RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 289095944 LA English T1 Applications of social research methods to questions in information and library science A1 Wildemuth, Barbara M., PB Libraries Unlimited PP Westport, Conn. YR 2009 SN 9781591585039 1591585031 AB For many practitioners, best practices are often developed through significant amounts of direct experience. However, they can also be developed through the examination and application of research findings. By critically assessing existing studies within library and information science, both aspiring and experienced professionals can acquire a deeper understanding of available methods, as well as design more effective studies. The author has created a book that mirrors the process of conducting a research study. At the same time, she exposes the reader to a wealth of competing and complementary techniques. Each chapter introduces a particular research method, points out its relative strengths and weaknesses, and provides a critique of two or more exemplary studies. Section One considers those research questions most often asked in the field of information and library science and explains how they can arise from practice and direct observation or from existing theories. Section Two covers a variety of research designs, as well as the sampling issues associated with those designs: case studies, naturalistic research, longitudinal studies, Delphi studies, and quasi-experimental and experimental designs. Section Three moves on to methods for collecting data: surveys, various types of interviews, historical and documentary studies, transaction log analysis, diaries, and participant observation. It concludes with a chapter discussing the ways in which any of these methods might be combined for use in a particular study.