Yesterday I presented about my PhD research design and there were lots of questions that were essentially about grounded theory. I thought I would post a summary list of key sources about grounded theory. This isn’t a definitive list – it does need an update. Feel free to add other sources in the comments.

Overview of GT

For a general introduction to all types of GT, start with the following book. It provides an excellent, plain English overview of the different types of GT and shows you how different concepts are treated across the types.

Birks, M. and Mills, J. (2010). Grounded theory: a practical guide. London: SAGE Publications.

Weingand, D. E. (1993). Grounded Theory and Qualitative Methodology. IFLA Journal, 19, 17-26.

Pickard, A. (2007). Grounded theory: Method or analysis? Research methods in information (pp. 155-163). London: Facet.

Gibbs, G. (Producer). (2010) Grounded Theory – Core Elements. Part 1. retrieved from

Gibbs, G. (Producer). (2010) Grounded Theory – Core Elements. Part 2. retrieved from

Charmaz, K., & Bryant, A. (2008). Grounded Theory, The Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods: Sage Publications.

Charmaz, K., & Henwood, K. (2008). Grounded theory. In C. Willig & W. Stainton-Rogers (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology (Online edition ed., pp. 240-259). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Seminal texts

Glaser, B. (1998). Doing grounded theory: issues & discussions. Mill Valley, California: Sociology Press.

Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (2006). The discovery of grounded theory : Strategies for qualitative research. New Brunswick: Aldine Transaction.

Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory: a practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage Publications.

Critique of the method

Clarke, A. E. (2001). Grounded Theory: Critiques, Debates, and Situational Analysis. In W. Outhwaite & S. P. Turner (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Social Science Methodology (pp. 423-442). London, UK: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Seldén, L. (2005). On Grounded Theory – with some malice. Journal of Documentation, 61, 114-129.

Tan, J. (2010). Grounded theory in practice: issues and discussion for new qualitative researchers. Journal of Documentation, 66, 93-112.

GT in library and information studies (LIS) research


Mansourian, Y. (2006). Adoption of grounded theory in LIS research. New Library World, 107, 386-402.

Application in specific projects (mostly Info Literacy / Information Behaviour / Information Seeking context)

Lipu, S., Williamson, K., & Lloyd, A. (2007). Understanding information literacy in the workplace: using a constructivist grounded theory approach Exploring methods in information literacy research (pp. 67-86). Wagga Wagga, New South Wales: Centre for Information Studies.

Lloyd, A. (2006). Information literacy landscapes: an emerging picture. Journal of Documentation, 62, 570-583.

Lloyd, A., & Somerville, M. (2006). Working information. Journal of Workplace Learning, 18, 186-198.

Mansourian, Y. (2008). Contextualization of web searching: a grounded theory approach. The Electronic Library, 26, 202-214.

McKnight, M. (2007). A grounded theory model of on-duty critical care nurses’ information behavior. Journal of Documentation, 63, 57-73.

Durrance, J. C., Souden, M., Walker, D., & Fisher, K. E. (2006). Community problem-solving framed as a distributed information use environment: bridging research and practice. Information Research, 11, 11-14.

Tilley, C. M., Hallam, G., Hills, A. P., & Bruce, C. S. (2005). A model for the development of virtual communities for people with long-term, severe physical disabilities. Information Research, 11, 3.

GT processes

Charmaz, K. (2003). Qualitative interviewing and grounded theory analysis. In J. A. Holstein & J. F. Gubrium (Eds.), Inside interviewing: New lenses, new concerns (pp. 311-330). London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Morse, J. M. (2007). Sampling in grounded theory. In K. Charmaz & A. Bryant (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Grounded Theory (Online edi ed.). London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Constructivist GT

Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory: a practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage Publications.

Mills, J., Bonner, A., & Francis, K. (2006). The development of constructivist grounded theory. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(1), 1-9.

Charmaz, K. (2005). Grounded theory in the 21st century: applications for advancing social justice studies. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (pp. 207-236). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Charmaz, K. (2009). Shifting the grounds: constructivist grounded theory methods. In J. M. Morse, P. {Noeranger Stern}, J. Corbin, B. Bowers, K. Charmaz & A. E. Clarke (Eds.), Developing grounded theory : the second generation (pp. 127-193). Walnut Creek  Calif.: Left Coast Press.