Revealing the “Essence” of Things: Using Phenomenology in LIS Research
Phenomenology is a recommended methodology when the study goals are to understand the meanings of human experiences or to explore concepts from new and fresh perspectives. However, existing methodology guidance is often conceptual and abstract. Few procedural instructions exist regarding data coding and interpretation. In this paper, the author reports on his experiences with phenomenology in two different studies. The first was a study of the meanings of “government publication” as perceived by government agency Web managers and digital depository librarians. The second explored why heterosexual women read Boys’ Love (BL) stories and what the pleasures were. The author explained how he combined data coding and interpretation techniques from grounded theory and other qualitative methods in the phenomenological analyses.