ERIC Number: ED450800
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-15
The Significance and Use of Historical Method in Library and Information Science Dissertations, 1984-1999.
Thompson, Heather A.
This study is concerned with the importance of historical method in library and information science research. The research conducted in this study specifically examined library and information science doctoral dissertations written between 1984-1999. The study of the "Digital Dissertations" database found that only eight to seventeen percent of all library and information science dissertations were written using historical method. This was a slight decline in the number of historical dissertations that have been written prior to 1984. This study also looked closely at a selected sample of 259 historical dissertation citations found in three bibliographic sources in order to find any patterns that were evident. The majority of historical dissertations were written in 1996, which was the peak year of library history, and following 1996, the number of historical dissertations declined rapidly into 1999. It was also discovered that more females than males have written historical dissertations, but there was still a significant number of males who wrote historical dissertations. Texas Woman's University and the University of Pittsburgh are just two of the schools that produced the most historical dissertations. Overall, this study shows that library history is still evident and researched in library and information science programs, but unfortunately, few students choose to write dissertations using historical method. Further research, such as a survey of library students or a closer examination of the "Digital Dissertations" database, may give a clearer answer to the importance of library history research in library and information science. Appendixes include: the "Libraries and Culture" Historical Method Coding Sheet; the American Library Association's Library History Roundtable (LHRT) Citations Historical Method Coding Sheet; Arthur Young Citations Historical Method Coding Sheet; and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Historical Method Data and Results. (Contains 17 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Library and Information Science, Research Paper, Kent State University.