Quantitative Research - Statistics Project Example

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Qualitative research has a rich history in the social sciences and humanities (in such disciplines as sociology and education), and in some areas of the health sciences (such as nursing). In the field of library and information studies, many research questions are best answered by qualitative approaches - and the influence of this research paradigm is seen in the vast number of publications that use qualitative methods to explore library and information-related topics…
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Download file to see previous pages There are many different research designs that can be used by individuals asking research questions in LIS contexts, all of which provide credible evidence for improving practice. Qualitative approaches have been used in library and information settings to assess patron perceptions about library services, to examine the effectiveness of information literacy strategies and to address a host of other questions related to library and information work. In addition, a number of qualitatively based textual approaches (such as critical theory and discourse analysis) have been used to assess policy documents and organizational discourses, the construction of classification systems, and other questions that require an exploration of textual forms of data. Increasingly, researchers are also using these approaches in conjunction with one another (i.e. a "mixed methods" approach) to give a more complete picture of the state of LIS practice; for example, a recent study of mature university students used qualitative interviews with students in conjunction with a textual discourse analysis of campus texts, as well as a manipulation of quantitative census data, to provide a broad contextual picture of students' academic information behaviors. In order to focus this discussion on qualitative research, in particular, it is necessary to draw lines between these different paradigms and to then examine qualitative work in more detail. However, it is important to note that research paradigms are quite fluid, and that many researchers are now trying to expand beyond a single approach to obtain the best possible evidence.
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