The summer term, from May – September, is our research period. This is when our students undertake what is regarded by many as the most exciting part of the masters course, the independent research project, or dissertation. The dissertation is regarded by employers as the definitive way in which new LIS professionals can demonstrate their individual skills and expertise; the completed project not only functions as a showcase for expertise within a given area, but demonstrates research competence, commitment, insight, creativity, determination and resilience. All of which are characteristics which underpin successful employment in today’s workplace, alongside excellence in communication.
As a precursor to the main research phase for 2016, we added an additional research workshop to the #citylis agenda. This session was designed to put students at ease, allowing everyone to be able to discuss any remaining doubts or concerns before starting their research. Those in their second year of the masters course, or those studying full time had already put together their research proposals, and this seminar provided a forum for discussion/feedback. Some first year students also joined the group, keen to get a head start on their research, and also to catch up with friends and ideas!
#citylis positions itself at the forefront of library and information science. LIS aims to organise and preserve the record of humankind, making it available to all. To do this in the 21st century, we reach beyond traditional library roles, and beyond traditional definitions of information, documents and collections. We anticipate the changes and challenges thrown up by the digital information society. We constantly examine our understanding of documentation, and strive to put forward ways in which we can interact with the information communication chain to promote our ultimate goal of information use for the purposes of understanding.
The research topics chosen by our current students reflect the broad, contemporary nature of library and information science; library services for minority groups, area studies, the impact of makerspaces, the impact of AI on information organisation and retrieval, and how computers are changing the way we think, and thus the consequences for information services.
Concepts of documents, collections and metadata are considered and challenged, alongside the impact of technology on provision of access to theological literature, music, art, videogames and materials.
As always, #citylis students are encouraged to process what they learn reflectively, by sharing their progress via social media. Posts relating to our work on Twitter are tagged #citylis.
#citylis offers a full, 10 session, core module on Research Methods to all our students, as preparation for the disseration, and in anticipation of a future career which fully embraces both the application of and contribution to research. A sample of previous dissertation titles undertaken by #citylis students supervised by me can be seen here:
If you would like to study with #citylis, come to one of our open evenings, or email me [firstname.lastname@example.org] to arrange a time to chat.