Plan B: What to do if I Don’t Get Into IRDL?

I need to come up with a Plan B if I don’t get selected for the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship. Questions I need to answer: 1. Do I keep this project in my back pocket and try again next year with the same question? 2. Do I press on with this research project anyway? 3. And if so, how will I learn the research ropes?

I don’t feel confident in my ability to complete an entire research project from proposal to publishing. I have a general, vague sense of what has to be done, but the details are, at best, fuzzy, and at worst, nonexistent. This is my general sense of what has to be done:

  1. Formulate the project ideas.
  2. Develop the research questions.
  3. Figure out what data I need to answer the research questions.
  4. Develop a survey or interview that will obtain the data needed to answer the questions. This includes creating it in Qualtrix.
  5. Obtain IRB approval for the survey or interviews.
  6. Administer the survey.
  7. At a certain point (which point is unclear to me), close the survey.
  8. Analyze the data (which is unclear to me).
  9. Propose some posters to begin disseminating results early. (I am not sure if this is needed, but might be useful.)
  10. Prepare a draft of an article.
  11. Let some people review my article and provide feedback.
  12. Submit to the most appropriate journal. (For my IRDL project, journals would be some from the engineering education world and some from the library world.)
  13. Publish, I hope.
  14. Figure out ways to rewrite the article for other disciplines.
  15. Build on this project with additional projects.

I am really unclear about how to do this from about #1 on down. One research methods class is not enough to prepare me. I just need to have some intense training and then dive in. If I don’t get that intense training from the IRDL, then I will need to develop it on my own. I will need to read books and go through the entire Research Methods website. I am optimistic that I can do it, but it would be so much easier to be able to go to the IRDL.

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