#DitchTheSurvey: Expanding Methodological Diversity in LIS Research

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Recent content analyses of LIS literature show that, by far, the most popular data collection method employed by librarians and library researchers is the survey. The authors of this article, all participants in the 2014 Institute for Research Design in Librarianship, recognize that there are sound reasons for using a survey. However, like any one method, its very nature limits the types of questions we can ask. Our profession’s excessive reliance on the survey likewise imposes excessive limitations on what we can know about our field and our users. This article summarizes recent studies of the methods most common to LIS studies, explores more deeply the benefits of using non-survey methods, and offers recommendations for future researchers. In short, this article is a call to arms: it is time to ditch the survey as our primary research method and think outside the checkbox. It is time to fully embrace evidence-based library and information practice and promote training in diverse research techniques.