A Blog on the Progress of my Research Project

Historical Collection

While the historical collection part of the chapter for this week was interesting I think with the scope of my topic being so recent these methods won’t be as advantageous for me as they would in other research topics.  The method that really stuck out to this time was the mixed method approach. I feel using the mixed approach of observation and Interviewing would be a great way to get a hands on feel for my research question. Interviewing can give false results however with observation I feel I can get a better sense of the actions and what really goes on in digitalization and digital preservation to determine if the organization or person does understand the two concepts or if the persons understanding is false. I think using both of these methods would be an interesting tactic to employ. 


Moving along to the research process part of my proposal. I have drafted both my introduction and literature review.  I feel that there is not much literature or that not much research has been done on my topic and that would give me cause to do the actual research i.e. the data collection. I found it to be somewhat odd at first that there is not much literature on the subject. However, I am aware that there are some places that do not even have analog preservation plans so it is somewhat understanding to assume that these organizations then would not have a preservation plan or understanding of digital preservation. I think that it would alos be interesting to look at what organization do not have preservation plans but digitize there materials which is somewhat within the scope of my research question but I was unable to find any type of literature in that sense. The literature that I have found does help but some of the topics are out of the range of the topic and do not pertain specifically to the topic itself. A blog that was done by the Library of Congress however does give some information as to why this is a somewhat common occurrence which is helpful in supporting the research. 


Alas this week in the reading I found another research strategy that I would love to administer!  This tactic would involve observation.  I find observation to be quite fascinating in itself.  The hardest part I would have to say is in doing informal observation which would be my preferred method would be making sure the participants don’t figure the observation out. If I were to conduct this type of research I would first send out an electronic survey asking questions such as:

1. Is there a difference between digitalization and digital preservation? (Y/N)

2. What is your preservation method that you take in digitizing materials?

Scanning ect… (more options)

3. If your institution does not preserve digital materials what is the reason?(comment box)

a few other sort of trick questions would be asked to determine on my end if they really do understand and know the difference as well as information such as affiliation, job postion ect…

I would then Like to go and visit the organization after analyzing the responses ensuring that I have a variety of organizations that proved in fact they do administer preservation, some that it seems unsure if they do and some that do not.  I would also if it seemed beneficial to the research conduct an interview after the observations to  understand more of what I witnessed.  This however, would mostly likely i would have to admit about the observing.

Gathering Information

As I have been reading other texts and articles for class I have been bookmarking pages or highlighting paragraphs but I had yet to do any of the real research. My favorite thing to do when an article or book is to look at the related citations and see if there are any that relate to what I need. Yesterday I started to do some research I started by going to the library website and while looking at countless articles that had little or nothing to do with what I was truly in need of  I stumbled across an article that seemed like it would have some merit to my topic. I click the article and it gives me a link to go to the full page.  The full page of course just takes me to the place I can purchase it from. I click on the link for the institution and it will only give me the abstract. So being the smart little researcher that I have become I went to TDnet where we have our journal subscriptions at and found the journal online. Went to the volume and number and there it is. I save and print it and then I noticed the title above it seemed relavent I opened and saved the file and did my lovely command f search for words close to my topic and read the sentence and found that this article was good too. I started thinking that I wonder if there are any more so I went and looked at each article title for the past 5 years and found a bunch of great stuff. I went through some more resources through the library site and then decided to do a google search and see what I find. I did several different but related search terms during these searches. I ended up finding some great professional blogs about what I was looking at and a few surveys that had to do with my subject. While I may still do some more research I am certainly glad that I have buckled down and have a good amount of the research itself done!

Collecting Data

As I stated in my discussion post for this week my favorite part of research is surveys and questionnaires.  As I posted earlier I would love to conduct my own research, but due to time restraints I am unable to do this. If I had the time to do this type of research I would plan on using an internet questionnaire probably survey monkey. I will do a write up of a proposed survey that I will do for my proposal but it will not actually be administered. My plan would involve coming up with some questions do a few pre-tests and editing.  I would then send the survey out museums, libraries, archives and other informational professional organizations and invite them to take the survey.  I would do random sampling and use listings from ALA SAA and other organizations that could provide me with e-mail address for organizations. I would send a large number of e-mails to take in to account non respondents.  However it has been my experience that as a university student most people that are contacted are more than willing to help out especially if it is something small like about 10 or so questions. Perhaps at some point I will actually get to do the real research, but for the time being I will be working on a proposed survey process to include in my research proposal as to how I will collect data on my topic.

This past week I had sometime to reflect on my research statement and figure my statement and research proposal introduction. I have begun my drafts and am working on researching the topic in order to get some facts and figures for my question.  In my discussion post for last week I commented on evaluation.  I feel that evaluation is an intrical part of the research process. While I will not be conducting the actual research and writing the research paper I do plan on having a part for evaluation put into my proposal. The other main theme of the chapter was evidence-based and research-based practice. While I would love to have the time to actually go out and conduct the research for my question myself and conduct the research I do not feel that I would be able to conduct mass research on the topic in the timeframe of this semester. Therefore, because of the time constraint I will be relying on my research to be mostly evidence based research. While I will rely on other researchers result they are not my own and not from my own conclusion which makes my process take the evidence based practice route. Hopefully I will be able to find some good research result in the literature.

Research Design

Now that I have a understanding of fixed, flexible, and multi-strategy designs I feel it is safe to say that I will be using a flexible design. I am still think I will be using ground theory as I have stated previously as my strategy. I will be creating a draft later in the week of my research question. I have been skimming some research that I will likely be using for my literature review and I think by  reading these materials closer and looking at both sides of the question I am posing that I will be able to come up with a good draft for my statement. While I have a pretty good idea of what I would like my statement to say I would like to supplement my statement with research and to make sure I am on the same track and that I don’t end up going a different route with my question after reading some of the literature. I feel it will be much more valuable this way than to rethink my position and have to redraft a new statement if I sway from my original thoughts.

General Design

I realize I have been gone from my blog for a while now, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about my posts.  Since it has been a while I am going to combine my thoughts from Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 into one posting since they both offered a lot of good information.

Starting with Chapter 4 right away I was intrigued by the general design that my research question would take.  Under the idea of purpose I felt my question is to explain and understand something.  Going into my research design strategy I feel that a multi-strategy design would fit for my question using both fixed and flexible design.  I also determined that I think my question is an evaluation because I am interested in all the outcomes as to the difference between digitization and digital preservation and why some people one do not know the diference and two why people tend to use the terms interchangeably.  The research strategy that I feel I will use is grounded theory I want to understand and explain why people do not know the difference in my question.  Granted, I do recognize that there are many people that do know the difference.

Chapter 5 gave a lot of great information about fixed design, but I feel that my quest falls more under the flexible that fixed although the chapter offered a lot of great insights and if I chose to use a multi strategy I may look back into the chapter at my notes on these designs.  The major issue that I arrose at in the chapter in relation to my question is bias I want to understand and explain why people don’t know the diference between the two terms and what the diference is with this I have to be mindful of not having bias towards those that don’t know the diference along with those that do know and how they came about learning between the two terms.