lynn Scott Cochrane, MSLS, PhD

Director of Libraries

Denison University

Granville, Ohio, USA

cochrane@denison.edu


Education l.jpg
Education

B.A. in American History

University of North Carolina @ Charlotte

1969

Charlotte, North Carolina


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Education

M.S.L.S.

Catholic University of America

1980

Washington, DC


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Education

Ph.D. in Public Administration

Virginia Polytechnic Institute &

State University

1998

Blacksburg, Virginia


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Where I’ve Lived & Worked

  • North Carolina

    Born and raised

  • South Carolina

    Taught high school

  • Pennsylvania

    Penn State U. Library

  • Wisconsin

    UWGB Library

  • Virginia

    VCU, Va Tech, & Marymount libraries

  • Ohio

    Denison Library


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Blogs for My Visits to Thailand

2007 Fulbright Grant

http://scottiethailand.blogspot.com/

2010 Study Visit

http://thailand-2009-cochrane-middleman.blogspot.com/


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Definitions of Research:As a Noun

  • The act of searching (closely or carefully) for or after a specified thing or person.

  • A search or investigation directed to the discovery of some fact by careful consideration or study of a subject; a course of critical or scientific inquiry. (emphasis added)

    Oxford English Dictionary


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Definitions of Research:As a Verb

  • To search into (a matter or subject); to investigate or study closely. Also, to engage in research upon (a subject, a person, etc.).

  • To make researches; to pursue a course of research.

    Oxford English Dictionary


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The Scientific Mind in Any Discipline

“The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as ask the right questions.”

Claude Levi-Strauss

The Raw and the Cooked

1969

French “Father of Modern Anthropology” (1908-2009)


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Library Science: Theory vs Practice

  • 19th Century foundations of the field are based in practica & internships - the practice of managing libraries

  • Degree programs are short, professional in nature, and emphasize practice over theory or research.


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Do You Remember S.R. Ranganathan?

Five Laws of L.S. 1931

  • Books are for use.

  • Every reader his [or her] book.

  • Every book its reader.

  • Save the time of the User.

  • The library is a growing organism.

    Notice the nature of the “laws.”

    They fit a professional program.


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Library Science: An Applied Discipline

Library science (or Library and Information

science) is an interdisciplinary field that applies

the practices, perspectives, and tools of

management, information technology,

education, and other areas to libraries; the

collection, organization, preservation, and

dissemination of information resources; and the

political economy of information.

Wikipedia


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Library Science Research:The Goal is USEFUL Q & A

  • Ask Important, Practical, Useful Questions.

  • Seek answers to those questions.

  • Share the results.

  • Replicate this and other research that was well-done AND useful.


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Characteristics of Good Research

  • Ask an Important Question

    • Will the results of my research project make a difference to users (MOST important), to my library, to the librarianship?

    • Will it create new knowledge?

  • Rigor

    • Was data collected and analyzed in a methodical, well-documented way appropriate to the question and the data?

    • Can the study be replicated easily?


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Characteristics of Good Research

  • The Results Must Show

    • Purpose of the research

    • Methods used

    • Significant outcomes and their importance

    • Next steps

  • Brings Respect to the ResearcherBrings respect for the researcher and her institution


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Use Existing Sources of L.S. Research

American Library Association

  • Statistics and research reports http://www.ala.org/ala/research/index.cfm

  • The Condition of U.S. Libraries: Trends 1999-2009http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2009/2009-09.pdf


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Use Existing Sources of L.S. Research

OCLC Research Reports

  • Research Assessment and the Role of the Library (.pdf: 267K/13pp.)http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2010/2010-01.pdf

  • A Comparative Review of Research Assessment Regimes in Five Countries and the Role of Libraries in the Research Assessment Processhttp://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2009/2009-09.pdf


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Sources of Hot Topics for L.S. Research

  • Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), Chicago, IL, USA

  • ACRL 2009 Strategic Thinking Guide for Academic Librarians in the New Economy 2009http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/value/acrlguide09.pdf


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Sources of Hot Topics for L.S. Research

ACRL 2009 Strategic Topics

  • How can libraries creatively redesign functions and services to realize cost savings and support student success and faculty productivity?

  • Determining the library’s impact on student success?

  • Impact of cloud computing on library & information resources?


