School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

INLS 881/882, Research Issues and Questions I & II
Fall 2011 & Spring 2012


Course Description / Assignments and Evaluation

Schedule / Assignments / Sakai class site


Instructor: Deborah Barreau



Office: 206 Manning Hall

Phone: 966-5042 (office), 401-0055 (home)


Class meetings: Tuesday, 2:00-4:30; 214 Manning Hall

Course Description

Overview. Intensive and systematic investigation of the fundamental ideas in information and library science. Exploration and discussion in seminar format.

The goal of this year-long course is to prepare students to become productive scholars. Students will be introduced to the range of research questions and issues that arise in the field of information and library science, with particular emphasis on the research interests of the current SILS faculty and doctoral students. The role of both theory and prior empirical research in generating research questions will be discussed. The variety of methods available to conduct ILS research will be reviewed.

The class members will participate in reading, reviewing, analyzing, and discussing, in some detail, relevant research literature. A part of this process of examination and discovery is formulating questions, and considering ways those questions might be addressed. For example, we will be asking questions about the ILS field and disciplines with which we often collaborate:

A second goal of this seminar is to assist the participants in being successful as doctoral students at SILS. This means that it is very important that each person has an opportunity to explore and cultivate their individual research interests as they move through the course.

Specifically, this seminar has the goal of helping you to:

Rationale and relationship to the current curriculum. It is required that students take INLS 881 and INLS 882 in consecutive semesters at or near the beginning of their doctoral studies. The discussions in this seminar will help students identify research questions of particular interest to them and will provide a context within which initial explorations of those questions can be conducted.

Assignments and Evaluation

The assignments for the two-semester seminar aim to foster your growth as a scholar and researcher in information and library science, through participation in discussions, reviews of current issues and the relevant literature, and development of research questions and proposals. They include:

Grading. Since this seminar lasts for two semesters, you will receive an "S" (assuming satisfactory progress) for the fall semester grade, and a grade reflecting the quality of your work and progress for the spring (H, P, L, or F). Throughout the year, you will receive evaluations of your participation and contributions to the class, as well as of your presentations and papers.

Honor Code. The Honor Code, which prohibits giving or receiving unauthorized aid in the completion of assignments, is in effect in this class.

Schedule / Assignments / Sakai class site