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.