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Sources of Hot Topics for L.S. Research

Value of Academic Libraries

  • Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries to Institutional Goals

  • ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Comprehensive Research Review and Report, due in June, 2010http://www.acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/ACRL_RFP_Value.pdf


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Sources of Hot Topics for L.S. Research

  • ACRL Value of Academic Libraries document will measure surrogates to demonstrate the value of libraries.

    • Library’s influence on student enrollment

    • Library’s influence on student retention

    • Library’s influence on the academic quality of students?

    • Library’s influence on student attitudes?

    • Library’s influence on the output of researchers?


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Classification Scheme for L.S. Research

ALISE

(Association for Library and Information Science Education)

http://web.memberclicks.com/mc/page.do?sitePageId=55727

Lists 100+ topics for L.S. research


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Administer a National Survey at Your University: LibQUAL+

  • LibQUAL+User satisfaction survey first created at Texas A&M University for business & marketing purposes. http://www.libqual.org/homerecent dissertation on LibQUAL+https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/14570/Kyrillidou_Martha.pdf?sequence=3

  • At Denison the results told us that users want more full-text digital resources!


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Administer a National Survey at Your University: NSSE

  • NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement)http://nsse.iub.edu/

  • Shows how undergraduates spend their time & what they gain from college.

  • Survey items … represent empirically confirmed ‘good practices’ in undergraduate education.

  • Reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of college


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NSSE Supplemental Questions about Information Literacy

  • NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement)http://nsse.iub.edu/

  • 2008 supplemental questions on information literacy used by Denison and 20 similar colleges/universities

  • We are studying the results now.

  • I will co-author an article on the survey in 2010.


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NSSE Supplemental Questions about Information Literacy

Questions Used with First-Year Students and Seniors, Then Mean Scores Compared:

  • In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have you done each of the following?1=Never, 2=Sometimes, 3=Often, 4=Very Often

    • Asked a librarian for help (in-person, e-mail, chat, etc.)

    • Gone to a campus library to do research

    • Used your institution’s web-based library resources in completing class assignments

  • Which of the following have you done or do you plan to do before you graduate from your institution?0=Have not decided, Do not plan to do, Plan to do, 1=Done

    • Participate in an instructional session led by a librarian or other library staff member

    • Participate in an online library tutorial


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NSSE Supplemental Questions about Information Literacy

Questions Used with First-Year Students and Seniors, Then Mean Scores Compared:

3. To what extent does your institution emphasize each of the following?1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much

  • Developing critical thinking and analytical abilities.

  • Developing the ability to obtain and effectively use information for problem-solving

  • Developing the ability to evaluate the quality of information available from various media sources (TV, radio, newspapers,magazines,etc.)

    4. To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas?1=Very little, 2=Somewhat, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much

  • Evaluating the quality of information

  • Ethical use of information sources in academic work (proper citation use, not plagiarizing, etc.)


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NSSE Supplemental Questions about Information Literacy

  • For every question, Seniors showed improvement over First Year Students.

  • Differences were small.

  • May not be statistically significant.

  • Working on the data now.

  • Stay tuned for a brief article in College & Research Libraries News later in 2010.


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OR, Use Data from Another National Survey

  • First Year Information Literacy in the Liberal Arts Assessment (FYILLAA)

  • http://apps.carleton.edu/campus/library/about/infolit/fyillaa/


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Ready to Start Your Research?

Steps in the Research Process

  • Define the Question

  • Literature Review

  • Problem Statement

  • Research Design

  • Metholology/Data Collection

  • Data Analysis

  • Reporting Your Results


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What is Your Research Question?

  • Create a clear statement of your research question in one sentence.

  • Browse the literature to revise/refine the question.

  • Find a smart partner/editor/reader to give you HONEST feedback with each iteration of the question statement.

  • Questions may come from your own experience

  • Questions may come from a gap you see in the existing L.S. literature


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Literature Review

  • Be sure your question has not already been answered.

  • Build on the research that has gone before.

  • Do not re-invent the wheel.

  • Use existing data/research to examine your question, if possible.

  • Thai concept of R2R (Routine to Research) from Mahidol University

  • Consider replicating earlier research in a new context/environment.


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Problem Statement

  • Make research question explicit

  • How is it original?

  • Justify the value of answering the question

  • Refine the question several times. Ask yourself: is it too broad, too narrow, will the answer be useful, will it contribute the new knowledge?


