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Discussion CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: 2018 REFERENCE RESEARCH FORUM

by David Ward on Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 09:31 am

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: 2018 REFERENCE RESEARCH FORUM

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: 2018 REFERENCE RESEARCH FORUM

The Research & Statistics Committee of the Reference Services Section of the Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) invites submission of reference service research project proposals for presentation at New Discoveries in Reference: The 24rd Annual Reference Research Forum at the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. Researchers and practitioners from all types of libraries, library school faculty and students, and other interested individuals are encouraged to submit a proposal.

The Reference Research Forum is a popular and valuable ALA Annual Conference program. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about innovative research projects conducted in reference services including user behavior, electronic services, reference effectiveness and assessment, and organizational structure and personnel.

For examples of projects presented at past Forums, please see the Committee’s website:
http://connect.ala.org/node/64439

The Committee employs a blind review process to select three projects for 20-minute presentations, followed by open discussion.  Identifying information will not be shared with reviewers until after final selection of projects.  Selected submissions must be presented in person at the Forum during ALA Annual in New Orleans, LA.

Criteria for selection:

1.      Originality: Potential for research to fill a gap in reference knowledge or to build on previous studies
2.      Quality: Research design and methodologies
3.      Impact: Significance of the study for improving the quality of reference service

NOTE: Research projects may be in-progress or completed. Previously published research or research accepted for publication will not be accepted.

Important Dates:

Proposals are due by Friday, December 22nd. Notification of acceptance will be made by Monday, February 19th, 2018. The submission must not exceed the stated word count limit.

Submission Details:
Submissions will be accepted using our online form at:

https://goo.gl/forms/T33DcsPRrkBE8LMZ2

FORM PAGE 1: Contact Information
Fill out the fields for the primary contact’s name, title, institutional affiliation, and email address.  Additional research team members should also be noted in the appropriate field.

FORM PAGE 2: Research Description (250 Word maximum)
The research description must not include any personally identifiable information, including your name, or the name of your institution. Please include these elements:

 

1.      Title of the project
2.      Explicit statement of the research problem
3.      Description of the research design and methodologies
4.      Findings or results if available
5.      Brief discussion of the originality, unique contribution, potential impact, and significance of the research

Proposals that exceed the word count or that do not follow the format described above will be automatically rejected. 

Questions about the Forum should be directed to the 2017-2018 committee chairs:

David Ward (dh-ward@illinois.edu) and Joseph Yue (contact.jyue@gmail.com)

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Online Doc Reference Research Review 2016

by David Ward on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 11:40 am

Reference Research Review - 2016

An annual bibliography highlighting significant research articles relating to reference services, selected by the RSS Research and Statistics Committee.

 

Butler, K., & Byrd, J. (2016). Research Consultation Assessment: Perceptions of Students and Librarians. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(1), 83–86.

Reference Research Review - 2016

An annual bibliography highlighting significant research articles relating to reference services, selected by the RSS Research and Statistics Committee.

 

Butler, K., & Byrd, J. (2016). Research Consultation Assessment: Perceptions of Students and Librarians. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(1), 83–86.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2015.10.011

Both students and librarians evaluated a series of face-to-face research consultations. The study used convenience samples to recruit reference librarians, and had both students and librarians complete separate online surveys. The responses were analyzed using SPSS and cross tabulations. The results indicated that reference librarians frequently underestimate the effectiveness of their consultations.

 

Copenhaver, K., & Koclanes, A. (2016). Impact of web-scale discovery on reference inquiry. Reference Services Review, 44(3), 266–281

https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0046

The authors assess reference service use before and after the implementation of a discovery service. Statistics including analysis using the Warner scale of question difficulty were compared, and showed a large overall drop in question volume after implementation. Lower difficulty questions declined the most, with the highest Warner scale questions slightly increasing. The study, while implemented at a single small college library, suggests that discovery services may help users answer easier questions themselves.

 

Dempsey, P. R. (2016). “Are you a computer?”: Opening exchanges in virtual reference shape the potential for teaching. College & Research Libraries, 77(4), 455 – 468.

https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.77.4.455

First impressions are important, and this researcher sought to prove that our initial patron exchange can make or break the virtual reference interview. Four-hundred and twelve chat transcripts were analyzed at two universities for the relationship between chat relational cues and duration and user satisfaction. This methodology can be replicated at the local level to improve virtual reference.

 

Folk, A. L. (2016). Academic reference and instruction librarians and Dweck’s Theories of Intelligence. College & Research Libraries, 77(3), 302–313.

https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.77.3.302

Perceptions often influence expectations. Dweck’s theory of incremental intelligence poses that intelligence is further developed as one learns. On the other hand, entity theory argues that intelligence is fixed and unchangeable. Folk surveyed 353 librarians across the United States to determine how librarians perceive their users’ intelligence - as incremental or fixed. Folk’s work is an excellent reminder to librarians to check their assumptions and beliefs in reference interactions.

