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Information Studies: Research information

Useful books for Information Studies

Research methodology books

1. General research methodology, methods and design books are located in

  • the main libraries at 001.42... and 300.7...
  • there is also a permanent display on the ground floor of the Pmb main library and these display books may be borrowed
  • certain key texts are kept on Academic Reserves: Newman; Creswell; Babbie and Mouton; Ritchie; Silverman.

 How to succeed in your master's and doctoral studies : a South African guide and
resource book (808.02 MOU)

2. Books on academic and thesis writing and referencing (808.06634)

Library and Information Science Books

Using qualitative methods in action research : how librarians can get to the why
of data (025.0077 COO)

 Basic research methods for librarians [electronic resource] or 020.72 CON

 Key methodology books at the Pmb main library (many new editions on order)

Babbie, E. The practice of social research. 2013    300.72 BAB (Academic Reserves)

Silverman, D. Doing qulaitative research. 2013.     300.72 SIL

Crano, W., Brewer, M and Lac, A. Principles and methods in social research 3rd ed. 2015     300.72 CRA

Flick, U. Sage handbook of qualitative data analysis. 2014      001.42 SAG

Patton, MQ. Qualitative research and evaluation methods... 2015    300.72 PAT

Teddlie, C and Tashakkori, A. Foundations of mixed methods research. 2009    300.72 TED


 Research Methods Databases

 There are several online publications available that will be helpful with the fundamentals of what is research, methodologies, qualitative vs quantitative; doing a literature review etc:

Research Methods Knowledge Base

How to research by Blaxter, Hughes and Tight (2001 - McGrawHill). This book deals with the basics of what is research, getting started, methods, reading/literature review, data collection and analysis, writing up etc.



Research cycle


Identify the research area
What kind of research are you doing and what is the research question/s and / or hypothesis that you wish to answer?
Design the research study
There are various broad types of research in law which may be qualitative or quantitative and each requires a particular methodology:

  Undertake a preliminary literature review and draw up a research proposal for your supervisor. Check whether ethical clearance is needed

Carry out research
Know your library collection in both print and electronic, know the tools for searching for information and understand how to evaluate resources. Situate your research within current research. Collect your evidence to answer your research question. Click on the Books, Journals, Databases and Theses tabs above for more information on sources of information and tools. A very useful  brief guide to aspects of the literature review and types of reviews etc has been put together by Chimene Tucker of the Unviersity of S California.
Analyse research results
What does your research / data collection tell you and in relation to your research question?
Publish research results
In what format / style must your thesis be written; ensure your referencing is correct and you have avoided plagiarism (click on the Referencing tab above)

Predatory journals

Not all journals are 'academically sound' so one needs to be aware of what to look out for when choosing a journal to publish it. The Beall's list as it was known was a compilation of predatory and suspicious journals but has been withdrawn. Here  is a recent article outlining the features of such predatory journals and ones to look out for.

UKZN Research Office

Research Office

The Research Office provides all research related policies, funding opportunities and links to the DHET accredited journal lists that are used for publishing and funding purposes.

Ethical clearance form

Ethical clearance applications are now done online via the RIG system. Every postgrad is automatically linked to RIG. Login with your UKZN login details.

Go to: and enter your login details. On the top right hand side of the next screen click on the + sign next to 'add new content' and click on 'ethics applications'. At the next screen there are two options - a humanities form and a biosciences form. There are 4 sections to fill in.

It is a good idea to have your proposal done as part of the application form requires a literature review etc which you can then copy and paste from your proposal.

Doing and writing a literature review

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