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Research Design

  • Study methods should flow from the nature and scope of the question

  • Methods can be tightly structures & fixed,

    OR

  • Methods can be exploratory and flexible to evolve with implementation

  • Data collection flows from the methods

  • Data analysis must help you focus on answering your question


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Research Design - Examples

  • Case Studies

  • Naturalistic Research

  • Longitudinal Studies

  • Delphi Studies

  • Experimental Studies

  • Quasi-experimental Studies

  • Studying Special Populations


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Data Collection Methods - Examples

  • Historical Studies

  • Transaction Logs

  • Direct Observation

  • Participant Observation

  • Research Diaries

  • Unstructured Interviews

  • Structured Interviews

  • Focus Groups

  • Surveys

  • Statistical Data Comparison


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Data Analysis Methods - Examples

  • Content Analysis

  • Qualitative Analysis

  • Discourse Analysis

  • Analytic Induction

  • Descriptive Statistics

  • Frequencies, Cross-tabs, & Chi-Square

  • Sequential Analysis

  • Correlation

  • Comparing Means: t tests and analysis of Variance

  • Use more than one method, if possible.


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Reporting Your Results

  • At the beginning tell readers the answer to the research question. They can choose to continue or not.

  • Write in a clear, concise style.

  • Use simple language.

  • Report lessons learned.

  • Repeat why this is important.

  • How can this new knowledge be used?

  • Next steps.


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An Important, New Text on L.S. Research Methods

Wildemuth, Barbara M.

Applications of Social Research Methods to Questions in Information and Library Science. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2009.

I recommend you share the work of translating this new book into Thai.


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Break Time!

YIPPEE!


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Sample TOC:U.S. L. S. Journals

College and Research Libraries

http://crl.acrl.org/content/current


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Sample TOC:U.S. L. S. Journals

College and Undergraduate Libraries

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g912886908


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Sample TOC:U.S. L. S. Journals

Journal of Academic Librarianship

http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/results?vid=2&hid=113&sid=259f4bca-b867-4ee1-b4e6-9379f5fdf477%40sessionmgr113&bquery=(JN+%22Journal+of+Academic+Librarianship%22+and+DT+20091101)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTAmc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZl


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Sample TOC:U.S. L. S. Journals

Reference and User Services Quarterly

http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/results?vid=2&hid=113&sid=c05cc434-97e9-49c8-ad8c-b4ad0019cf6f%40sessionmgr112&bquery=(JN+%22Reference+%26+User+Services+Quarterly%22+and+DT+20091201)&bdata=JmRiPWE5aCZ0eXBlPTAmc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZl


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Sample TOC:U.S. L. S. Journals

Library Resources and Technical Services

http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/results?vid=2&hid=113&sid=cf7c57e8-8be8-4109-8948-3595e94540dd%40sessionmgr111&bquery=(JN+%22Library+Resources+%26+Technical+Services%22+and+DT+20100101)&bdata=JmRiPWE5aCZ0eXBlPTAmc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZl


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Sample Articles This Reviewer Rejected

  • “Making It To The Hall of Fame: An Analysis of ACRL's  Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award”

  • “Feature Films Go to College: A Survey of Popular Cinema in the Academic Library“

  • "Community College Library Promotion to Distance Learners: Librarians' Perceptions“


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Sample Articles This Reviewer Rejected

  • "Evaluation Index on Resource Sharing Services in Korean University Libraries Based on SCM Concept“

  • "Library School Programs and the Successful Training of Academic Librarians to Meet Promotion & Tenure Requirements in the Academy“

  • "Distance Education and the Role of Library Services in Iran:  a Case Study of Shiraz University Distance Learners"


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Advice for Today

If you want or need to do research:

  • Remember, Library Science is an applied, professional discipline.

  • Find a partner, preferably outside Library Science.

  • Make it useful in the near future to your library and other libraries.

  • Do NOT try to compete with serious faculty researchers.


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A Biologist Once Told Me

“Never stop reading while you write,

Never stop writing while you read.”

Dr. Jacqueline Black

Marymount University

Arlington, VA


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KISS:Keep It Simple Stupid

(a campaign slogan from Bill Clinton!)

OR

Work as part of national surveys/instruments dealing with education, information technology, or public services