 

Jackson, R., & Stacy-Bates, K. K. (2016). The Enduring Landscape of Online Subject Research Guides. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 55(3), 219–229.

http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/rusq.55n3.219

This article reports the results of two related studies: data collection on characteristics of online subject guides at academic ARL libraries, and a survey of heads of reference at the same group of libraries concerning policies and practices for writing, maintaining, and promoting subject guides. Results are compared to a similar investigation published in 2004. Observation of guides focused on numbers and types of web links included, timeliness and accuracy, and discoverability of guides from each library’s homepage. Survey questions included impact of guide quality on librarians’ evaluations, use of guide templates, and reasons for using or not using a guide management system such as LibGuides.

 

Jacoby, J., Ward, D., Avery, S., & Marcyk, E. (2016). The Value of Chat Reference Services: A Pilot Study. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 16(1), 109–129.

https://doi.org/10.1353/pla.2016.0013

Using a mixed-method approach, this study examines student, instructor, and librarian perceptions of chat reference interactions. Each group analyzed a chat transcript and participated in a focus group, interview, or survey to convey their observations (focus group and survey questions are included). Findings showed that students valued speed but were open to receiving instruction, while instructors and librarians focused on student learning. This article is of interest to anyone who does chat reference.

Leeder, C. (2016). Student misidentification of online genres. Library & Information Science Research, 38(2), 125–132.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2016.04.003

In this study, undergraduate students were presented with 15 online sources, and were asked to identify the genre each one represented (Blog, Book, Book review, Conference proceedings, Database, Encyclopedia, Magazine, Newspaper, Research report, Scholarly journal, Trade journal). Students were given definitions of the genres, and then asked to assign genre categories to a series of online sources. Results revealed that 60% of the identifications were incorrect. Students who had previous library instruction were more accurate in identifying genres. This study has implications for librarians seeking to guide users to resources that meet their needs.

Leeder, C., & Shah, C. (2016). Library research as collaborative information seeking. Library & Information Science Research, 38(3), 202–211.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2016.08.001

In light of the increased emphasis on collaborative work, this study focused on student library research behavior in the context of a communications course writing assignment, in which researchers compared an individual versus collaborative approach. This study used a pre-task questionnaire about search experience, search logs, and writing behavior. Results showed that students working individually showed better results for query effectiveness and relevance of sources, whereas students working collaboratively achieved greater information coverage.  Information from focus groups revealed that participants found library research to be time consuming, inefficient, frustrating, and restrictive. This study provides guidance for productively supporting collaborative work using library resources.

LeMire, S., Rutledge, L., & Brunvand, A. (2016). Taking a Fresh Look: Reviewing and Classifying Reference Statistics for Data-Driven Decision Making. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 55(3), 230–238.

http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/rusq.55n3.230

This article describes the results of an extensive review of reference transactions from multiple service points at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library. The review enabled librarians to better understand the types of questions asked at service points and resulted in a new set of codes for categorizing reference transactions that focus on recording the kinds of expertise needed to answer each question. A description of  the differences between this model and other scales for collecting reference questions is included. This method for reviewing reference transactions and developing new codes may be useful to other libraries interested in updating how they collect reference statistics.

Lux, V. J., & Rich, L. (2016). Can Student Assistants Effectively Provide Chat Reference Services? Student Transcripts vs. Librarian Transcripts. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 21(3–4), 115–139.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10875301.2016.1248585

To determine if undergraduate student information desk assistants were effectively staffing the library’s chat reference service, librarians at Bowling Green State University embarked on a chat transcript analysis project, comparing the performance of librarians to student assistants. Although student desk assistants generally did not perform as well as librarians, it was concluded that with a renewed emphasis on continual oversight and training, students were a very viable option for staffing a chat reference service.

Malik, M. (2016). Assessment of a Professional Development Program on Adult Learning Theory. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 16(1), 47–70.

https://dx.doi.org/10.1353/pla.2016.0007

Librarians at a small college library participated in a professional development opportunity on adult learning theory. The investigators in this study used qualitative research methods, analyzing pre- and post-reflective essays written by the librarians in the program. They discovered that adult learning theory has useful implications not only for reference and instruction of graduate students, but of undergraduates and faculty as well. The findings and research methods make this an especially interesting paper.

Mikkonen, A., & Vakkari, P. (2016). Finding fiction: Search moves and success in two online catalogs. Library & Information Science Research, 38(1), 60–68.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2016.01.006

Authors compare user behavior for fiction discovery using two contrasting types of library catalogs, one traditional catalog, and another that contained enhanced adult fiction metadata, cover images, virtual bookshelves, blurbs and book reviews. In both systems, users spent time entering queries, examining results, and looking at book pages when available.  Results indicate that users of both systems were effective, but that the metadata-enriched catalog offered more options for exploring without a specific author or title to use as a starting point, and more opportunities for serendipitous discovery. The authors identified several key techniques useful in finding fiction: known item searching, topical searching, books that are similar to other books, and open-ended browsing.

