Research Interest vs. Research Question

Before I started the readings for this week I was confident that I had developed a research question that would serve my purposes for this course very well. My bubble was burst however when I realize that I still only have a research interest. I am grateful for the suggestions given by both Luker and Knight on how to narrow down my interest (though the idea of “consulting the literature” remains daunting), and found Luker’s oversimplified “quick tips” on “explanans” and “explanandum,” as well as the importance of the question mark (53) surprisingly useful. 

Like Brett my humanities background has usually required that I find my proof in-text, which is useful in that realm, but is obviously inadequate here. I would appreciate any/all advice that those of you who are well-versed in research methods might be able to add to Luker and Knight’s suggestions for narrowing my research interest further. Very generally my research interest is on how information professionals (librarians, archivists, etc) can ensure that rare and special materials (manuscripts, scrolls, rare texts) become available for the general public (likely in a digitized form), and are not simply replaced by modern summaries or descriptions of the original work? I don’t really know what form this will actually take, but it is something that seems important in a world of “info-glut”



2 thoughts on “Research Interest vs. Research Question

  1. Brett Phillipson

    I don’t have anything to add to this, except that that sounds like a really awesome topic and I would definitely be interested in reading the paper/thesis/etc. that comes out of it. Something that I found interesting was that one of the readings for INF1300 (are you in that class? If not I’ll try to find the full citation) mentioned that letting the records of the past disappear is a form of censorship, and that preserving those texts is essential to preserving intellectual freedom and access to information. I hadn’t really thought about it that way before, but that definitely makes sense to me.

  2. jessstarr88 Post author

    Hey Brett – do you think you would be able to find that reading from INF1300 that you mention above? I’m not in that class, and it sounds like that might give my proposal a bit more body. Thanks!


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