Science-Related Topics in School Library Media Periodicals: An Analysis of Electronic Citation Content from 1998-2004

Mardis, Marcia A. 2006. “Science-Related Topics in School Library Media Periodicals: An Analysis of Electronic Citation Content from 1998-2004.” School Libraries Worldwide 12 (2): 1–15.

The author, a professor of Library and Information Science at Wayne State University, performed a content analysis of professional articles for school librarians, looking for how many articles addressed librarians supporting science curriculum. Mardis followed this general methodology: select databases with public access, select popular journals for the field, then choose search phrases, and compare results. Mardis specifically tried to answer four questions:

  1. What portion of the school library literature citations refers to articles on science topics?
  2. How has the distribution and type of citations changed during the scope of this study?
  3. What types of articles are being published about science in school library literature, and how long are the articles?
  4. What type of school library media roles and activities for science does the literature support?

Another researcher could perform a similar content analysis for other subjects. Like science, mathematics is not typically a subject that librarians are confident in. A content analysis reveals not just trends in teaching science in the library, it would help a scholar identify gaps in literature and patterns that may make it easier to write a publishable paper.  One factor I am interested in comparing is the length of the articles. I have found several one or two page articles about strategies for using math in the library, but far fewer academic papers or in-depth papers.

Related Readings:

  • Mardis, Marcia. 2007. “School Libraries and Science Achievement: A View from Michigan’s Middle Schools.” School Library Media Research 10 (January).
  • Mardis, Marcia, and Ellen Hoffman. 2007. “Collection and Collaboration: Science in Michigan Middle School Media Centers.” School Library Media Research 10 (January).

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