Nel, M. A., & Fourie, I. (2016). Information Behavior and Expectations of Veterinary Researchers and Their Requirements for Academic Library Services. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(1), 44–54.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2015.10.007

The information needs and information seeking behavior of Veterinary Science faculty at the University of Pretoria were assessed.  Researchers utilized questionnaires, focus group interviews, and citation analysis.  Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were utilized.  This study is relevant to any reference librarian serving veterinary researchers.

O’Toole, E., Barham, R., & Monahan, Jo. (2016). The Impact of Physically Embedded Librarianship on Academic Departments. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 16(3), 529–556.

https://doi.org/10.1353/pla.2016.0032

This study examines the effect on reference services of physically embedding subject librarians into academic departments. Using a natural experiment method, the investigators analyzed statistics from before and after this service change. Data showed a significant increase in reference and instructional transactions, in addition to opportunities for new collaborations. This paper proposes a new developmental model for embedded librarianship and offers intriguing information for librarians looking to revive their reference services.

Reiter, Lauren, Huffman, J. P. (2016). Yes Virginia, It Will Scale: Using Data to Personalize High-Volume Reference Interactions. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(1), 21–26.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2015.09.011

This article investigates the scalability of individual reference consultations in large classes. Students in a Management class were given the option to meet with a librarian for an individual consultation before completing a project and participation rates were tracked.  This study will be of interest to any librarian considering providing consultations to large classes.

Shachaf, O., Aharony, N., & Baruchson, S. (2016). The effects of information overload on reference librarians. Library & Information Science Research, 38(4), 301–307.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2016.11.005

In an attempt to explore how librarians experience information overload, this study involved semi-structured interviews with fifteen academic reference librarians. The following coping strategies were identified: filtering, avoiding, satisficing, and selecting items from the top of the list. Though the sample was small, findings may be of interest to those who are training reference staff.

VanScoy, A. (2016). Making sense of professional work: Metaphors for reference and information service. Library & Information Science Research, 38(3), 243–249.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2016.08.003

This study examined the metaphors used by library professionals to talk about their work. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants from multiple library environments. The researcher examined the data and identified and categorized the metaphors used to describe the reference and information service portion of their work. Common metaphors involved digging or hunting but others were also used: Navigation; Puzzle and mystery; Combat, competition, and heroic deeds; Talent and skill; Creation; Nurturing; Refuge or sanctuary; Machinery; Something spiritual and magical; and Addiction. The author suggests that reflecting on the attributes of these metaphors, professionals can increase their understanding of their practice.

 VanScoy, A., & Fontana, C. (2016). How reference and information service is studied: Research approaches and methods. Library & Information Science Research, 38(2), 94–100.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2016.04.002

In an effort to gain an overall picture of the types of research being done in the area of reference (RIS) work, the authors performed a content analysis of scholarly peer reviewed journal articles with headings of ‘Reference Services’ or ‘Reference Work,’ published in English language journals, from 2000-2009. After identifying the research studies, they were coded as qualitative, quantitative, or mix-method, and further assigned subcategories within each methodology.  Results were compared with library science (LIS) research overall. Results showed fewer empirical research studies relative to other LIS fields. Most RIS research is quantitative rather than qualitative. The authors note that survey questionnaires were most commonly used, and urge researchers in this area to consider broadening to other approaches and perspectives.

Wood, E., De Pasquale, D., Mueller, J. L., Archer, K., Zivcakova, L., Walkey, K., & Willoughby, T. (2016). Exploration of the Relative Contributions of Domain Knowledge and Search Expertise for Conducting Internet Searches. The Reference Librarian, 57(3), 182–204.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02763877.2015.1122559

Domain knowledge and search expertise were studied to examine their impact on quality and type of search results. Participants were divided into four groups based on their combinations of these two skills and given search tasks. Findings noted that expert searchers with high domain knowledge performed best. High expertise was associated with more accurate sites, while high domain knowledge yielded more thorough sites. Implications include designing reference services to accommodate both sets of skills.

Yoo-Lee, E., Rhodes, T., & Peterson, G. M. (2016). Hispanics and public libraries: Assessing their health information seeking behaviors in the e-health environment. Reference Services Review, 44(2), 85–99.

https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0015

This study examines health information seeking behaviors of Hispanics, with a focus on potential future roles for public libraries. A survey queried 26 Hispanics, as part of a convenience sample. Findings reported low use of public libraries, with medical information providers (e.g. doctors), websites, and resources like YouTube among the primary tools utilized. Suggested roles for public libraries include increasing outreach, providing information in Spanish, and focusing on patrons with lower income and/or education.

Zhang, T., Stonebraker, I., & Promann, M. (2016). Understanding library users’ preferences and expectations of online help. Reference Services Review, 44(3), 362–374.

https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-12-2015-0054

Researchers studied preferences for receiving research help across a variety of formats. A survey was administered querying participants about past information-seeking behaviors and overall preferences for point-of-need help. Responses were mixed, with strong predilections for both synchronous services (e.g. chat) and self-paced guides (e.g. directions or guides). Conclusions suggest the need for a strong cross-channel reference presence to deliver online help to the broadest constituency.

