School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 505 Outline

Introduction to Research in Library and Information Studies

Course Outline
Fall 2016

Instructor: Tonyia Tidline, MLIS, PhD
Email: tidline@ualberta.ca
Office hours: By email appointment

Calendar Description:
An introduction to the fundamental concepts, approaches, methodologies and uses of research in library and information environments. This includes research design, proposal writing, identifying and defining research problems, critically evaluating and analyzing research, and applying research findings to solve practical problems in libraries and information centers. Required course.

Course Objectives:

  1. Understand the importance of research in library and information studies and in various library and information environments; (PLLO 1, 2, 3, 8)

  2. Become intelligent readers and producers of research, which involves the ability to critically analyze relevant research literature in library and information studies; (PLLO 2, 3, 5, 8)

  3. Become familiar with the entire research process and the contexts in which research is carried out in order to assist users who are themselves engaged in research; (PLLO 2, 3, 5)

  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the research process by preparing a research proposal to study a problem relevant to library and information studies. (PLLO 1, 2, 3, 5, 8)

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

  1. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the structures and features of a scholarly research article by writing a critical evaluation of a published article in an LIS discipline-related journal.
  2. After critically engaging with LIS literature, students will identify gaps in the literature on a selected topic, develop a research proposal, and provide support as to its significance to the field of LIS.
  3. After reading diverse research articles, students will demonstrate their ability to locate, evaluate, and synthesize research by writing an academic literature review and annotated bibliography.
  4. Students will demonstrate their ability to produce scholarly output by creating a poster based on their literature review and drafting a brief presentation explaining the findings of their research and the significance thereof.

Course Relationships:
This course is conducted online through eClass. No onsite meetings are required. Optional synchronous sessions may be conducted during the semester if there is interest. Dates for synchronous sessions will be announced in the course site. Sessions will be recorded for those who cannot attend.

Course Relationships:

LIS 501 is a prerequisite for this course. LIS 505 is a prerequisite to LIS 597, LIS 599 and THES 900.


Required Texts:

Wallace, Danny P., and Connie Van Fleet. 2012. Knowledge into Action: Research and Evaluation in Library and Information Science. 1st ed. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.


Assignments and Weighting:

The assignments in this course have been designed to build on one another. Knowledge gained from evaluating a research article will be useful in crafting your research proposal. The research proposal is functions as a draft of your literature review and annotated bibliography. Your poster session is a summary of the results of what you found in your lit review, presented in a way that will get you comfortable expressing your work in a professional setting. Combined they will prepare you to participate in all phases of the research process from consumer to producer. Also, since this course is presented entirely online participation and discussion are vital components and have been weighted accordingly.


Assignment 1 - Critically evaluating LIS research articles (10%)

Assignment 2 - Proposal and preliminary literature review (20%)

Assignment 3 - Annotated bibliography (20%)

Assignment 4 - Extended literature review / research design (20%)

Initial Discussion Posts (10%)

Group Discussion / Participation Posts (20%)


Late Assignments will not earn full credit; ten percent (10%) will be deducted for every day (24 hours, including weekends) an assignment is late to a maximum of three days. Assignments submitted more than three days (72 hours) after the due date will not be accepted. If an extension is required, please email the instructor in advance to make those arrangements.


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. Grades are calculated in accordance with the SLIS Grading Procedure.


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 http://www.governance.ualberta.ca/) 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:

Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.


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