Research Methods

Research Methods

Information, Systems, and Contexts

2nd Edition - November 27, 2017

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  • Editors: Kirsty Williamson, Graeme Johanson
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081022207
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081022214

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Research Methods: Information, Systems, and Contexts, Second Edition, presents up-to-date guidance on how to teach research methods to graduate students and professionals working in information management, information science, librarianship, archives, and records and information systems. It provides a coherent and precise account of current research themes and structures, giving students guidance, appreciation of the scope of research paradigms, and the consequences of specific courses of action. Each of these valuable sections will help users determine the relevance of particular approaches to their own questions. The book presents academics who teach research and information professionals who carry out research with new resources and guidance on lesser-known research paradigms.

Key Features

  • Provides up-to-date knowledge of research methods and their applications
  • Provides a coherent and precise account of current research themes and structures through chapters written by authors who are experts in their fields
  • Helps students and researchers understand the range of quantitative and qualitative approaches available for research, as well as how to make practical use of them
  • Provides many illustrations from projects in which authors have been involved, to enhance understanding
  • Emphasises the nexus between formulation of research question and choice of research methodology
  • Enables new researchers to understand the implications of their planning decisions


Research students, researchers, academics involved in teaching research, information professionals in higher education, research, and corporate libraries working alongside researchers, or carrying out independent research

Table of Contents

  • Section I Foundations and Framing

    1. Research concepts

    Kirsty Williamson

    2. The fundamentals of research planning

    Kirsty Williamson

    3. Information research: Patterns and practice

    Graeme Johanson and Kirsty Williamson

    4. Archival and recordkeeping research: Past, present and future

    Anne J. Gilliland and Sue Mckemmish

    5. The methodological landscape: Information systems and knowledge management

    Dubravka Cecez-Kecmanovic and Mary Anne Kennan


    Section II Research Methods

    6. Survey designs

    Kerry Tanne

    7. Case study research in information systems

    Graeme Shanks and Nargiza Bekmamedova

    8. Action research: Theory and practice

    Kirsty Williamson

    9. Constructivist grounded theory: A 21st century research methodology

    James E. Herring

    10. Bibliometric research

    Gaby Haddow

    11. Design-science research

    Ron Weber

    12. Researching history

    Graeme Johanson

    13. Ethnographic research

    Kirsty Williamson

    14. Experimental research

    Kerry Tanner


    Section III Research Techniques

    15. Populations and samples

    Kirsty Williamson

    16. Questionnaires, individual interviews and focus group interviews

    Kirsty Williamson

    17. Observation

    Kirsty Williamson

    18. Quantitative data analysis

    Judy Sheard

    19. Qualitative data analysis

    Kirsty Williamson, Lisa M. Given and Paul Scifleet


    Section IV Research Practice and Communication

    20. Ethical research practices

    Graeme Johanson

    21. Managing research data

    Mary Anne Kennan

    22. Research writing and dissemination

    Mary Anne Kennan and Kim M. Thompson


    Section V Information Research: Reflections on Past and Future

    23. The future of information research

    Kirsty Williamson, Graeme Johanson, Alex Byrne, Lisa M. Given, Mary Anne Kennan and Gillian Oliver

Product details

  • No. of pages: 622
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2017
  • Published: November 27, 2017
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081022207
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081022214

About the Editors

Kirsty Williamson

Kirsty Williamson has focused her career almost entirely on research since 1996 when she obtained her PhD. For much of that time she was Director of the research group, Information and Telecommunications Needs Research (ITNR), a joint initiative of Monash University and Charles Sturt University in Australia. She has undertaken many research projects and has received many research grants from a range of different non-government and government organisations, including the principal funding body of Australian Universities, the Australian Research Council (ARC). Her research has been widely published.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Research Fellow, Monash University and Charles Sturt University, Australia

Graeme Johanson

Graeme Johanson is Director of the Centre for Community Networking Research at Monash University. He has undertaken academic research for 45 years, and his research findings are widely published. He has supervised many research projects, mainly about the evaluation and use of information and communications technologies for the benefit of developing countries and marginalised groups of people. His initial interest in archives, historical documents, and oral history led him to work as a librarian in research institutions for ten years before becoming an academic focusing on information management and community informatics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Director, Centre for Community Networking Research, Monash University

Ratings and Reviews

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  • manika s. Sun Jun 23 2019

    A good research methods book in information system - good to have as a collection!

    This book is well written and very helpful for understanding research methods, especially in the field of information systems. It provides a clear explanation with sufficient examples which I found really helpful. It was useful for me when I was start writing and thinking about my research paradigm, methodogy and specific study design for my research. Highly recommended for the MSc, MPhill and PhD students.

  • Natalie P. Thu Jun 06 2019

    Comprehensive and a must-have for both beginning and experienced researchers

    With LIS research growing more interdisciplinary and complex, this text offers a substantial review and critique of researchmethods in the discipline, accompanied by useful and interesting reflections. It's a must-have for anyone that is interested in the methodological aspect of research and their nuances. The accompanying practical toolkits, resources and cases are very useful for researchers at various stages in their careers or projects.

  • Amanda C. Mon Feb 11 2019

    An excellent research methods text

    I return to this book regularly, and have used it in my own research and recommended it to students (especially post-graduate) and colleagues. It is appropriate for new researchers, especially those such as PhD students who are planning a large research project, and for more experienced researchers and lecturers who are conducting their own research or teaching and supervising research. There really isn’t much else that is comparable to this book. There's lots on qualitative research or on quantitative research or on particular methods (such as grounded theory), but few that cover it all and focus on LIS as this does. The book can be used in two main ways: 1) to provide an overview of the methods and tools for a new researcher, and in that way it is worth reading it from cover to cover; and 2) as a reference book, where specific chapters can be consulted.

  • Sarang H. Wed Dec 12 2018

    A must-have

    This is a must-have. It is a well-structured book, which can guide one's research throughout. I studied this book carefully, and it profoundly informed the design of my study. I found the first section, especially chapters one, two, and five very informative. It helped me understand the proceeding chapters much better and illuminated my way forward. The same is also true for section four, which helped me make a broader sense of it all. In my view, this book literally educates its readers and is an excellent source for future reference.

  • Vi T. Tue Dec 11 2018

    Extremely recommended for Mphil and PhD level

    This is an amazing book. It is extremely helpful as I am doing PhD and following Grounded Theory for my research. The book covers a range of other research methodologies as well as methods in details. Very helpful. I highly recommend it for those who doing research.

  • Annelie V. Fri Nov 30 2018

    A well-thumbed resource

    The first (and now second edition) of this text has lived on my desk throughout my masters and PhD. The text outlines the prominent paradigms, methodologies and methods in information systems research and is always the first resource I refer to.

  • Orlando M. Mon May 14 2018

    different expectation

    Probably I was expecting the content to be more on the undergraduate level -more in the how-to conduct research, rather than in the state-of-art of research methodologies and processes. The content is very extensive, and there's a wide spectrum of aspects related to research methodology covered. So from that standpoint, the book is worth its weight.