ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to examine the trends of qualitative research in four representative journals in Korean LIS from 1970 to 2016. 73 papers(1.4%) were analyzed focusing on publication year, subject areas, research purposes, authors, qualitative methods, research participants, data collection methods, data analysis methods, and methods of validation. The findings are as follows: 1) Information behaviour(39.7%) was the most researched topics, followed by librarians work(20.5%), and bibliotherapy & reading education(13.6%). 2) The most frequently used research purpose was for understanding experiences(60.2%) and for improving current state(30.1%). 3) ‘Grounded theory’(13.6%) and ‘phenomenology’(10.9%), ‘case study’(10.9%), were used frequently, while ‘non-specified qualitative method’ was 26.0% and ‘not indicated’ was 21.9%. 4) Librarians (41.0%) were the most researched participants, followed by professionals(13.6%). To collect qualitative data, in-depth interview(20.5%), interview(13.6%), and in-depth interview & internal documents(9.5%) were frequently used. There are ‘loose qualitative research’ group and ‘scientific qualitative research’ group. LIS researchers using qualitative research methods should consistently make efforts to increase qualitative theory and the philosophical assumptions, and to apply rigorous research method (data collection, analysis and interpretation, sampling, data saturation, validity and reliability). Institutionally, It is to provide ‘qualitative research methods’ course and to develop guidelines and standards for LIS qualitative research authors and reviewers.

KEYWORD

Qualitative research, Research trends, Library and information science

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