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Discussion 2017 Reference Research Forum - Program Description

by David Ward on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 09:40 am

WHAT: New Discoveries in Reference: RUSA/RSS 23rd Annual Reference Research Forum

WHAT: New Discoveries in Reference: RUSA/RSS 23rd Annual Reference Research Forum

WHERE: MCP W180

WHEN: Sunday, June 25th, 10:30-11:30 am

 

Come join the RUSA RSS Research and Statistics Committee for a lively presentation of exciting new research in the field of reference services.  Our presenters, selected using a blind review process, will discuss findings from their current original research projects. The Reference Research Forum continues to be one of the most popular and valuable programs during the ALA Annual Conference.

 

https://www.eventscribe.com/2017/ALA-Annual/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=260688

 

‘Is it a journal title, or what?’ Mitigating Microaggressions in Virtual Reference, Marie Radford, Ph.D. Professor and Director, Ph.D. Program, Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, speaker. Co-researchers: Vanessa Kitzie, Doctoral Candidate, Rutgers University, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC, Diana Floegel, MI- LIS Student, Rutgers University

 

Microaggressions are intentional or non-intentional verbal, behavioral and environmental indignities towards marginalized individuals. Microaggressions are subtle, nuanced, and difficult to detect and address, especially in virtual environments. This presentation reports results from qualitative content analysis of a large, longitudinal, random sample of QuestionPoint virtual reference service (VRS) sessions (drawn from 2006, 2010, and 2016). In this time of heightened online conflict, attendees will be provided with research-based examples and guidelines to help them to both recognize microaggressions and to minimize them to enhance service excellence.

 

Research Consultations and Student Success, Ann Roselle, Faculty LibrarianPhoenix College, speaker

 

Based on original research applying the amework for Information Literacy, this presentation explores the question:  What common themes occur in research consultations?  Patterns emerged from analysis of 522 field notes recorded by a team of librarians after consultations, along with in-depth telephone interviews with librarians at other institutions. Within and beyond information literacy concepts, librarians establish connections with students that range from explaining research as inquiry to preventing course withdrawals.  This presentation proposes that academic librarians can positively affect student retention by intentionally leveraging relationship-building opportunities in the research consultation context.

 

Analyzing Data Consultations: What Liaisons can Learn about Users' Data Needs and Use of Tools, Wenli Gao, Communication, Sociology, and Anthropology Librarian, University of Houston, speaker. Co-researchers: Lisa Martin, Coordinator of Business Research and Outreach, and Irene Ke, Psychology & Social Work Librarian (University of Houston)

As more academic libraries start to offer data services, liaison librarians find themselves needing to improve their data consultation skills. This study analyzed email and in-person data consultation transactions for the academic year 2014-2015 and conducted content analysis to dig deeper into the questions and answers. The results of this study would provide librarians with insights of users’ data service needs and help librarians focus professional development on tools and resources that are most relevant for users.

Cindy Levine (crlevine@ncsu.edu) and David Ward (dh-ward@illinois.edu), Co-chairs, RSS Research and Statistics Committee

Event Scheduler Link: http://bit.ly/2n9OP8x

 

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Discussion Summary of Current Activities, 2015-2016

by Cynthia Robin Levine on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 07:44 am

This year, the Research & Statistics Committee hosted the 22nd Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 26th at the Orange County Conference Center in Orlando, FL.  After a double-blind review process, the committee selected 3 research teams to present their results.  Laura Hibbler from Brandeis University described findings from a study that involved interviewing first-year students at three different points while they were working on a research paper.

This year, the Research & Statistics Committee hosted the 22nd Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 26th at the Orange County Conference Center in Orlando, FL.  After a double-blind review process, the committee selected 3 research teams to present their results.  Laura Hibbler from Brandeis University described findings from a study that involved interviewing first-year students at three different points while they were working on a research paper. By interviewing students over the span of the time that they were working on their research essays, the librarian was able to ask students to reflect on the steps they had taken and students were able to provide a more complete picture of their research process.  Tara Tobin Cataldo from University of Florida looked at the the role that formats or “containers” play in students’ determination of credibility of digital information.  Amanda L. Folk from University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg presented research on whether Dweck’s theory of intelligence might shed light on student motivations for seeking help from a librarian.  The committee also reviewed and posted an annotated bibliography of articles relating to reference research for the 2015 Annual Reference Research Review.

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Discussion CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: 2017 REFERENCE RESEARCH FORUM

by Cynthia Robin Levine on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 10:13 am

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: 2017 REFERENCE RESEARCH FORUM

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: 2017 REFERENCE RESEARCH FORUM

The Research & Statistics Committee of the Reference Services Section of the
Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) invites submission of reference
service research project proposals for presentation at New Discoveries in
Reference: The 23rd Annual Reference Research Forum at the 2017 American
Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. Researchers and
practitioners from all types of libraries, library school faculty and
students, and other interested individuals are encouraged to submit a
proposal.

The Reference Research Forum is a popular and valuable ALA Annual Conference
program. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about innovative research
projects conducted in reference services including user behavior, electronic
services, reference effectiveness and assessment, and organizational structure
and personnel.

