Qualitative Researchers’ Experiences of Methodological Instruction and Technology Use

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Academic libraries frequently offer research support services aimed at graduate students out of a recognition that coursework may leave gaps in the preparation students need for development into independent scholars. Needs assessment and information behavior studies have been used to better understand the graduate student experience and to develop new services. This research, however, has largely not been used to examine student experiences around the use of different methods, though there is evidence that existing data-related services in libraries are not inclusive of research using qualitative data and methods. This study uses a reflexive approach to thematic analysis and interviews with 19 graduate students and faculty members to explore how participants learned to conduct qualitative research and use technology in their data analysis. The themes identified show that novice researchers draw on a complex web of relationships and information sources to learn research methods, and that using technology for data analysis is an ongoing and time-consuming process of negotiating access. These themes point to potential actions for libraries to develop a more robust infrastructure that supports qualitative work through both instruction and information curation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Specialist publicationJournal of Academic Librarianship
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Graduate students
  • Library services
  • Qualitative research
  • Research methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences


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