Bob Williams Research Grant

I am ecstatic to announce that I have received the ASIS&T SIG-HFIS Bob Williams Research Grant! This will be quite the undertaking, but I am excited to have funding to begin this work–and hire a research assistant.

In my project “Mental Health Information in LIS: A Retrospective of Access and Attitudes,” I will examine historic LIS literature to determine:

RQ1. How has access been provided to mental health information?
RQ2. How has mental health information been studied in LIS?
RQ3. What are the historical attitudes in LIS regarding mental health information?

Obviously, these are large research questions, and as the helpful reviewers of my proposal noted, it may not be possible to determine attitudes based on the access and provision of information. However, I think that by examining what people did and said about mental health can provide a lens into the attitudes our field took toward this topic.

Initially, I intended to examine a century of information, but am again taking the reviewers’ advice and expanding this scope.

My objectives and goals are as follows:

  • Objective 1: Through a systematic literature review, gather LIS articles, book chapters, conference presentations, dissertations, and theses discussing mental health information.
    • Goal 1: Create a corpus of LIS publications covering this topic.
  • Objective 2: Analyze the corpus for approaches to the provision of mental health information.
    • Goal 2: Identify how access has been provided.
  • Objective 3. Analyze the corpus for attitudes toward the provision of mental health information.
    • Goal 3: Identify how attitudes have changed over time.
  • Objective 4: Discuss connections between provision and attitudes.
    • Goal 4: Identify how attitudes toward an often-stigmatized subject have changed.
  • Objective 5: Create an annotated bibliography and publish study findings.
    • Goal 5: Provide materials for additional research on this topic.

This project will be conducted from July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021. It will be conducted in four phases:

  1. Phase One (07/01-09/30/20): Gathering literature
  2. Phase Two (10/01/20-12/01/20): Quantitative content analysis
  3. Phase Three: (12/02/20-02/02/21): Qualitative content analysis
  4. Phase Four: (02/03/21-06/30/21): Presentation of results

I will be hiring a research assistant for Phases Two and Three. This research assistant will be paid the same rate as I am for this work. In Phase Two, this work will consist of applying quantitative content analysis to determine the frequency of theme appearance. Literature will be coded based on found themes, then statistically analyzed to determine which topics were covered during which time period, and how this coverage changed over the last century. In Phase Three, qualitative content analysis will be conducted in order to systematically describe the meaning of each item in the corpus. A coding frame will be created, ideally with the same categories as those identified during qualitative
content analysis.

If you know of a graduate student who would be interested in serving as the research assistant on this project, please email me at my Simmons University address: gamblea (at) simmons.edu. Work for the research assistant will begin on October 1, 2020.

I look forward to sharing my findings with you!

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