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10 FEBRUARY 2013

Inventory of research methods for librarianship and informatics

"This article defines and describes the rich variety of research designs found in librarianship and informatics practice. Familiarity with the range of methods and the ability to make distinctions between those specific methods can enable authors to label their research reports correctly. The author has compiled an inventory of methods from a variety of disciplines, but with attention to the relevant applications of a methodology to the field of librarianship. Each entry in the inventory includes a definition and description for the particular research method. Some entries include references to resource material and examples."

(Jonathan D. Eldredge, 2004, Journal of the Medical Library Association)


2004academic researchanalysisaudit • autobiography • bibliomining • biographycase study • citation analysis • cohort design • comparative study • content analysisdata mining • definition and description • delphi method • descriptive survey • focus group • gap analysis • historyinformaticsinventory • inventory of methods • JMLA • Journal of the Medical Library Association • librarianship • library science • library studies • longitudinal studymeta-analysis • narrative review • participant observation • programme evaluation • randomised controlled trial • research designresearch methodresearch methodsresearch reports • summing up • systematic reviews • unobtrusive observation


Simon Perkins
10 APRIL 2012

VADS Fine Art Project Digital Capture Pilot Study: Case Study for the pragmatic direct digital capture of artworks from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design

"The VADS Fine Art Project aims to bring together, through a distributed digitisation model, artworks from across Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) that can serve to exemplify the history and achievement of fine art education and practice in this country since its inception in the 1850s.

In the initial stages of the project, a survey was sent out to all the Higher Education Institutions in the UK that taught fine art, in order to elicit whether or not student and staff work had been kept or documented. From this survey it was found that many colleges failed or had ceased to collect artworks due to the cost implications of purchasing, storing and insuring the works, leading to the output of many art colleges remaining undocumented.

As the Fine Art Project progressed, protocols for the digital capture, documentation and copyright clearance of work were established. These were then used to collect works from around the country to be included in the National Fine Art Education Digital Collection. However, given their inherent useable and easily applicable nature, it was thought the same protocols could be just as useful to digitally capture, document and rights–clear works within HEIs as and when they were being produced. This would make it far easier and affordable for colleges to capture and maintain collections of their present and past work, as well as offering additional benefits such as making them widely available on the Internet or for other publishing requirements."

(Ed Bremner, 1 September 2003 [last modified: 28th March 2006], Institute for Learning and Research Technology)



1850s2003AHDS Visual Artsartworkartworks • capture and maintain collections • case study • collect works • collecting artworks • collectioncopyright clearance • cost implications • digital capture • digitally capture • digitisation • direct digital capture • distributed digitisation model • documentation • documented • fine art • fine art education • fine art practice • Fine Art Project • HEI • Higher Education Institutes • higher education institutions • history and achievement • image management system • insuring artworks • Internetknowledge management • National Fine Art Education Digital Collection • pilot project • pilot study • present and past work • protocol • publishing requirements • purchasing artworks • raw filerepository • SIAD • storing artworks • student and staff work • Surrey Institute of Art and Design • surveyUKVADS • VADS Fine Art Project • VADS Fine Art Project Digital Capture Pilot Study


Simon Perkins
06 DECEMBER 2011

Design for enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities

"This paper focuses on how designers can contribute to enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities, especially communities of people with physical disabilities. This is a new area of design research and practice. The paper draws on a case study of the role and contribution of designers in one of the most disadvantaged communities in a semi–urban area of Thailand between 2007 and 2010. This was a collaborative project with nineteen community members with physical impairment in the Samutprakran province. This community had a long history of developing crafts for income generation. The aim was to explore and test new approaches that would result in a model leading to alternative livelihoods, including transforming their capabilities and using available resources in their community to achieve positive outcomes. Participatory Action Research (PAR), Human–Centered Design (HCD) and Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) were employed as research strategies and approaches. The project was structured around three workshops targeting three successive stages: 1) recruiting participants for a case study and facilitating the gathering of their own data and doing the necessary analysis; 2) enabling them to create and make their own choices to improve their situation; and 3) monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the implementation. There were four key findings. Firstly, the community participants stated that they had achieved the livelihood goals that they desired. They also devised a complementary income–generating activity which enabled them to continue to improve their capabilities, earn income and reinforce their value in their community, and to reduce their vulnerability. From the researcher's perspective, PAR integrated with HCD and combined with SLA were shown to be effective strategies and approaches because they facilitate the transfer of knowledge to the participants, giving them both incentive and ownership in their ideas and actions, enabling them to create and pursue their own solutions. Finally, this study demonstrated the benefits of reorientation of the designer's role from that of a solution provider to that of an agent of sustainable change."

