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ERIC Number: EJ1104654
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1368-1613
User Satisfaction with Referrals at a Collaborative Virtual Reference Service
Kwon, Nahyun
Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, v11 n2 Jan 2006
Introduction: This study investigated unmonitored referrals in a nationwide, collaborative chat reference service. Specifically, it examined the extent to which questions are referred, the types of questions that are more likely to be referred than others, and the level of user satisfaction with the referrals in the collaborative chat reference service. Method: The data analysed for this study were 420 chat reference transaction transcripts along with corresponding online survey questionnaires submitted by the service users. Both sets of data were collected from an electronic archive of a southeastern state public library system that has participated in 24/7 Reference of the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System (MCLS). Results: Referrals in the collaborative chat reference service comprised approximately 30% of the total transactions. Circulation-related questions were the most often referred among all question types, possibly because of the inability of "outside" librarians to access patron accounts. Most importantly, user satisfaction with referrals was found to be significantly lower than that of completed answers. Conclusion: The findings of this study addressed the importance of distinguishing two types of referrals: the expert research referrals conducive to collaborative virtual reference services; and the re-directional local referrals that increase unnecessary question traffic, thereby being detrimental to effective use of collaborative reference. Continuing efforts to conceptualize referrals in multiple dimensions are anticipated to fully grasp complex phenomena underlying referrals.
Thomas D. Wilson. 9 Broomfield Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2SE, UK. Web site: http://informationr.net/ir
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida