An evaluation of phenomenography

Amanda F. Cossham


This article briefly evaluates phenomenography as a research approach. Drawing on findings from a recently-completed research project, it explains the phenomenographic approach, outlines how it was used in the research project, and presents the advantages and disadvantages of phenomenography. It identifies three issues with using phenomenography that do not seem to have been raised elsewhere. Two issues apply generally to all such research: the nature of phenomenographic data, and an inconsistency in phenomenography itself. The third is around mental models and phenomenographic conceptions and applicable to this research project, but has wider implications for the concept of mental models in the cognitive viewpoint of library and information studies (LIS) research.


research methods; phenomenography; mental models

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