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Research Methodology 101 Yes! You CAN Do a Research Study in Your Library A presentation by Kate Manuel, Instruction Coordinator and Susan E. Beck, Collection.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Methodology 101 Yes! You CAN Do a Research Study in Your Library A presentation by Kate Manuel, Instruction Coordinator and Susan E. Beck, Collection."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Research Methodology 101 Yes! You CAN Do a Research Study in Your Library A presentation by Kate Manuel, Instruction Coordinator and Susan E. Beck, Collection Development Coordinator New Mexico State University Library Texas Library Association Annual Conference, 2004 San Antonio, Texas

3 1. A study assessing student learning outcomes in 2 broad categories (concepts, techniques) by examining student research journals in 1 section of an elective information literacy course in fall semester. What question do you have about the research methodologies in these studies?

4 2. An experimental study that proposes a fund allocation formula for academic library collections based on the following: average of overall book price + average of overall serial prices * degree level (10 for undergraduate to 30 for doctorate) / the number of students enrolled in degree program as majors + the total number of faculty in the department * three * total number of students in program. (OAB + OAS) * D/(Sn +(Fn*3))*Sn N.B. Not a standard formula What question do you have about the research methodologies in these studies?

5 3. A newspaper article you read just the other day stated that in a recently published study done at a major U.S. university, researchers found that domestic violence affects 1 in every 4 women. What question do you have about the research methodologies in these studies?

6 4. A 2004 article on a library use and services satisfaction study that used as its measurement tool a survey given to every nth person entering the library building on 40 randomly selected days throughout the school year. What question do you have about the research methodologies in these studies?

7 5. An outcomes assessment research project of a 5 year old IL program in which all incoming freshmen must participate. Total student population on campus is divided between 32% freshmen to senior (or 4 year) and 68% transfer students. What question do you have about the research methodologies in these studies?

8 6. Over a one year period, researchers studied the occurrence of turn-aways in a virtual reference service and noted that the significantly high occurrence of turn-aways indicates increased need for virtual reference service. What question do you have about the research methodologies in these studies?

9 7. A survey of faculty found that the majority of those interview interacted most with librarians at the reference desk. The researchers concluded that most faculty view librarians in a servile role. What question do you have about the research methodologies in these studies?

10 First things first 1.Basics 2.Topic ideas 3.Typical methodologies 4.Common pitfalls 5.Getting started and putting it all together 6.Questions/discussion

11 Basic steps of a research project ►Find a topic  What, When ►Formulate questions  What, Why ►Define population  Who, When ►Select design & measurement  How ►Gather evidence  How ►Interpret evidence  Why ►Tell about what you did and found out

12 Figuring out your study ►What? ►Who? ►When? ►Why? ►And How?

13 Topic ideas ►Online chat reference ● Types of questions  Subject? Type?  # of turnaways* ● Difference in discourse  In-person vs. chat ● Partnership studies  Similar libraries with same software

14 Topic Ideas ►E-book usage ►Usability studies of ● Online tutorial(s) ● ‘My Library” portals ►Analysis of library web sites or library instruction sites or pathfinders by best practices ►Student learning outcomes in LI programs

15 Types of methodologies ►Qua L itative Measures ● Descriptive ● Numbers not the primary focus ● Interpretive, ethnographic, naturalistic ►Qua N titative Measures ● N for numbers ● Statistical ● Quantifiable

16 QuaLitative measures ►Content Analysis ● Analyzed course syllabi of library use through discipline and level ( Rambler ) ● Studied online tutorials, applying best practices recommendations ( Tancheva )

17 Qua L itative Measures ►Discourse Analysis ● Analyzed student responses in writing and discussions to a short film & compared findings to parallel study with LIS grad Ss ( Vandergrift ) ►Focus Groups ● Discussed how participants experience & use the library ( Von Seggern & Young ) ● Studied why students use the Internet and how much time they use it ( Wilson )

18 Qua L itative Measures ►Interviews ● Studied 25 HS students’ web use for research assignments ( Lorenzen ) ● Looked at what type of information first year students need and how they go about acquiring it ( Seamans ) ►Observation (obtrusive) ● Observed students as they conducted online research & noted their activities ( Dunn ) ►Observation (Unobtrusive) ● Retrieval of discarded cheat sheets to analyze academic misconduct ( Pullen et. al.)

