School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 597: Advanced Scholarship and Research in LIS
Course Outline
Fall 2018


Instructor: Dr. Tami Oliphant
Office: 5-169 Education North
Phone: 780-492-2033
Office hours: By appointment
Class times: Wednesday, 9:00 am – 11:50 am in Room ED 277


Calendar Description:

In-depth exploration of systematic approaches to scholarship and research in library and information studies for students pursuing thesis-route master’s programs or other advanced projects.

Course Objectives:

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

  • Identify selected systematic approaches that are suitable for the major areas in library and information studies scholarship and research—from project design to dissemination.
  • Critically discuss issues involved in completing a successful, advanced academic project (e.g., project management, ethics, data management, etc.).
  • Design and carry out a project related to a specific area of inquiry for a master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation, or other advanced project.
  • Analyze and reflect upon the relationship among research, scholarship, and professional practice.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Students will identify systematic approaches to research and scholarship appropriate to different contexts including the field of library and information studies and to professional practice. (SLIS PLOs 7, 8)

Students will critically analyze and apply various research methodologies, methods, and systematic approaches appropriate to designing and implementing their own advanced projects. (SLIS PLOs 3, 8)

Students will identify, analyze, and critically discuss the various issues involved in completing a successful advanced project (e.g., project management, ethics, data management, etc.) (SLIS PLOs 1, 2, 3)

Students will articulate the role of theory in research and advanced scholarship and the interdisciplinary nature of library and information studies and be able to critically reflect upon professional, practical, and theoretical problems in LIS. (SLIS PLOs 1, 2, 8)


  • LIS research and scholarship
  • Project management
  • Methods and methodology
  • Power, responsibility, ethics and the relation of self to others
  • Sites, settings, and entry
  • Reflexive practice
  • Role of theory, evidence, and data in LIS
  • Data management
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Geospatial data
  • Statistics and software packages
  • Validity, reliability, and trustworthiness
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Publishing practices and opportunities
  • Research in practice
  • Preparing written and oral reports

Methods: A combination of seminar discussion, presentations, practical exercises, lectures, readings, and computer demonstrations will be used throughout the course. Where possible, guest lectures and/or special presentations will also be included.

Course Relationships: Prerequisites: LIS 501 and 505; Prerequisite to the MLIS Thesis option

Assignments and Evaluation:

Class Participation: 15 marks

Research Project Proposal: 10 marks

Literature Review and Search Assignment: 15 marks 

Critical Reflection: 15 marks  

Major Project: 45 marks

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade.

Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy (

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff, and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Student Accessibility Services.

Recording of Lectures:

Audio or video recording, digital or otherwise, of lectures, labs, seminars or any other teaching environment by students is allowed only with the prior written consent of the instructor or as a part of an approved accommodation plan. Student or instructor content, digital or otherwise, created and/or used within the context of the course is to be used solely for personal study, and is not to be used or distributed for any other purpose without prior written consent from the content author(s).

Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.