McGill University Student Name: _____________________________
School of Information Studies
Student Number: ___________________________
MLIS Specialization: _________________ Term of Study: _____________________________
GLIS 647 (6 credits over 2 terms/3 credits per term) _____
GLIS 647 (6 credits over 1 terms) _____
Ethics Certificate: ___ Required ___ Not Required
Research Costs: ___ Funded by student ___ Other funding (specify source)
Advisor’s Signature: __________________________________ Date: ________________
Supervisor’s Signature: __________________________________ Date: ________________
Approved by Student Standing and Academic Affairs Committee on: Date: ________________
Director’s Signature: __________________________________ Date: ________________
Ethics Certificate: __________________________________ Date: ________________
(if required) Supervisor’s signature
I authorize SIS to publish the title of this study on its website. Yes ____ No ____
Student Signature: ____________________________________________________________
Curriculum Committee: 2010.3.9 1
INDEPENDENT STUDY GLIS 647
(Prerequisites GLIS 611, consent of the Director)
By the end of this course, the student should be able to:
Develop and execute a limited scope research study or project on a topic in library
and information studies which elaborates or augments the curriculum;
Create a research paper or project report with potential for publication;
Demonstrate knowledge of the research process and apply research techniques.
The student will work with a faculty advisor to plan and pursue an individualized
program of directed study/research, which will vary according to the student’s interest,
and pre-supposes some detailed background knowledge in the area to be researched.
Readings will vary with the topic being studied, and are to be determined by the student
METHOD AND FORMAT:
The course involves an individual research project under the supervision of a faculty
advisor. The student will submit a well-defined proposal together with the application
form. All research involving human subjects must be accompanied by a Statement of
Ethics of Proposed Research and a Certificate of Ethical Acceptability for Research
Involving Human Subjects. The scope and final product of the project may consist of,
but is not limited to:
Scope of the project
A critical review of the literature and a demonstration prototype;
A directed reading course followed by an in-depth case study of an organization;
A field study to survey a particular profession;
Evaluation of the impact of policy or services of libraries, outreach programs;
Historical methodology applied to the history of books;
Ethnographic study of a particular community.
Format of final project
Academic paper that will typically range from 15000 to 25000 words;
Draft manuscript for publication – following the guidelines of the journal to
which it will be submitted;
Curriculum Committee: 2010.3.9 2
Other formats, as agreed to with the supervisor.
An individual research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. A well-defined
proposal for the study must be submitted with the application for the course prior to
registration. All research involving human subjects must be accompanied by a Statement
of Ethics of Proposed Research and a Certificate of Ethical Acceptability for Research
Involving Human Subjects.
The work will be evaluated on appropriate progress reports and the final Research Paper.
Procedures of Proposal
1. An independent study should form part of an integrated program of the student
undertaking it; discuss and plan your project as early as possible with your academic
2. Once you have obtained an approval in principle from your advisor, begin exploring your
chosen topic with a potential supervisor as soon as possible.
3. Work with your supervisor to prepare a draft proposal suitable for review (several
iterations are expected).
4. Submit your proposal for review. Your proposal will be reviewed by your supervisor,
your advisor and other members of the faculty as determined by your supervisor.
Reviewers will provide any comments to your supervisor within one week. The final
draft of the proposal, incorporating any changes requested by the reviewers is due one
Deadlines: Winter term Spring/summer/fall term
First submission Nov. 22 April 1
Reviewer’s comments Dec. 1 April 8
Final submission Dec. 8 April 15
5. The proposal will then be reviewed by the Student Standing and Academic Affairs
Committee. The Student Affairs Coordinator will advise you of the decision. If approved,
you can then go ahead and register for the course on Minerva. The Student Affairs
Coordinator will inform you of the appropriate CRN.
Curriculum Committee: 2010.3.9 3
Guidelines for the Proposal
In writing the research proposal, you should consider the following aspects. Some of the items
under each category may not be applicable to the type of research proposed.
Description of the topic or area of interest with an explanation of why the project is being
undertaken. This typically includes:
Research questions/objectives (including identification of variable(s), where relevant);
Scope of the project;
Discussion of the context and background to the project, including reference to the
Significance/relevance/timeliness of the project to the field (if relevant to the project).
2. Link to the MLIS Program
Statement of how the proposed course fits into your overall program, including:
Your background and qualifications (e.g., relevant courses);
Fit with the rest of the program (e.g., expands on existing course, relevant course not
Statement explaining the proposed method to be followed and its appropriateness, with
consideration of the limited scope of the proposed research.
A timetable for conducting the independent study including the following:
Refined research questions/objective;
Selection/development of research instruments;
Selection and recruitment of participants;
Data collection and analysis;
All research involving human subjects must be accompanied by a Statement of Ethics of
Proposed Research and a Certificate of Ethical Acceptability for Research Involving
Curriculum Committee: 2010.3.9 4