19 Qua L itative Measures ►Think Aloud Protocols ● Studied how users navigate a library web site ( Cockrell & Jayne ) ►Usability testing ● Examined students’ mental models of online tutorials ( Veldof & Beavers )

20 QuaNtitative measures ►CompareThings ►Count Things ►Survey People About Things p <.05

21 QuaNtitative measures ►Comparison studies ● Experimental and control groups ● Instructional methodologies (Colaric; Cudiner & Harmon) ● Program assessment using before/after analysis of research papers(Emmons & Martin) p <.05

22 QuaNtitative measures ►Pre & Post Tests ( Van Scoyoc ) ►Measures & Scales  Bostick’s Library Anxiety Scale (Onwuegbuzie & Jiao; Van Scoyoc)  Procrastination Assessment Scale (Onwuegbuzie & Jiao) p <.05

23 QuaNtitative measures ►Numeric Studies ● Citation Analysis  Bibliometrics (Dellavalle) ● Webometrics (Bar-Ilian) p <.05

24 Ready Made Data Sets ►National Survey of Student Engagement ( Whitmire ) ►College Student Experiences Questionnaire ( Kuh and Gonyea ) ►The Web ● Internet Archive ( Ryan, Field & Olfman ) ● Electronic journals ( Dellavalle ) ►Library server logs

25 Common Pitfalls ►Problems with population ● Sampling?  Representativeness?  Self-selection?

26 Research Problem #1 A study assessing student learning outcomes in 2 broad categories (concepts, techniques) by examining student research journals in 1 section of an elective information literacy course in fall semester.

27 Research Problem #4 A 2004 article on a library use and services satisfaction study that used as its measurement tool a survey given to every nth person entering the library building on 40 randomly selected days throughout the school year.

28 Research Problem #5 An outcomes assessment research project of a 5 year old IL program in which all incoming freshmen must participate. Total student population on campus is divided between 32% freshmen to senior (or 4 year) and 68% transfer students.

29 Common Pitfalls ►Problems with operationalization ● Defining of what is measured

30 Research Problem #2 An experimental study that proposes a fund allocation formula for academic library collections based on the following: average of overall book price + average of overall serial prices * degree level (10 for undergraduate to 30 for doctorate) / the number of students enrolled in degree program as majors + the total number of faculty in the department * three * total number of students in program. (OAB + OAS) * D/(Sn +(Fn*3))*Sn N.B. Not a standard formula

31 Research Problem #3 A newspaper article you read just the other day stated that in a recently published study done at a major U.S. university, researchers found that domestic violence affects 1 in every 4 women.

32 Research Problem #4 A 2004 article on a library use and services satisfaction study that used as its measurement tool a survey given to every nth person entering the library building on 40 randomly selected days throughout the school year.

33 Research Problem #5 Over a one year period, researchers studied the occurrence of turn-aways in a virtual reference service and noted that the significantly high occurrence of turn-aways indicates increased need for virtual reference service.

34 Common Pitfalls ►Problems with generalizability ● False conclusions ● Transformations

35 Research Problem #1 A study assessing student learning outcomes in 2 broad categories (concepts, techniques) by examining student research journals in 1 section of an elective information literacy course in fall semester.

36 Research Problem #7 A survey of faculty found that the majority of those interviewed interacted most with librarians at the reference desk. The researchers concluded that most faculty view librarians in a servile role.

37 Keep In Mind That ►No study is perfect ►“All data is dirty is some way or another; research is what you do with that dirty data” ( Manuel ) ►Measurement involves making choices

38 Be Critical About Numbers (Best 2001) ►“Every statistic is a way of summarizing complex information into relatively simple numbers.” ( Best ) ►How did the researchers arrive at these numbers? ►Who produced the numbers and what is their bias? ►How can key terms be defined & in how many different ways?

39 Be Critical About Numbers ►How was the choice for the measurement made? ►What type of sample was gathered & how does that affect result? ►Is the statistical result interpreted correctly? ►If comparisons are made, are they appropriate? ►Are there competing statistics?

40 Getting Started ►Read to learn; read to analyze ● About research methodology ● Studies on similar topics ● Interesting studies ● Non-library studies

41 Getting Started ►Finding a topic needn’t be traumatic ● Work projects  Research studies  P&T overhaul  Library GO Bond Proposal Project  Library workshop trends  User repair strategies

42 Getting Started ►Data collection involves agreement & consent ►Forge partnerships ►At some point you will need to leave the comfort zone of reading and literature gathering and …

43 Just get out and do it!

44 Questions?


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