The collection and analysis of job advertisements: A review of research methodology

Ray Harper


An increasing number of research studies in LIS use job adverts as a data source to analyse and track changes to job skills and the employment market over time. This review of 70 research studies in LIS aims to provide an overview of key characteristics of existing research methods, and to suggest improvements which could be made to methods. The researcher analysed different aspects of each study using a quantitative approach, and noted salient features of each study’s methodology. The review found that studies of job adverts in LIS are characterised by: large sample sizes often collected using purposive sampling; a lack of full pilot studies and ethical assessments; minimal use of inferential statistics and automatic text analysis; and minimal use of complementary empirical methods. Studies of job adverts could be improved by: fuller preparation of research methods, more sophisticated methods of analysis, and greater use of secondary empirical methods.


Review; job adverts; research methods

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ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)