Basic Course: "Research methods and methodology for IKS"



On 21, 22, and 23 November 2005, the School for Information and Knowledge Systems (SIKS) organizes the annual three-day course "Research methods and methodology for IKS". The location will be Conference center Woudschoten in Zeist. The course will be given in English and is part of the educational Program for SIKS-Ph.D. students. Although the course is primarily intended for SIKS-Ph.D. students, other participants are not excluded. However, their number of passes will be restricted and depends on the number of SIKS-Ph.D. students taking the course.

"Research methods and methodology for IKS" is relevant for all SIKS-Ph.D.-students (whether working in computer science or in information science), The primary goal of this hands-on course is to enable these Ph.D. students to make a good research design for their own research project. To this end, it provides an interactive training in various elements of research design, such as the conceptual design and the research planning. But the course also contains a general introduction to the philosophy of science (and particularly to the philosophy of mathematics, computer science and AI). And, it addresses such divergent topics as "the case-study method", "elementary research methodology for the empirical sciences" and "empirical methods for computer science".

"Research methods and methodology for IKS" is an intense and interactive course.
First, all students enrolling for this course are asked to read some pre-course reading material, comprising three papers that address key problems in IKS-methodology. These papers will be sent to the participants immediately after registration. Secondly, all participants are expected to give a brief characterisation of their own research project/proposal, by answering a set questions, formulated by the course directors, and based on the aforementioned literature. This small contribution is to be submitted two weeks in advance. Please send a pdf-file to More details on the procedure will be provided in due course. We believe that this approach results in a more efficient and effective course; it will help you to prepare yourself for the course and this will increase the value that you will get from it.

Course coordinators

Hans Weigand(UvT), Roel Wieringa(UT), John-Jules Meyer(UU), Richard Starmans(UU)


Monday, Nov 21 - Research methodology
  • 10.15h Coffee / Tea
  • 10.45h Welcome and Introduction to the course (dr. Hans Weigand, UvT)
  • 11.45h Lunch
  • 13.00h Concept definition (dr. Hans Weigand,UvT)
  • 13.15h Break-out session: defining your key concepts (Part 1)
  • 14.00h Philosophy of the formal sciences (prof. dr. John-Jules Meyer, UU)
  • 15.30h Break
  • 16.00h Philosophy of the empirical sciences (dr. Richard Starmans, UU)
  • 17.45h Closing
  • 18.00h Dinner
Tuesday, Nov 22 - Conceptual research design
  • 09.00h Break-out session: defining your key concepts (Part 2)
  • 10.00h Research design I (prof.dr. Roel. Wieringa, UT)
  • 11.00h Break-out session
  • 12.00h Lunch
  • 13.15h Research design II (prof.dr. Roel. Wieringa, UT)
  • 16.45h Break-out session
  • 17.15h Closing
  • 18.00h Dinner
Wednesday, Nov 23 - Research methods
  • 09.00h Experiments in Machine Learning (dr. Antal van den Bosch, UvT)
  • 10.00h Break
  • 10.30h Empirical research in Information Retrieval (dr. Djoerd Hiemstra,UT)
  • 12.00h Lunch
  • 13.00h Qualitative research methods (prof.dr. Hans Akkermans, VU)
  • 15.00h break-out session: presenting your research method choice
  • 16.00h Wrap-up/Closing


In the conference center there is a limited number of places and there is interest from other groups in the topic as well. Therefore, an early registration is required. For registration you are kindly requested to fill in the registration form

Deadline for registration for SIKS-Ph.D.-students: November 01 2005

After that date, applications to participate will be honoured in a first-come first-serve manner. Of course, applications to participate from other interested groups are welcome already. They will receive a notification whether they can participate as soon as possible.

Information for non-SIKS Ph.D.- students
SIKS needs a confirmation from your supervisor/office that they agree with the arrangement and paying conditions.