The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and evaluation of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) for the library and information science (LIS…
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and evaluation of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) for the library and information science (LIS) community, as this method has only recently been used for exploring experiences of various phenomena related to LIS.
IPA is discussed within the phenomenological tradition. Two examples of recent IPA studies are examined in parallel to show application of the IPA method. Issues and challenges of applying IPA to LIS research questions are discussed.
IPA is an alternative phenomenological method, adding to the repertoire of qualitative methods used for LIS research. It was an effective method for exploring experience among information professionals: it was equally suitable for studying reference and information service work for academic library professionals and burnout experience for information and communication technology workers.
Only a few LIS studies have used IPA and no discussion or evaluation of the method has been published for this field. This paper provides a discussion of the method for LIS researchers interested in this emerging phenomenological method.