Monday, June 11, 2007

"Research Methods in Information" chapter 1

This chapter introduces the reader to three major research paradigms: positivism, postpositivism, and interpretivism. It contains a brief history of each as well as an overview of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies that compares and contrasts the characteristics of each, particularly the criteria upon which judgments of quality are made.

Thoughts on this chapter:
It is thick with terminology with which inexperienced researchers and students may not be familiar but that is somewhat offset by their inclusion in the glossary.

I find myself thinking of it as a textbook for a research methods class. From that perspective, it seems useful.

I like the way she qualifies her brief overviews with repeated suggestions that the interested researcher read further on each topic...and provides recommendations on where to start such reading.

Here's my favorite quote from chapter 1: "Whichever paradigm you associate your research with, whichever methodological approach you take, demonstrating the value of your investigation is essential. This applies to practitioner research and student research: we all want our findings to be believed and are responsible for ensuring that they can be believed." (page 18)

However, I also like this one: (on establishing objectivity in quantitative research: "Findings are a result of the research investigation, not a result of the researcher's interpretation of those findings." (page 22)

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