Table 1.

A summary of literature on the studies of research methods in LIS

StudyData sampleKey findings w.r.t. research methods
Järvelin and Vakkari (1990)  833 articles from 37 journals in 1985 A classification scheme consisting of five “research strategies” and seven “data collection methods” 
Kumpulainen (1991)  632 articles from 30 LIS journals in 1975 51% “empirical research,” 48% “nonapplicable,” 13% “historical method,” 11% “questionnaire and interview” 
Bernhard (1993)  Including journals, theses, textbooks, and reference sources in LIS 13 research methods; some relate to the “research strategies” whereas others relate to the “data collection methods” in Järvelin and Vakkari (1990)  
Blake (1994)  LIS dissertations between 1975 and 1989 13 research methods, most of which are similar to Bernhard (1993)  
Park (2004)  71 syllabus of Korean and U.S. universities between 2001 and 2003 17 research methods, some not reported before (e.g., field study, focus group) 
Fidel (2008)  465 articles from LIS journals between 2005 and 2006 Only 5% used “mixed methods,” whereas many that claimed to do so actually used “multiple methods” or “two approaches” 
Hider and Pymm (2008)  834 articles from 20 LIS journals in 2005 Based on the Järvelin and Vakkari (1990) classification, “survey” remained as the predominant “research strategy” and “experiment” had increased significantly 
Chu (2015)  1,162 articles from LIS journals between 2001 and 2010 A classification that extends earlier work in this area; “survey” no long dominating; instead, “content analysis,” “experiment,” and “theoretical approach” become more popular 
VanScoy and Fontana (2016)  1,362 journal articles published between 2000 and 2009 A classification scheme similar to the previous work; majority of research was “quantitative”, with “descriptive studies” based on “surveys” most common 
Ferran-Ferrer et al. (2017)  580 Spanish LIS journal articles between 2012 and 2014 Proposed nine “research methods” and 13 “techniques.” “Descriptive research” was the most used “research method,” and “content analysis” was the most used “technique” 
Togia and Malliari (2017)  440 LIS journal articles between 2011 and 2016 A similar classification of 12 “research methods” similar to that in Chu (2015). “Survey” remained the dominant method 
Grankikov et al. (2020)  386 LIS journal articles between 2015 and 2018 Showed an increase in the use of “mixed methods” in this field 
StudyData sampleKey findings w.r.t. research methods
Järvelin and Vakkari (1990)  833 articles from 37 journals in 1985 A classification scheme consisting of five “research strategies” and seven “data collection methods” 
Kumpulainen (1991)  632 articles from 30 LIS journals in 1975 51% “empirical research,” 48% “nonapplicable,” 13% “historical method,” 11% “questionnaire and interview” 
Bernhard (1993)  Including journals, theses, textbooks, and reference sources in LIS 13 research methods; some relate to the “research strategies” whereas others relate to the “data collection methods” in Järvelin and Vakkari (1990)  
Blake (1994)  LIS dissertations between 1975 and 1989 13 research methods, most of which are similar to Bernhard (1993)  
Park (2004)  71 syllabus of Korean and U.S. universities between 2001 and 2003 17 research methods, some not reported before (e.g., field study, focus group) 
Fidel (2008)  465 articles from LIS journals between 2005 and 2006 Only 5% used “mixed methods,” whereas many that claimed to do so actually used “multiple methods” or “two approaches” 
Hider and Pymm (2008)  834 articles from 20 LIS journals in 2005 Based on the Järvelin and Vakkari (1990) classification, “survey” remained as the predominant “research strategy” and “experiment” had increased significantly 
Chu (2015)  1,162 articles from LIS journals between 2001 and 2010 A classification that extends earlier work in this area; “survey” no long dominating; instead, “content analysis,” “experiment,” and “theoretical approach” become more popular 
VanScoy and Fontana (2016)  1,362 journal articles published between 2000 and 2009 A classification scheme similar to the previous work; majority of research was “quantitative”, with “descriptive studies” based on “surveys” most common 
Ferran-Ferrer et al. (2017)  580 Spanish LIS journal articles between 2012 and 2014 Proposed nine “research methods” and 13 “techniques.” “Descriptive research” was the most used “research method,” and “content analysis” was the most used “technique” 
Togia and Malliari (2017)  440 LIS journal articles between 2011 and 2016 A similar classification of 12 “research methods” similar to that in Chu (2015). “Survey” remained the dominant method 
Grankikov et al. (2020)  386 LIS journal articles between 2015 and 2018 Showed an increase in the use of “mixed methods” in this field 
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