For examples of projects presented at past Forums, please see the Committee’s
website:
http://connect.ala.org/node/64439

The Committee employs a blind review process to select three projects for 20-
minute presentations, followed by open discussion.  Identifying information
will not be shared with reviewers until after final selection of projects.
Selected submissions must be presented in person at the Forum during ALA
Annual in Chicago, IL.

Criteria for selection:

1.      Originality: Potential for research to fill a gap in reference
knowledge or to build on previous studies

2.      Quality: Research design and methodologies

3.      Impact: Significance of the study for improving the quality of
reference service

NOTE: Research projects may be in-progress or completed. Previously published
research or research accepted for publication will not be accepted.

Important Dates:

Proposals are due by December 28th, 2016. Notification of acceptance will be
made by Monday, February 6th, 2017. The submission must not exceed the stated
word count limit.

Submission Details:
Submissions will be accepted using our online form at:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CWPMJK6

FORM PAGE 1: Contact Information
Fill out the fields for the primary contact’s name, title, institutional
affiliation, mailing address, and email address.  Additional research team
members should also be noted in the appropriate field.

FORM PAGE 2: Research Description (250 Word maximum)
The research description must not include any personally identifiable
information, including your name, or the name of your institution. Please
include these elements:

1.      Title of the project

2.      Explicit statement of the research problem

3.      Description of the research design and methodologies

4.      Findings or results if available

5.      Brief discussion of the originality, unique contribution, potential
impact, and significance of the research (if you use semi colons between items
in a list, you need to make sure the entire list is a complete sentence.)

Proposals that exceed the word count or that do not follow the format
described above will be automatically rejected.
Questions about the Forum should be directed to the 2016-2017 committee
chairs:
David Ward (dh-ward@illinois.edu) and Cindy Levine (crlevine@ncsu.edu)

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Discussion Reference Research Review 2015

by Cynthia Robin Levine on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 11:15 am

Thanks to everyone on the committee who worked diligently to put together this Reference Research Review, designed to highlight significant research on reference published in scholarly journals during the 2015!  

Reference Research Review 2015

  

Armann-Keown, V., Cooke, C. A., & Matheson, G. (2015). Digging deeper into virtual reference transcripts. Reference Services Review, 43(4), 656-672. doi:10.1108/RSR-04-2015-0024

Thanks to everyone on the committee who worked diligently to put together this Reference Research Review, designed to highlight significant research on reference published in scholarly journals during the 2015!  

Reference Research Review 2015

  

Armann-Keown, V., Cooke, C. A., & Matheson, G. (2015). Digging deeper into virtual reference transcripts. Reference Services Review, 43(4), 656-672. doi:10.1108/RSR-04-2015-0024

A large Canadian library analyzed virtual reference service transactions in order reflect on how to improve its services, distinguishing this article from many studies that focus on creating knowledge-bases as a result of virtual reference. Librarians used NVivo software to analyze and code approximately 3,500 VR transcripts. Their findings led to substantive changes to their library website, re-training on staff VR reference interview techniques, and ensuring that staff were up-to-date on library procedures and policies, etc.

 

Baruzzi, A., & Calcagno, T. (2015). Academic librarians and graduate students: An exploratory study. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 15(3), 393-407. doi:10.1353/pla.2015.0034

As an exploratory study on how academic librarians interact with graduate students, this paper provides helpful documentation of the types of support provided to this population. The researchers surveyed academic librarians across the country and analyzed the results using SPSS. Although most academic librarians provide some kind of graduate student support, this study provides practical suggestions on leveraging the types of these interactions to maximize graduate student success. 

 

Chan, T., & West, B. (2015). Where does it fit in? The use of print reference in upper division library instruction. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 20(3), 151-162. doi:10.1080/10875301.2015.1082529

This article reports on a study of academic librarians investigating how they incorporate print reference into library instruction sessions.   The authors surveyed national listservs, asking both qualitative and quantitative questions, and then coded results into five categories related to material format, collection development, instruction, and marketing.  The researchers advise librarians who desire to continue integrating print into instruction to acquire more unique print materials, but also note that their findings indicate the overall continuing decline in their use. 

 

Charbonneau, D. H. (2015). Health disclaimers and website credibility markers: Guidance for consumer health reference in the Affordable Care Act era. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 54(3), 30-36. 

In light of the Affordable Care Act, this study explores the current state of health resources available on public library websites. Using a coding instrument, Charbonneau analyzed 105 Michigan public library websites to assess their online health resources, in particular for health disclaimers and credibility markers. The findings included a lack of both on library websites, a fact that has significant implications for public libraries and librarians providing access to health information for their communities.

 

Colón-Aguirre, M. (2015). Organizational storytelling among academic reference librarians. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 15(2), 233-250. doi:10.1353/pla.2015.0016

This study focuses on the organizational storytelling of academic librarians. This type of storytelling has been important in organizational studies but has not been researched in the library science field. Colón-Aguirre interviewed twenty academic reference librarians and used analytic induction to categorize stories into four different themes, based on the role these stories played in the library and among colleagues. Offering a unique perspective, this paper has value for all types of reference librarians, but especially those involved with training new staff.

