Competency I

Understand research design and research methods and possess the analytical, written, and oral communication skills to synthesize and disseminate research findings.

There has been change in the records management and archival sciences, as with most other information sciences, due to the refined research designs and methods available to the field and the complexity of the questions asked and answered about how processes are run in the records management and archival sciences. Without understanding the layout of research design and methods, those who stand to learn from these inquiries of information are left without definitive conclusions, even if the research is accurate and sound. If the information is not applicable to be synthesized and disseminated, then it is not going to bring about potentially necessary change for an organization, or perhaps the entire fields of archival and records management. One of the more common structures in research is the qualitative study, which is to determine the basic contextual theory and that “in qualitative research the focus is on process, meaning, and understanding, that the researcher is the primary instrument of data collection and analysis, that it is inductive, and so on”, to provide an example (Merriam 2014, 266). If we take it that a researcher is “the primary instrument of data collection”, then we are able to understand that the methods are going to narrow down to the subject that the research is trying to affect, and the data will arise from what has already been built as well as current experience.
As Merriam states, “Reviewing previous thinking and research found in the literature can help illuminate your framework, as well as shape the actual problem statement and purpose of the study”, which highlights the importance of a literature review, as it sets the place where this research will fit into the context of past and previous understanding, that has already been established and analyzed, and therefore determined worthy of being knowledge to add to. Another point by Merriam shows that “how you select your sample is directly linked to the questions you ask and how you have constructed the problem of your study” (2014, 2). This naturally follows the notion that establishing a framework where all of the constants are preset and the data is compiled from the variables that are voluntary participants.
As per the communication skills to synthesize and disseminate research findings, it is a skill to be able to comprehend the initial proposal, the process of finding the answer, and the conclusion, especially for the purpose of application external to the reading of the study. One could also argue that knowing by example and completing one is the best way to learn “the rhetorical skills necessary to compose a succinct abstract and to relate a proposal to implications in the field” (Ondrusek 2014, 838). With the records management and archival sciences, it is dependent on the verification and establishments of results, which is brought about by an understanding of “implications in the field” to look at philosophies and use research methods to better advance our knowledge about the sciences.

 

Evidence for Submission

 

Evaluation of the LOUISiana Digital Library – Management of Records and Archival Institutions (MARA 204)

The evaluation of a statewide digital initiative is an essay based in research and is a project to fit the schemata of researching to build upon the knowledge of digital library initiatives and decipher what a program of this nature looks like. It employs research methods such as a SWOT (strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis and usage examples. The student is able to identify the factors of usability through the experience of the primary source and the program’s sustainability through a thorough analysis of the program’s background. It provides a reference pertaining to a useful subject for other repositories to analyze and comprehend the results of.

 

Web 2.0 Task Force Survey Questionnaire – Research Methods in Records Management and Archival Science (MARA 285)

This group assignment takes on the role of the Society of American Archivists and the four group members, including the student, created a survey questionnaire based on archival use of Web 2.0 tools, along with an introductory letter to be sent to participants, a developmental analysis of each question, and an appendix showing an example of the complete survey that would have been sent to participants. As a group, we developed two questions apiece and analyzed the reasoning beyond their inclusion, but we all contributed to the introductory letter and as we stated in the conclusion of the developmental analysis: “Completion of the project demonstrated a commitment to providing exemplary practices within the archival community”. The student (myself) developed the questions related to Web 2.0 training, as that would provide results on whether the staff of an archival institution understood Web 2.0 technologies enough to incorporate them into their workflow.

 

Accuracy in Archival Digitization Within the Realm of Fashion Final Research Proposal – Research Methods in Records Management and Archival Science (MARA 285)

In this final research proposal, the problem statement states that accessibility to fashion archives might be impacted by difficulties in conveying a complete research experience to at-distance The proposal is constructed with the statement of the problem, the research question(s), the operational definition of terms, a literature review, research methodology, a proposed project schedule, the qualifications of the author (myself), a statement of the significance of the work, and a summary conclusion.

 

What was learned and how it will be applied

 

Fortunately, the concept of researching was a familiar process, having spent quite some time in my undergraduate program learning the research design and methods for scholarly literary analysis, while honing those analytical, oral, and written communication skills for conveying my research in the same program. While the capability of research dissemination was easily learned in the context of library, archives, and records management research subjects, I did notice that these methods and forms of research design were more scientific in nature, which is something I had never quite gone into as a student. While I had literature reviews and statements of significance down pat, I never had to compile a study or utilize analysis in a manner of looking at data. In a parallel way, analyzing data is like analyzing a paragraph in fiction: you have to draw a conclusion from what is presented and there in stone. This is going to be beneficial in my future career as an archivist or records manager, as what will be presented, from data regarding technology usefulness to data regarding a specific type of work process, is there for examination, analysis, applicability, and implementation within any given environment where I would have any authority, be it of my own individual authority as a worker with a specific set of job duties or a manager of projects, people, and/or working organizations. Knowing the research designs and methods allows me to determine whether a certain conclusion of research can be trusted, or whether the research I would conduct and publish could be trusted.

 

References

Merriam, S. (2014). Qualitative Research. Hoboken: Wiley.

Ondrusek, A., Thiele, H., & Yang, C. (2014). Writing abstracts for MLIS research proposals using worked examples: an innovative approach to teaching the elements of research design. College & Research Libraries, 75(6), 822-841. doi:10.5860/crl.75.6.822

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