Network for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, Education Services
Debbie Booth - firstname.lastname@example.org
Annette Dawes – Annette.email@example.com
Fatu Kigbo – firstname.lastname@example.org
^Table of Contents
Search Strategy 2
Search Statement 2
Search Terms Used 3
Sources consulted 3
List of References 5
Conduct a literature review for resources published since McClure et.al’s 2001 Guidelines1 to “investigate the availability and use of qualitative and quantitative performance indicators and measures for digital reference library services”.
While ‘digital information and research’ is the preferred title to ‘digital reference’ services, no relevant references were located in the literature using the former phrase, hence for this review these two service titles are interchangeable.
Definitions of the key concepts included in this literature review was an essential first step in this process.
A particular value or characteristic used to measure output or outcome. Measures of service quality, performance efficiency and customer satisfaction. Quantitative performance indicators may include volume of backlogs, processing time, reference response time, ILL delivery time, FTE to user ration, availability of information needed, etc. Qualitative performance indicators include user perception of service quality, user satisfaction with reference response, types or levels of service available, etc.2
Digital Reference Service. A number of definitions were found in literature reviewed. The following two define the scope covered by this literature review:
An information access service in which people ask questions via electronic means (such as e-mail or web forms). In turn knowledgeable individuals answer questions, and responses are transmitted via electronic means. Interim search processes need not involve electronic devices although they often do. There may even be interim contact with questioners via telephone or electronic means if questions require clarification.3
VRS (virtual reference service) is defined as the provision of real-time personal assistance to patrons via web-based interactive software. To meet the user at his or her "point of need" and to satisfy the patron's information need, the librarian can use a "chat" component of the software to answer a fairly specific or simple question, possibly deliver slideshows, 'push' web sources to the patron, and provide online bibliographic instruction. The "point of need" may happen when the library is closed, or when the user is unable to get to the library. This way, users can still be in contact with experienced reference librarians. (Alaska’s Virtual reference Service Project.4
Search Terms Used
Two keywords were identified in the search statement:
Sources consulted for the identification of relevant resources for this literature review covered a wide variety of scholarly databases, web search engines, web sites, research projects, and web bibliographies.
E-Metrics Project - The E-Metrics project is an effort to explore the feasibility of defining and collecting data on the use and value of electronic resources. Although ARL has some experience in tracking expenditures for electronic resources through the ARL Supplementary Statistics, there is a widely held recognition that more work needs to take place in this area. http://www.arl.org/stats/newmeas/emetrics
LIBECON - The LibEcon project uses internet communications to develop a continuously updated database of library activities and associated costs in the context of their national economies. LibEcon is a project funded by the European Commission DG Information Society. http://www.libecon2000.org
Virtual Reference Desk Project - The Virtual Reference Desk Project is dedicated to the advancement of digital reference and the successful creation and operation of human-mediated, Internet-based information services. http://www.vrd.org/
Digital Reference Services Bibliography – Bernie Sloan. The more than 600 items listed in this bibliography relate to the topic of online or virtual or digital reference services, i.e., the provision of reference services, involving collaboration between library user and librarian, in a computer-based medium. These services can utilize various media, including e-mail, Web forms, chat, video, Web customer call centre software, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), etc. http://www.lis.uiuc.edu/~b-sloan/digiref.html