Master's Paper Overview


The master's paper or project requirement allows SILS students the opportunity to approach a problem in a substantial and scholarly way.

The master's paper is based partly or completely on original data gathered by the student; on existing data gathered by the student; or on existing data pertinent to library and information work. Master's papers may include, but are not restricted to, experimental studies, historical studies, content analyses, case studies or surveys.

The master's project involves the design of a solution to a technical problem in library or information work. Master's projects may include, but are not restricted to, testing and evaluations of existing programs and/or systems design.

The project must be thoroughly described in writing. This should include analyses of various approaches to the problem and its proposed solution. In many respects this documentation should resemble a position paper or a consultant's report.


The student may choose any topic related to library or information science. A faculty member, who will direct the research and paper writing process, must approve the topic.

Registration & Deadlines

Registration for INLS 992 is required for both MSIS and MSLS. Students must register for INLS 992 for 3 credit hours. To register for the masters paper students must complete the Proposal for Courses Requiring Instructor Permission form and the form must be signed by the student's masters paper/project advisor.  Several example learning contracts are available for a survey, an experiment, an exam for a tool/software development project, and an example for a full-scale system development.

A student who does not complete the master's paper during the term in which s/he first registered for INLS 992 must be registered for INLS 992 in the semester in which s/he completes the master's paper.

Master's Paper Guidelines

For a complete list of guidelines, please see our Guidelines page. 

Completed Papers

Search for past papers that SILS students have written