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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

8.2.2 Case study issues

According to [Yin, 1998], exploratory case studies are the preferred orientation:

When the available literature or existing knowledge base is poor, offering no clues for conceptual frameworks or notably propositions (p. 236).

While there is a large literature on electronic journals and electronic publishing, there is little dealing with academic libraries as facilitators for electronic scholarly publishing (the focus of the case study research). In this case the exploratory approach seemed most appropriate.

Case studies have often been criticised on the grounds of lack of representativeness, difficulties in generalisability and potential for investigator bias [Adams and Schvaneveldt, 1985, p. 114]. However, [Rose, 1991] argues that such criticism is based on a degree of methodological confusion:

In case study research ... it is considered more appropriate to treat representativeness in terms of a qualitative logic for the selection of cases for study, rather than a quantitative logic of sampling from a population (p. 192).

Such a careful selection was the process followed for this phase of the research.

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© Andrew Treloar, 2001. * http://andrew.treloar.net/ * andrew.treloar@gmail.com