Making sense of methods – a conversation about qualitative research in library and information studies

Edward Francis Abbott-Halpin, Antony Bryant


Currently there is an embarrassment of riches with regards to research in areas such as library and information studies [LIS] – a range of possibilities, both qualitative and quantitative – added to which we now have the potential for ‘mixed methods’ and the lure of ‘Big Data’ as a resourced that appears to offer a readily available and potentially fruitful basis for investigative studies. All of this provides a rich body of resources for researchers, but this abundance also has a downside leading to confusion and perplexity. Contributions such as this special issue are intended to resolve and ameliorate this, and so we seek to address some of these issues in the form of an interchange between two researchers with interests that include, but are not limited to, research in LIS. The aim of this is to seek some clarification of key issues involved; although we realize that this is unlikely to provide any definitive outcome, it may assist those seeking some guidance on these matters.


Research, Methods, Grounded Theory, Action Research, Methodological sensitivity

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ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)