Mixed Methods Research in LIS Literature: A Scoping Review

Emily A. Crist, University of Vermont
Elizabeth A. Berman, University of Vermont


This poster presentation introduces the initial stages of a scoping review, mapping the existing mixed methods research (MMR) studies in the field of Library and Information Science (LIS) published between 2013-2015. While MMR has no universal definition, it can generally be defined as a mixing of qualitative and quantitative research methods or analytic techniques in a single study (Creswell, 2010). Mixed methods offers a third research paradigm, which aligns more closely with the pragmatic approach being adopted by research which focuses on the research question driving the methods, and not the inclinations of the researcher (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2005; Small, 2011; Yoshikawa, Weisner, Kalil & Way, 2008). In order to expand research methods to best answer LIS research questions, a better understanding of MMR becomes critical for its useful implementation.

The research questions guiding this scoping review are: How is MMR being used in LIS research? What types of qualitative and quantitative methods are being used within a MMR study? How are researchers defining and classifying these studies in relation to the most prominent definitions within the MMR community? What types of research questions are being addressed through MMR? This scoping review will allow academic and research librarians to see how their colleagues are implementing MMR across the field in the intention that they will have a better understanding of mixed methods approaches and feel more confident in using them. The poster presentation will report on the search strategy and initial findings of this scoping review.