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Christina's LIS Rant
Monday, March 02, 2009
  Comps readings this week
I'm now back into re-reading, so notes will be shorter (and I'm hoping to pick up speed). In case anyone is keeping track, we're now looking at early May for the exam instead of March.

Fontana, A. & Frey, J.H. (2003). The Interview: From Structured Questions to Negotiated Text. In Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (2nd ed., pp. 61-106). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Traces to a certain extent the changes from very structured sort of oral version of a survey to more recent versions with more or less guided conversations in which meaning is constructed between the interviewer and interviewee.

Angrosino, M.V. & Mays de PĂ©rez, K.A. (2003). Rethinking Observation: From Method to Context. In Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (2nd ed., pp. 107-154). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
This is one of the few readings I have that really goes back to the early cultural anthropology version of observer and ideas of objectivity. It also talks a little about danger in the field (emotional as well as physical - for more on this I highly recommend the book with that title) and being a participant-observer or active participant. One thing that strikes me now is the idea that the researcher sometimes creates community- I won't say that I did this, but I did hear from a participant that our conversation had renewed their interest in blogging and engagement in the blogging community. Something that they talk frankly about but which doesn't come up in my work is physical relationships between researcher and participant (like Wolcott but that just seemed wrong because of power issues) and how gender is important (expected behavior from either depending on society). They also talk about the ethical and practical issues of revealing or not or assuming a sort-of crafted social identity while in the field. Campaigning on your personal agenda isn't always wise when you're trying to learn about other people (apparently this isn't so obvious to some researchers).

When reading these things I come back to how much to reveal (and practically HOW to reveal) my participant-observer status in the science blogosphere - I'm not a scientist, but I interact with scientists and I follow and comment on science blogs - this is a good thing and I think it helps me to insights, but I'd like to convey that meaningfully in my writing, and I don't know how. I want to write a methods paper to disagree with some of what's in [Kazmer, M. M., & Xie, B. (2008). Qualitative interviewing in Internet studies: playing with the media, playing with the method. Information, Communication and Society, 11(2), 115-136] regarding "bias" and communication online during the research process. If some of my results come via my particpation and not my interviews or content analysis, then that needs to be traceable. The authors caution the reader to not substitute technologically recorded evidence for lived experience - to not miss the whole by concentrating on the particular as recorded on tape.

This chapter is probably most useful in its frank discussion of ethics and IRBs - particularly when the IRB is trying to make all research into psychology experiments with hypothesis testing in controlled environments.

Ryan, G.W. & Bernard, H.R. (2003). Data Management and Analysis Methods. In Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (2nd ed., pp. 259-309). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Everything is text. Linguistic tradition (narrative analysis, conversation or discourse analysis, performance analysis, formal linguistic analysis) vs. sociological tradition - text as a window into human experience. Can be systematically elicited or free-flowing. For elicitation techniques there are things like free listing and card sorting and... hm, I need to remember to go back in Wasserman and Faust and look at their discussion for SNA.... Anyway, this is a quick review that covers some things not found in some of the other readings that only cover coding.

...
Read most of chapter 2 of Baeza-Yates, R., & Ribeiro, B. d. A. N. (1999). Modern information retrieval. New York: ACM Press.
Wanted to see if it made any more sense to me than the chapters I put on my list - and yes, they're much more clear than Manning, C. D., Raghavan, P., & Schutze, H. (2008) but I still need to go back and hit the link analysis reading, sigh.

Read the first 3 chapters of Little Science, Big Science... and Beyond. More on that in next week's roundup.

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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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