INF 397.3 - Digital Libraries ResearchSchool of Information - The University of Texas at Austin
Spring, 2010

Course Description

Exploration of theoretical and practical research on creating and making available digital collections. Using a seminar format, this course will focus on developing digital library projects that are informed by current digital library research and innovations, using formal research methods.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing; INF 385R; INF 385S, INF 392H, or significant experience in digital applications in digital libraries; and consent of instructor.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students should accomplish the following course objectives:

Recommended Books

This course will emphasize readings from scholarly journals and conference proceedings; there are no required textbooks. The following text, however, is recommended for its broad coverage of research methods useful in the information studies field:

Wildemuth, B. M. (2009). Applications of social research methods to questions in information and library science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited. [ISBN: 1591585031]

This text is recommended for a general background in digital libraries (note that it is available through the UT Library as an e-book):

Lesk, Michael. (2005). Understanding Digital Libraries. (2nd Edition) San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann. [ISBN: 1558609245]

Required readings, recommended readings, and other relevant Web resources are listed on the Resources page.

Course Expectations

Students are expected to attend all class sessions. This course is taught in a seminar format with a relatively small number of students. Regular attendance and active participation is therefore particularly important and a substantial part of your final course grade is based on active participation in class.

Readings and discussions are the foundation of this course so it is very important that you do the readings each week before class so that you can participate in, and get the most out of, the discussions.

Assignments and Grading

There are three graded assignments in this course. These assignments are intended to provide a way for you to learn more about digital library topics and current research, to share and discuss with the rest of the class what you believe are promising and interesting developments in the field, and to gain practical experience in conducting scholarly research. Each assignment is worth a specific number of points, as will be noted in the assignment details. Your cumulative score on all assignments will help determine your final grade for the course, with each assignment weighted like so:

Assignment 1 - Digital Library Research Project 45%
Assignment 2 - Co-Lead Readings Discussion 20%
Assignment 3 - Individual Research Project/Paper 25%

Thus, the three assignments total 90% of your final grade. Another 10% of your final grade is based on seminar participation and other indicators of level of effort. To receive full participation points you must demonstrate you have done the weekly readings and be consistently engaged in the seminar activities throughout the semester.

Assignment 2 will be due on varying class meeting dates that depend on the topic to which you are assigned. Because this assignment is associated with a specific class meeting, it must be completed on the due date that will be posted on the course schedule. Assignment 1 and 3 will have specific due dates, to be discussed early in the semester, and these assignments will only be accepted late if the instructor grants permission, at least 24 hours before the due date, for the student to turn the assignment in late, on an agreed-upon date. Except in extreme circumstances, this assignment will be docked several points for each day it is late.

Disability Accommodations

Any student with a documented disability (physical or cognitive) who requires academic accommodations should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259 (voice) or 471-4641 (TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing) as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations.

Course Schedule

See the Schedule page for a detailed list of the topics that will be covered each week during the course, as well as any readings or assignments that should be done.

©Gary Geisler
Last revised February 18, 2010