INF 7996: Research for the Information Professions

Credits: 3

MLIS Prerequisite(s): INF 6010, 6080, 6120, 6210

MSIS Co-requisite(s): INF 6000

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

A knowledge of research methods is necessary for information professionals to conduct research, assist other researchers, integrate ethical principles and critically read research literature. This course is also designed to demonstrate the importance of research and to strengthen the critical and analytical skills of students. It examines the role of social justice, inclusion, equity and diversity in research in the information professions.

This course examines the role of research in the development of the profession and in contemporary management. It includes consideration of various research methods used in the information professions with illustrations based on specific problems related to information organizations. Students identify a research problem, design a research project to investigate the problem and write a research proposal describing how the research would be conducted.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Critically read and evaluate research studies from top tier journals in LIS including representative samples from at least three different LIS areas.
  2. Conduct an effective literature search and review of literature in an area of specialization in LIS (i.e. archives, technical services, school library, academic libraries, reference services, etc.).
  3. Describe and differentiate among various types of research designs (i.e. qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods) and explain the disciplinary foundations of these designs and methods.
  4. Write an effective research proposal which incorporates standard categories of information (i.e. introduction, review of literature, methodology, etc.) and follows APA formatting requirements.
  5. Use appropriate statistical analysis techniques to analyze research data and draw conclusions.
  6. Develop appropriate data collection measures.
  7. Analyze qualitative and quantitative reports of research for both the legitimacy of the research design and the impact that the research will have on the profession.
  8. Articulate ethical concerns regarding the design and conducting of research studies in the information professions.
  9. Demonstrate understanding of how to develop research questions that are critically oriented including issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.
  10. Apply principles of intellectual property and copyright appropriately.


  1. Introduction to quantitative and qualitative research including, problems, theories, data collection and data analysis.
  2. Reading Research Reports: Quantitative and Qualitative, research journals in LIS.
  3. Basics of Quantitative Research: vocabulary, concepts, survey and experimental studies, reliability and validity, statistical significance.
  4. Basics of Qualitative Research: vocabulary and concepts, research design, data collection, data analysis, trustworthiness.
  5. The ethical conduct of research and the inclusion of social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion in the conduct of research.

Course methodology

Readings, lectures, group participation, formative and summative activities and assignments, tests

Bases for evaluation of student performance

  1. Evaluation of research reports
  2. Knowledge of vocabulary and concepts
  3. Group and individual participation
  4. Research proposal
  5. Quizzes and/or exams


To be determined

Updated: 04/23