Research methods

Researching Information science

Information science has similar research methods to other social sciences:

Archival research
Facts or factual evidences from a variety of records are compiled.
Content analysis
The contents of books and mass media are analyzed to study how people communicate and the messages people talk or write about.
Case study
A specific set of circumstances or a group (the ‘case’) is analyzed according to a specific goal of study. Generally, case studies are used to characterize a trend or development; they have weak generalizability.
Historical method
This involves a continuous and systematic search for the information and knowledge about past events related to the life of a person, a group, society, or the world.
The researcher obtains data by interviewing people. If the interview is non-structured, the researcher leaves it to the interviewee (also referred to as the respondent or the informant) to guide the conversation.
Life history
This is the study of the personal life of a person. Through a series of interviews, the researcher can probe into the decisive moments in their life or the various influences on their life.
Longitudinal study
This is an extensive examination of a specific group over a long period of time.
Using data form the senses, one records information about social phenomenon or behavior. Qualitative research relies heavily on observation, although it is in a highly disciplined form.
Participant observation
As the name implies, the researcher goes to the field (usually a community), lives with the people for some time, and participates in their activities in order to know and feel their culture.
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