 

Drabinski, E., & Rabina, D. (2015). Reference services to incarcerated people, part I: Themes emerging from answering reference questions from prisons and jails. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 55(1), 42-48.

 
Drabinski and Rabina’s article focuses on the information needs of incarcerated individuals, a population they describe as information poor. Using data collected from reference letters sent to the New York Public Library’s Correctional Services Program, the researchers used qualitative content analysis to discover what types of people were sending reference requests and what type of information was requested. They found that incarcerated people frequently needed more information than what was available in the prison library, a finding that has important implications for any librarians working with this patron population.

 

Dukić, D., & Strišković, J. (2015). Croatian university students' use and perception of electronic resources. Library & Information Science Research, 37(3), 244-253. 

doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2015.04.004

This article reports on a study conducted at a higher education institution in Eastern Croatia designed to gain insight into students’ perceptions of electronic resources.  It used an online rating survey instrument (included in the article’s appendix) which collected student demographic information as well as data on their frequency of use and perceptions of different types of electronic resources.  Results should be understood in the context of this specific institution, but may, in combination with other studies, be of interest to those trying to understand how different categories of users perceive and make use of electronic resources.

 

Farrell, B. (2015). Using interviews to improve relationships with library partners: A case study. Reference Services Review, 43(2), 251-261. doi:10.1108/RSR-01-2015-0001

Reference services in library learning commons are enhanced by their academic partner services located within the library. Farrell conducted formal interviews with each of the academic partners in her library as a means of not only establishing relationships, but also ensuring that lines of collaboration and communication remained open to find ongoing points for partnering on student learning initiatives.

 

Fuller, K., & Dryden, N. H. (2015). Chat reference analysis to determine accuracy and staffing needs at one academic library. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 20(3), 163-181. doi:10.1080/10875301.2015.1106999

The authors examine chat transcripts to measure accuracy and evaluate critical staff skills and recommended staff types for providing chat reference.  Their methodology draws on prior studies to code transcripts by query type, accuracy, instruction provided, and need for referrals.  The article’s findings suggest that generalists can handle the majority of questions asked, with referrals to subject specialists as needed.  The study has useful practical implications for suggesting core skills needed in chat reference.

 

Gibbs, C., Kooyman, B., Marks, K., & Burns, J. (2015). Mapping the roadmap: Using action research to develop an online referencing tool. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(4), 422-428. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2015.05.004

Librarians from the University of South Australia studied the impact of an online reference tool on students’ ability to cite sources.  Using another library’s online citation tutorial as a guide, the researchers planned the design and layout of the Roadmap to Referencing tool and tested students after its implementation.  Researchers used Google analytics, student feedback gathered in surveys, and an online discussion forum to create a foundation for the online citation tool.  Librarians looking for a case-study focused on creating online reference tools will find this article informative.

 

Greenberg, R., & Bar-Ilan, J. (2015). “Ask a librarian”: Comparing virtual reference services in an Israeli academic library. Library & Information Science Research, 37(2), 139-146. 

doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2014.09.005

Researchers at University of Haifa’s library sought to explore differing characteristics of two types of virtual reference (VR) interactions (email and chat), as well as the perspectives of librarians on the value of VR as compared with face-to-face reference.  The chat and email reference services were studied using content analysis of transcripts that were classified according to question and answer types.  Reference staff members responded to a series of open-ended questions to elicit their thoughts on the differences between VR and face-to-face reference.  Librarians seeking to understand the roles played by different reference communication channels may find this article useful.

 

 

Kemp, J., Ellis, C., & Maloney, K. (2015). Standing by to help: Transforming online reference with a proactive chat system. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(6), 764-770. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2015.08.018

The University of Texas at San Antonio implemented a pro-active chat service, much like chat services used by for-profit companies, and found that their chat statistics increased significantly.  The researchers gathered monthly chat reference statistics before implementing the pro-active chat service, including stats for ‘missed’ questions, and scored the questions received on the READ scale.  Researchers then compared the questions and scored them on the possibility of triggering a pro-active chat session based on chat service parameters.  Reference librarians interested in increasing chat service use may find this methodology and solution useful.

 

Lundrigan, C., Manuel, K., & Yan, M. (2015). “Pretty rad”: Explorations in user satisfaction with a discovery layer at Ryerson University. College & Research Libraries, 76(1), 43-62. 

doi:10.5860/crl.76.1.43

This mixed-methods study focused on user satisfaction with Summon. Two online surveys and a series of focus groups were implemented in sequence. Over 6,000 users, mostly full-time undergraduates, responded to the second survey (which is included in the appendix.) Eighty-nine percent reported being moderately, very, or extremely satisfied with Summon. Graduate students reported a slightly higher preference for subject-specific databases. The researchers recommend marketing web-scale discovery services to the users most likely to benefit from them.

