Action research is research done by the practitioner in order to improve his/her working conditions or efficacy. The purpose of the research is to solve a problem the worker/practitioner is having or to investigate a phenomena he/she has noticed in the course of his/her working life. The initial research question may be developed by the researcher alone or may come out of conversations or gripes with his/her colleagues. The researcher talks about the problem with colleagues or “critical” friends in order to hone his/her question and to develop a methodology to investigate it. The researcher shares news about his/her progress in collecting and analyzing data with the same group of interested people in order to get input from people outside of the data collection/analysis process who are familiar with the problem being investigated by the researcher. The researcher shares what he/she has learned with the same group of people and perhaps a wider audience formally or informally. The goals of action research are to empower the practitioner as he/she should be regarded as an expert in his/her work. The process of conducting research can also improve the researcher’s affect in terms of valuing his/her own expertise. It is also a way create or improve “best practices” and to challenge commonly held “truths” that have been unsubstantiated.
Working Definition of Action Research
April 4, 2011 by Resources for Evidence Based Research in Libraries