Research methods used in library and information science during the 1970-2010

Veronica Gauchi Risso (Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Argentina)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Publication date: 11 January 2016



This paper aims to explore research methods used in Library and Information Science (LIS) during the past four decades. The goal is to compile a annotated bibliography of seminal works of the discipline used in different countries and social contexts.


When comparing areas and types of research, different publication patterns are taken into account. As we can see, data indicators and types of studies carried out on scientific activity contribute very little when evaluating the real response potential to identified problems. Therefore, among other things, LIS needs new methodological developments, which should combine qualitative and quantitative approaches and allow a better understanding of the nature and characteristics of science in different countries.


The conclusion is that LIS emerges strictly linked to descriptive methodologies, channeled to meet the challenges of professional practice through empirical strategies of a professional nature, which manifests itself the preponderance of a professional paradigm that turns out to be an indicator of poor scientific discipline development.

Research limitations/implications

This, undoubtedly, reflects the reality of Anglo-Saxon countries, reproduced in most of the recognized journals of the field; this issue plus the chosen instruments for data collection certainly slant the results.


The development of taxonomies in the discipline cannot be left aside from the accepted by the rest of the scientific community, at least if LIS desires to be integrated and recognized as a scientific discipline.



Gauchi Risso, V. (2016), "Research methods used in library and information science during the 1970-2010", New Library World, Vol. 117 No. 1/2, pp. 74-93.

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