 

Maloney, K., & Kemp, J. H. (2015). Changes in reference question complexity following the implementation of a proactive chat system: Implications for practice. College & Research Libraries, 76(7), 959-974. doi:10.5860/crl.76.7.959

This study reexamined the tiered reference service model. A review of several studies found that most questions could be handled by non-professional staff. However, complex queries still come through chat services. After putting pro-active chat boxes on all of their library pages, the researchers sampled chat transcripts over the course of two semesters and coded them on six levels of difficulty. They found that the pro-active nature of the chat service dramatically increased the number and complexity of reference questions.  ​ 

Mayer, J. (2015). Serving the needs of performing arts students: A case study. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 15(3), 409-431. doi:10.1353/pla.2015.0036

This article describes the information behaviors and research needs of upper-level performing arts students at a large public university. Using focus group interviews, Mayer details the unique needs of music, theater, and dance students and suggests potential ways that reference librarians can meet these needs. Mayer’s research provides rich information, often using students’ own words, which is of benefit not only to performing arts librarians, but also to reference and instruction librarians in other areas. 

 

O'Kelly, M., Garrison, J., Merry, B., & Torreano, J. (2015). Building a peer-learning service for students in an academic library. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 15(1), 163-182.

doi:10.1353/pla.2015.0000

O’Kelly et. al. outlined the design and training required to begin and maintain their innovative peer-to-peer reference consultation service. Using survey data from both students using the service and those staffing it, as well as descriptive statistics for the two years the service has been in place, these researchers demonstrate the value of their program and give practical advice for reference librarians looking to try something new. 
 

O'Neill, K., & Guilfoyle, B. (2015). Sign, sign, everywhere a sign: What does "reference" mean to academic library users? Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(4), 386-393. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2015.05.007

Researchers at Regis University studied students’ interpretation of reference service signs in order to come up with a name for the reference desk that would make more sense to students. Researchers created a survey to capture how the library was being used by students as well as to determine how users interpreted the term ‘reference.’ Librarians seeking for information to better market reference services will find the discussion of the survey results helpful.

 

Schneider, E., & Hutchison, B. (2015). Referencing the imaginary: An analysis of library collection of role-playing game materials. The Reference Librarian, 56(3), 174 188. 

doi: 10.1080/02763877.2014.1002716

Role-playing game rulebooks are structured similarly to encyclopedias and atlases, which makes them reference books. Sixty-four important titles in this genre were identified from multiple sources, including Amazon and Reddit, and searched in OCLC to identify holdings. More than 90% of OCLC participants carried none of these titles. The titles that were present tended to be poorly cataloged. Increased collection of such books is recommended since they are useful for the academic study of role-playing games.

 

Scimeca, R., & Labaree, R. (2015). Synoptic reference: Introducing a polymathic approach to reference services. Library Trends, 63(3), 464-486. doi:10.1353/lib.2015.0005

As interdisciplinary studies expand across academic campuses, libraries need to consider how this impacts the reference interview. Librarians need to be prepared to address the interdisciplinary nature of students’ research inquiries by understanding and teaching the way different disciplines communicate and by taking a synoptic, or comprehensive view of research questions, particularly those involving the use of discovery tools and disciplinary-integrated search engines. 
 

Shah, C., Radford, M. L., & Connaway, L. S. (2015). Collaboration and synergy in hybrid Q&A: Participatory design method and results. Library & Information Science Research, 37(2), 92-99. 

doi: 10.1016/j.lisr.2015.02.008

This article describes the use of the Participatory Design Method in which experts from different backgrounds participate in semi-guided discussions to explore new design ideas.  This research method, which has not been customarily used in library science research, was used to explore the potential strengths of integrating two types of systems for answering user questions: VRS (Virtual Reference Services) which is a one-on-one model based in libraries, and SQA (social question and answer), where the responses come from a crowd or community of peers.  This article will be of interest both to librarians interested in different models for answering user questions, as well as those interested in learning about the participatory design approach to developing new systems.

 

Swoger, B. J. M., & Hoffman, K. D. (2015). Taking notes at the reference desk: Assessing and improving student learning. Reference Services Review, 43(2), 199-214. doi:10.1108/RSR-11-2014-0054

Chionski and Emanuel’s one-minute paper tool was used by Swoger and Hoffman to assess reference transactions and gage student learning during the course of a reference transaction. Based on their findings, the Milne Library created a Reference Notes form that both librarians and students contributed to during the reference interview. A written record may improve student overall comprehension and retention of the research skills they learn with librarians.

 

Yang, S., & Dalal, H. (2015). Delivering virtual reference services on the web: An investigation into the current practice by academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(1), 68-86. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2014.10.003

Yang and Dalal conducted a comprehensive survey of academic libraries focusing on the virtual reference services being used.  The researchers selected a random sample from the Peterson’s guide to select 4-year colleges.  Researchers then recorded how the chosen academic libraries advertised their virtual reference services, where chat boxes were located, and how service was provided, as well as whether or not the library also had other forms of virtual reference.  Librarians interested in the state of virtual reference at academic libraries in the US will find this article very informative.

