CURRENT TRENDS IN LIBRARY & INFORMATION SCIENCE RESEARCH
INTRODUCTION• Research is a careful critical study or examination in seeking facts or principles; intelligent & diligent investigation in order to ascertain something.• In India, individual research started in 1930s with Dr. S.R. Ranganathan who was actively involved in various areas of librarianship viz. classification, cataloguing, documentation, librar y administration, etc.
• LIS education in India though started as early as in 1911 & was gradually recognized as a full-fledged discipline.• Separate departments were set up in the universities offering courses leading to bachelors & master degrees.• This eventually set the stage for formal research activities in the subject.• At present, formal research in LIS is conducted at 4 levels, viz. MLISc, Mphil, PhD & D.Litt.
TRENDS IN LIS RESEARCH• In the field of Library Science research, US made the premier attempt.• The study entitled ‘A Guide to Sources of 17th century English History in Selected Reports of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts’ by Eleanor. S. Upton was awarded PhD by the Chicago University in 1930.
• It is considered as the 1st doctoral degree in Library Science.• During 1950s universities namely, Illinois, Michigan, Columbia, Western Reserve, California & Rutgers produced 129 PhD dissertations.• Library schools in USA focused their research during 1990s in the following areas: Management Utilization of variety of communication media & technologies in Library & Information Centres.
RESEARCH IN UK• Library science research in UK was started during 1930s.• The 1st doctoral thesis accepted by the London School of Economics was on a core Library science subject in 1935.• The title of the thesis was ‘The Public library Service under English Local Government’.
• The areas of research selected by library schools include: Novel methods of representing & storing of data. Chemical structure of information for manipulation & retrieval User studies Systems evaluation
Organizational problems in theapplication of IT Technology transfer & policies Information systems in developingcountries Education & training ofinformation specialists Computer based aids for onlineeducation Computer in libraries
Expert systemsUse of automatic classificationClassification techniques fordocument retrievalApplication of parallel processingtechniques to informationretrieval, etc.
LIBRARY SCIENCE RESEARCH IN INDIA• Library science in India was initiated by Dr. S.R. Ranganathan in 1931, with the formulation of Five Laws of Library science.• He even graded them as Normative principles, Fundamental laws, Canons, Principles & postulates.• Ranganathan cut new grounds & blazed new trials in Library science initially by solo- research.
• Ranganathan’s era is characterized by a period of intellectual contribution to the theory of Library Science, particularly library classification.• The 1st PhD in Library science was awarded to Dr. D.B. Krishna Rao for his study on ‘Facet analysis and depth classification of agriculture under the guidance of Dr. S.R. Ranganathan & S.Dasgupta in 1957.’
• Dr. J.S. Sharma, was the 1st Indian & one of the 1st few to earn doctorate from USA.• He was awarded PhD by Michigan University for his thesis ‘Mahatma Gandhi: A Descriptive Bibliography ’.• The 2nd PhD in LIS in India was awarded in 1977 by Dr. Pandey S.K. Sharma for his thesis ‘Expansion and modification of Dewey Decimal Classification (18) for classifying indological books with special reference to Indian Philosophy, and Indian religion by Punjab university ’.
• The study conducted by Varalekshmi on research areas & trends in LIS in India pointed out, there is a shortage of investigation in subject areas such as information storage & retrieval, methods to increase resource sharing, scientific communication & its channelization, education for LIS.
CURRENT TRENDS• According to National Knowledge Commission (NKC) report (March 2007), “India has a long tradition of libraries & has contributed to the development of basic concepts in the discipline such as fundamental principles of library services & knowledge organization tools, R & D activities in LIS today are extremely limited. This is utmost concern for the growth of LIS profession in India”.
NKC has recommended: User studies Organization of community information & development of appropriate standards Standardization of Indian names Vocabulary control Development of open source software
Development of digital libraries both in English & Indian languagesCross language information retrieval &Subjects that have high potential of doing research in LIS.
Current trends….• Every year the Indian Association of Teachers of Library & Information Science (IATLIS) holds a seminar on topics of Library education & research.• The literature on Library education & research is enormous, though repetitive & inflated.• The blame of wholly put on the lack of infrastructure & unavailability of funds.
• The new maladies that have recently inflicted the LIS research are: Ghost writing Outsourcing of data processing Data cooking Rampant plagiarism
CONCLUSION• Research in LIS briefly means the collection & analysis of original data on a problem of librarianship, done within the library schools according to scientific & scholarly standards.• Research in this connection broadly includes investigations, studies, surveys, academic work at the doctoral level & research by practicing librarians & information professionals, etc.
• To any research productivity, the contributions of the researcher & their guide is highly significant.• It is the time worth remembering Dr. S.R. Ranganathan & many other professionals who have contributed much to the development of the profession as well as knowledge and skill.
REFERENCE• Devarajan, G.(2011). Prolegomena to research methodology. New Delhi: Ess Ess Publications. pp. 47-51.• Kumar, P.S.G. (2004). Research methods and Statistical techniques. New Delhi: B.R. Publishing Corporation.• Chandrashekara, M & Ramasesh, C.P. (2009). Library & information science research in India. Asia- Pacific Conference on Library & Information Education & Practice. 530-537.
• Satija, M.P. (2010). What ails doctoral research in library & information science in India?. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology. 30 (5). 61-66.• Wagh, Sanjay N. (2011). Research in library & information science in India (2004-08): An analytical study of PhD programme. International Referred Research Journal. 17(1). 78-79.• Patra, Swapan Kumar & Prakash Chand. (2006). Library & information science research in India: A bibliometric study. Annals of Library & Information Studies. 53. 219-223.