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Librarian Research Resources: What Research Method Should I use?

This guide provides research resources to assist academic librarians, who choose to do research, in their promotion. This provides support to library faculty members’ in their research component for their tenure, or post-tenure review.

Unobtrusive Methods

Articles on web-based surveys:

Steinberg, Don. "Yes, no and somewhat likely: survey the world with web polls." Inc, 29:10 (Oct.2007): 58-59.

Survey Tools Comparison Chart

A downloadable chart comparing Zoomerang, SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey, QuestionPro, SurveyGold, e-SurveysPro.

Overview of Research Methods

Research methods include a wide variety of frameworks and theoretical underpinnings. The most important aspect of any research project is ensuring the methods are valid and rigorous. One of the best overviews of social science research, on the Internet, is the Research Methods Knowledge Base. Click on the link below and you will understand why this is a highlighted resource.


Before you start any research that involves human subjects you must go through training, Go to the Research Procedures page in this library guide or click on the Office for Responsible Research for more information.

Surveys should be done to answer program-oriented questions:

  • Include only information useful to design or revise interventions
  • Do not include information which is just "of interest" or already proven or obvious

Surveys may also be done to gather data to use to advocate for additional resources in order to meet the needs of a neglected emergency-affected population, (text from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine @

Your Librarian

Erin Thomas's picture
Erin Thomas
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University
515 294-9886