ERIC Number: ED231364
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Reference Use of Online Databases: An Analysis.
Friend, Linda; Bonta, Bruce
Since July 1978 the general reference section of the Pennsylvania State University library has compiled statistical information related to the use of online searching for reference purposes. An evaluation form completed by the librarian for each online reference search recorded such information as search date; status of requestor; printed sources consulted and time involved; online databases used with time and cost figures; and a statement as to whether the search was successful. This paper summarizes the information collected on the evaluation forms and identifies at least five major categories of questions that are feasible for online reference, particularly in a large academic library: (1) directory-type information; (2) literature retrieval on a limited scale; (3) bibliographic verification of specific works; (4) definitions or explanations of concepts or acronyms; and (5) location of book reviews. It is noted that a detailed statistical study showed that the actual nature of a question was what seemed to determine search success or failure. Five tables and seven references are provided. (Author/ESR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Library Statistics; Pennsylvania State University
Note: Paper presented at the National Online Meeting (New York, NY, March 24-26, 1981).