This paper aims to discuss whether there is difference between pragmatic and scholarly approaches to data gathering in libraries.
This paper discusses the research design that used mystery shoppers to evaluate library reference services.
The paper argues that people do a disservice to the institutions they study if they overstate the validity of their data and draw unsupportable conclusions based on those data.
The paper argues that valid results must be part of practical as well as scholarly research.
The paper illustrates how practical data gathering and analysis can have validity if the weaknesses of the data gathering are recognized and openly discussed, and if the right analytical methods are used.
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