The research track fits the department’s research orientation. The objective of the track is to train the student with in-depth knowledge in the specific field of knowledge he or she chooses to focus on, out of the range of topics that are related to information and knowledge management, as well as Masters-level expertise in the methodologies of scientific research. The final stage in this track consists of writing a research thesis, which requires mastering the existing research in the field and contributing to it using the research tools and methods studied in the program. The thesis is written under the close and personal supervision of a faculty member.
- In this track, the student is required to take the general core courses from the department's curriculum to meet a quota of 32 weekly semester hours.
- As part of these courses, the student must write at least two “seminarion” papers (significant works, fulfilling criteria set by the department). The courses in whose context the papers are written, receive extra weight in the student’s final “GPA” for the degree. (The courses will be determined by the departmental Master's Degree committee and will be updated every year in accordance with the curriculum.)
- Writing a research thesis according to departmental requirements and procedures.
Structure of final grade
40% - courses
20% - courses with “seminarion” papers
40% - thesis
Examples of research in the field
Research studies in the field are diverse and numerous. Our faculty members' research can be viewed on their pages and at the various research centers.
On the website of the Center for Internet Research are examples of studies and projects that combine practice and research – e.g. creating tools and using data for learning, or developing and improving these tools (for example: QSIA ["kushiya"], SHIL [Citizens' Advice Bureau], and more).
Research can also be done in collaboration with companies (for example, the IBM social technology research laboratories in Haifa) and with international organizations (such as the European Union’s Socios project).
Stages in writing a thesis
- Choosing a field of interest – the first stage in writing a thesis is choosing a field of interest from the world of information and knowledge management. The student encounters various perspectives in the coursework, in various departmental gatherings such as seminars and workshops, and in the "Research Seminar" course.
- Choosing an advisor – once students have chosen a field of interest that they are interested in researching, they need to find an advisor who will help them to narrow down the field to one defined topic. Any faculty member in the university can serve as a thesis advisor. In addition, with special permission, people with a PhD from outside the university can serve as a co-advisor or even as a lone advisor. When the student and advisor agree, the student must submit the academic advisor consent form to the Master's Degree Committee.
The departmental Master's Degree Committee decides whether to approve the proposed academic advisors and the research topic.
Sometimes the process is reversed, i.e. the student meets a lecturer he or she finds particularly interesting, and meets with that person to discuss the spectrum of possible subjects that researcher could advise on. In other words, in this case, the advisor is selected first, before selecting the research topic.
- Writing the proposal – together with their advisors, the students narrow down the research topic to one research question and begin writing the research proposal. When ready, the student must submit the thesis research proposal for the appraisal of the academic advisor. If there is more than one advisor, the research proposal must be submitted to both advisors and approved prior to the official submission to the department. After the advisor finds the research proposal suitable, the student submits the proposal to the departmental Master's Degree Committee along with the advisor's recommendation form. The departmental Master's Degree Committee decides whether to approve the proposal or to send it for additional appraisal. Proposals sent for additional appraisal will be returned to the Master's Degree Committee for a decision. The committee's decision will be documented on a form sent to the advisor and to the student.
- Conducting the research and writing the thesis – once the proposal has been approved, and after some fourteen months of a structured and particularly intense curriculum, the student arrives at the stage for investing all available time in the personal research. Upon completion of the research, the student writes a thesis paper following departmental guidelines and in accordance with the guidelines of the Authority of Advanced Studies. The student submits the thesis paper to the advisor for appraisal.
- Thesis submission – after the advisor finds the research paper worthy, the student must submit it to the departmental Master's Degree Committee, along with the advisor's appraisal report. The departmental Master's Degree Committee selects an additional judge to read the paper. The judge's recommendation is returned to the Master's Degree Committee for a decision. The committee's decision is documented on a form sent to the advisor and to the student.
Additional reading – Booklet to Assist Students in Writing a Research Paper by Prof. Yoav Lavi from the Faculty of Health and Social Welfare Sciences