LIBR 507 (3) Methods of Research and Evaluation in Information Organizations *

[Cannot be taken by students who have already completed the MLIS Core]


MLIS and Dual students: LIBR 508, LIBR 509

Core courses in the MLIS program can only be taken by students registered in the MLIS program.

GOAL: Research is a core component of the information professions, and essential to good information practice. Information professionals not only aid others in carrying out research, but also rely on the research literature to improve their own evidence-based practice, and knowledgably employ research methods in assessing and evaluating programs and services provided by the information organization to its users.

The goal of this course, therefore, is to ground students in the theory and practice of social science research methods, and to show how these methods can be usefully employed in addressing important issues within information organizations. The course provides a framework for problem solving that can be used to achieve solutions in everyday practice to challenges of many kinds in a variety of organizational environments. Emphasis is on the techniques and knowledge required to carry out research for creation, assessment and evaluation of programs and services, and also on acquiring skill in critically engaging with relevant research literature.


Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Identify, analyze, and assess the information needs of diverse individuals, communities and organizations, and consider how to respond to those needs through the design, provision and assessment of information resources, services and systems; [1.1]*
  • Critically assess, and employ the results of published and unpublished research studies. [4.1]*
  • Contribute to the advancement of the field through evidence-based practice. [5.3]*
  • Reflect in a critical and informed manner on the role that research plays in the information professions, as well as in society more generally. [1.4]*
  • Effectively communicate the results of research to the profession and to the community at large [2.1]*
  • Design a detailed research plan including: assessment of existing literature, problem identification and selection, clear statement of research questions, choice of sampling method. [4.1]*
  • Carry out research using appropriate research methodologies and methods relevant to the identified research problem. [4.2]*
  • Recognize and respond in an appropriate manner to ethical issues relevant to the research process. [5.1]*

* Course objectives are stated in terms of student learning outcomes and reference the iSchool Statement on Graduate Competencies.


  • Role of research in the information professions
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Design thinking and the applied research design process
  • Critical evaluation of published research
  • Valid and Reliable research
  • Quantitative and qualitative research strategies
  • Questionnaire design
  • Observation methods
  • Interviewing
  • Content analysis
  • Focus groups
  • Data analysis
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