Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Janes,Joseph, Hill,Chrystie, Rolfe,Alex,

Title: Ask-an-expert services analysis

Publication Full: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

Year: 2001 Volume: 52 Issue: 13

Start Page: 1106 Other Pages: 1121

Descriptors: digital libraries, factual information, information services, World Wide Web, electronic reference services, trends,


This article discusses the history and emergence of non-library commercial and noncommercial information services on the World Wide Web. These services are referred to as "expert services," while the term "digital reference" is reserved for library-related on-line information services. Following suggestions in library and information literature regarding quality standards for digital reference, researchers make clear the importance of developing a practicable methodology for critical examination of expert services, and consideration of their relevance to library and other professional information services. A methodology for research in this area and initial data are described. Two hundred forty questions were asked of 20 expert service sites. Findings include performance measures such as response rate, response time, and verifiable answers. Sites responded to 70% of all questions, and gave verifiable answers to 69% of factual questions. Performance was generally highest for factual type questions. Because expert services are likely to continue to fill a niche for factual questions in the digital reference environment, implications for further research and the development of digital reference services may be appropriately turned to source questions. This is contrary to current practice and the emergence of digital reference services reported in related literature thus far.



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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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