Applications of Social Research Methods to Questions in Information and Library Science
2nd Edition
by Barbara M. Wildemuth, Editor
November 2016, 433pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-3904-7
$80, £62, 70€, A110
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3905-4
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Both a professional handbook and a methods textbook, this is your go-to resource about information and library-science research.

The second edition of this innovative textbook illustrates research methods for library and information science, describing the most appropriate approaches to a question—and showing you what makes research successful.

Written for the serious practicing librarian researcher and the LIS student, this volume fills the need for a guide focused specifically on information and library science research methods. By critically assessing existing studies from within library and information science, this book helps you acquire a deeper understanding of research methods so you will be able to design more effective studies yourself.

Section one considers research questions most often asked in information and library science and explains how they arise from practice or theory. Section two covers a variety of research designs and the sampling issues associated with them, while sections three and four look at methods for collecting and analyzing data. Each chapter introduces a particular research method, points out its relative strengths and weaknesses, and provides a critique of two or more exemplary studies.

For this second edition, three new chapters have been added, covering mixed methods, visual data collection methods, and social network analysis. The chapters on research diaries and transaction log analysis have been updated, and updated examples are provided in more than a dozen other chapters as well.


  • Provides comprehensive coverage of research methods used in library and information science, discussing their strengths, weaknesses, and biases
  • Presents completely updated content that includes several new chapters on innovative methods (mixed methods research and social network analysis), and more than half of the methods chapters focus on critiquing new research studies
  • Covers both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as mixed methods
  • Analyzes examples of award-winning library research
Barbara M. Wildemuth is professor and associate dean in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on people's interactions with information and information technologies, including recent work on methodological aspects of interactive information retrieval studies. Wildemuth has been recognized for her outstanding contributions to information behavior research by the Association for Information Science and Technology Special Interest Group (ASIST SIG) on information needs, seeking, and use, and for her teaching with the ASIST Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award.


"Serving as a how-to guide, this well-written book helps the reader understand research methods."—VOYA, April 4, 2017
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