Expert Interview Assignment

Expert Interview

Due March 19

20% of overall grade

Goal
Learn and reflect on how an expert researcher in your field finds, retrieves, analyzes, and shares information.
Instructions
Identify an expert researcher in a field that interests you–most likely a field related to your research question, major, and/or Capstone Project. Contact this researcher and make an appointment to interview him or her over the phone or in person (not by email). Prepare a list of 10-15 questions to ask the researcher designed to find out how that expert does research and communicates with other researchers. Conduct the interview, then write a report with the following three parts:

  1. Introduction of the expert: What are this expert’s qualifications? Why did you choose this person to interview? (1-2 paragraphs)
  2. List of questions you asked and the answers the expert gave: Draw up the list of questions beforehand, and make sure to take good notes on the expert’s answers. (1-2 pages)
  3. General conclusions drawn from your interview with the expert: What did you learn from meeting with the expert? Was anything surprising? Do you think this expert might be unaware of resources or methods that you’ve learned about in this class? What factors might have affected this particular researcher’s habits of research and communication? What other observations do you have? (1-2 pages)

Come to class on March 19th prepared to discuss your findings.
Possible Interview Questions

  1. What are your main sources of information?
  2. How do you decide whether to use a source of information?
  3. How has your information-seeking process changed over the years?
  4. Do you get most of your information from printed or electronic sources?
  5. How useful do you find the following sources of information? (Cite examples.)
  6. Do you think your information-seeking methods are typical of other researchers in your field?
  7. Is there anything that prevents you from getting the best information that you can?
  8. I?m considering doing a research project on [topic]. Do you have any advice for me about how to go about retrieving and analyzing information on that topic?
  9. What are your main methods of communicating with other researchers?
  10. Do you have any thoughts about the process of communicating with other researchers?
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