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

INLS 881/882, Research Issues and Questions I & II
Fall 2016 & Spring 2017


Course Description / Assignments and Evaluation

Schedule / Assignments / Sakai class site


Instructor: Barbara Wildemuth



Office: 109 Manning Hall

Phone: 962-8072 (office), 968-3018 (home)


Class meetings: Tuesday, 2:00-4:45; 303 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 in six particular facets of information and library science:

As we explore each of these areas, you will be asked to consider how your own research interests interact with them. Is your research interest fully included in one of these areas? Is it a combination of two or more of the areas? Is it related to one or more of these areas, but also brings in the perspectives of other disciplines? Through our discussion and the assignments, you will have the opportunity to further develop your own interests in relation to the larger field of information and library science.

A second goal of this seminar is to assist the participants in being successful as doctoral students at SILS and as future scholars. This goal will be addressed by providing opportunities for you to develop specific research-related knowledge and skills, particularly in the following areas:

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:

Honor Code. All students must refrain from lying, cheating, and stealing as well as from engaging in conduct that significantly impairs the welfare or educational opportunities of others in the university community. This includes refraining from all forms of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism. Your full participation and observance of the Honor Code is expected at all times.

If you have questions about your responsibilities under the Honor Code, please consult:  Your instructor, Office of Student Conduct, Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, Plagiarism Tutorial, Online Honor System Module

Schedule / Assignments / Sakai class site

Creative Commons License The INLS 881-882 website, UNC-CH, 2009-2010, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Address all comments and questions to Barbara M. Wildemuth at This page was last modified on August 22, 2016, by Barbara M. Wildemuth.