(Siriporn Peters, 4 May 2011)

2). Siriporn Peters (2011). "Design for enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities", Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research ISSN 1923–5003.



academic journal • alternative livelihoods • capabilities • case studycommunity • community participants • community-generated content • complementary income-generating activity • craftdata gatheringdesign research • design research and practice • disabilitydisadvantaged communitiesHCDhuman-centred design • income generation • livelihood • livelihood goals • ownershipPARParticipatory Action Research • people with physical disabilities • physical disabilities • physical impairmentresearch and practiceresearch approachesresearch strategies • semi-urban • SLA • sustainability • sustainable change • sustainable livelihoods • sustainable livelihoods approach • Thailandtransfer of knowledgetransformationvulnerabilityworkshops


Simon Perkins
23 NOVEMBER 2011

Practice-led/practice-based research methods

"To date, there is no definitive published single source on research methods for artists and designers. The following methods are drawn from a range of sources, most importantly from validated completed formal research in Art and Design (main sources: ARIAD–; British Library's Index to Theses–, Higher Education institutes' published information), as well as useful examples of research projects in non–formal frameworks (for example, industry, commerce, education, and so on) as reported in various journals and professional publications. An examination of some of these examples would no doubt lead to 'classic' references to various 'design methods' publications by, for example, Archer (1965), Jones (1980), Cross (1984), and so on; and important research by Cornock (1978, 1983, 1984) on Fine Art methodology. During recent years, many more examples of practice–based research have become accessible. Many have already been cited in previous chapters and more are cited in this one.

These methods are particularly useful if your own practice forms part of the research methodology.

Other methods described come from Social Science research, for example (accessed 15 August 2003); Denzin and Lincoln (1994); and some specifically from educational research, for example Cohen and Manion (1994), McKernan (1998). These are particularly relevant for human inquiry related to Art and Design, for example the study of an individual's practice, and user feedback for designed products. In some circumstances, particular areas of design, for example industrial design, a more scientific approach may be appropriate, in which case 'design methods' may be useful. Documented examples of projects using design methods can be found in the journal Design Studies– (accessed 16 June 2003). The range of methods outlined is by no means definitive or completely comprehensive, and they cannot be described here in any great detail. If you think that a particular method described in this book would be useful in your project then you should discuss it with your supervisor. You should always follow up the references and examples given in order to appreciate the context in which the method was used. As you become more familiar with various methods you will realize the kind of tasks involved in applying them. Once you have identified these tasks, build them into your plan of work. Research methods development relies on researchers (including you!) adding further detail and modifying as a method is tried and evaluated."

(Carole Gray and Julian Malins, 2004, pp.104– 120)

[Gray and Malins outline the selection and use of common practice–led/practice–based research methods including: Practice; Photography, Video, 3D Models/maquettes, Reflective journal/Research diary, Audio reflection, 'Sweatbox', Case study, Interview, Questionnaire, Personal constructs.]

1). Carole Gray and Julian Malins (2004). "Visualizing Research ", Ashgate.


3D models (research method) • applied research • ARIAD • art and designartists • audio reflection (research method) • British Library • Carole Gray • case studycreative practicedesign researchdesign research approachesdesign research projectdesign researcherdesign studieseducational researchestablished research methodsfine art • Fine Art methodology • focus groups • formal research • Higher Education institute • human enquiry • industrial designinterview (research method) • Julian Malins • maquette • non-formal frameworks • personal constructs (research method) • photography (research method) • practice (research method) • practice-based researchpractice-led research • professional publications • questionnairereflective journalresearchresearch design • research diary • research methodsresearch papersocial science • sweatbox (research method) • undergraduate researchuser feedbackvideo (research method)visual arts


Simon Perkins
14 NOVEMBER 2010

Promoting an inclusive academic community

"We now examine how emerging models of meaningful student engagement with institutions can start to re–create the notion of an inclusive academic community where learners, teachers and researchers are all seen as scholars and collaborators in the common pursuit of knowledge. Using student engagement with CETLs as a brief case study, we consider firstly how we can engage students, who may have little awareness of research, with the idea. Secondly, we describe initiatives aiming at meaningful student engagement in curriculum review, including incorporation of undergraduate research. Finally, we examine the experience of students who wish to publish their research outputs, using Reinvention: a Journal of Undergraduate Research as a case study."

(Paul Taylor and Danny Wilding, 2009)

Dr Paul Taylor and Danny Wilding, T'he Reinvention Centre for Undergraduate Research', University of Warwick, November 2009


2009academic communitycase studyCentres for Excellence in Teaching and LearningCETL • curriculum review • engagementhigher education • Journal of Undergraduate Research • learnerspursuit of knowledgeQAA • Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education • raising awareness of research • Reinvention Centre • researchresearch outputs • research publishing • researcher • scholars • scholarshipstakeholdersstudent engagementteachersUKundergraduateundergraduate researchUniversity of Warwick


Simon Perkins

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