 

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Online Doc Minutes Landing Page

by Cynthia Robin Levine on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 08:46 am

Use this as a landing page for uploading minutes.  Simply click on the Edit tab, then scroll down to Add File Attachments (below).  We will collect minutes here.

 

Online Doc 21st Annual Reference Research Forum (2015)

by Cynthia Robin Levine on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 09:28 am

21st Annual Reference Research Forum (2015)

The Research & Statistics Committee will be hosting the 21st Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 28, 2015 from 10:30-11:30 am in the Moscone Conference Center, room 2014 (W).  Come join us for our popular event!  We will have 3 wonderful speakers along with time for questions and answers. 

Information Behavior of Foreign-Born Students at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Frans Albarillo

21st Annual Reference Research Forum (2015)

The Research & Statistics Committee will be hosting the 21st Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 28, 2015 from 10:30-11:30 am in the Moscone Conference Center, room 2014 (W).  Come join us for our popular event!  We will have 3 wonderful speakers along with time for questions and answers. 

Information Behavior of Foreign-Born Students at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Frans Albarillo

This presentation reports the results of a survey of immigrant and international students at Brooklyn College, a large public liberal arts college with a diverse campus that serves many foreign-born and first-generation immigrant students. The survey gathers data on students in these communities to investigate common patterns and explore how these students experience the academic library with a focus on language and culture. This exploratory study was funded by a grant from the PSC CUNY and further developed at the 2014 inaugural Institute of Research Design in Librarianship.

Understanding the research needs of mid-level undergraduate students, Reed College, Marianne Colgrove and Annie Downey

How do sophomores and juniors learn to do independent research and what services, resources and curriculum strategies would help? As part of a larger Mellon-funded initiative, the Reed College Library and IT departments collaborated on a needs assessment in order to understand the gap between faculty and student perspectives on the research process. Using both focus group discussions and a student survey, the needs assessment showed that faculty characterize research as a complex, multi-faceted process and emphasize the importance of a researchable question that drives the process. Many students aren’t sure what faculty expect and often invest so much energy in gathering resources that they run out of time to conduct analysis and integrate their assignment into a unified whole. This study also exemplifies how IT and the library can collaborate to conduct a low-cost self-study that informs the development of new research curriculum and services.

 

Library as Endangered Species in the Information Ecosystem, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Jean Amaral

When students and faculty need information, where do they go? A year-long ethnographic study at an urban community college suggests it may be anywhere but the library. Amaral will present the results of this study, which call for engaging in a creative reassessment of library services in community colleges.

 

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Online Doc 2014-2015 Committee Roster

by Cynthia Robin Levine on Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 01:59 pm

Ms. Ava Marie Brillat (Chair, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015)
Amanda Lea Breu (Member, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016)
Ms. Ava Marie Brillat (Member, July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015)
Mrs. Lisa Antonia Campbell (Member, July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015)
Cindy L. Craig (Member, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016)
Ryan B. Johnson (Member, July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015)
Ms. Elizabeth A. Kocevar-Weidinger (Member, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016)

Ms. Ava Marie Brillat (Chair, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015)
Amanda Lea Breu (Member, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016)
Ms. Ava Marie Brillat (Member, July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015)
Mrs. Lisa Antonia Campbell (Member, July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015)
Cindy L. Craig (Member, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016)
Ryan B. Johnson (Member, July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015)
Ms. Elizabeth A. Kocevar-Weidinger (Member, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016)
Ms. Shu Qian (Member, July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015)
David Ward (Member, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016)

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Discussion Summary of Activities, 2014-2015

by Ava Brillat on Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 09:47 am

This year, the Research & Statistics Committee hosted the 21st Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 28th at the Moscone Conference Center in San Francisco.  After a double-blind review process, the committee selected 3 research teams to present their results.  Frans Albarillo from the City University of New York presented the results of a survey of immigrant and international student research habits to investigate common patterns and to explore how these students experience the academic library.  Marianne Colgrove and Annie Downey from Reed College presented the results of a

This year, the Research & Statistics Committee hosted the 21st Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 28th at the Moscone Conference Center in San Francisco.  After a double-blind review process, the committee selected 3 research teams to present their results.  Frans Albarillo from the City University of New York presented the results of a survey of immigrant and international student research habits to investigate common patterns and to explore how these students experience the academic library.  Marianne Colgrove and Annie Downey from Reed College presented the results of a needs assessment to address the gap between faculty and student perspectives on the research process, focusing on the critical sophomore and junior years.  The result of a collaborative project between IT and the Library, their presentation shared the fruits of collaboration and assessment that can in turn be used to develop new research curricula and services.  Finally, Jean Amaral from the Borough of Manhattan Community College presented the results of a year-long ethnographic study, likening the library to an endangered species and revealing the environmental conditions affecting the change and survival of the community college library. Each presentation garnered a number of interesting questions.  The committee also reviewed and posted an annotated bibliography of articles relating to reference research for the 2014 Annual Reference Research Review.

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To collect, analyze, and disseminate information on current research needs and statistical procedures in the fields of reference and information services; to sponsor an annual Reference Research Forum.

 

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