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Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Jensen,Bruce,

Title: The case for non-intrusive research: A virtual reference librarian's perspective

Publication Full: The Reference Librarian

Year: 2004 Volume: 41 Issue: 85

Start Page: 139 Other Pages: 149

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Electronic reference facilitates analyses not possible in face-to-face and telephone transactions. Texts of e-mail and chat reference sessions disambiguate issues of accuracy, interview discourse, and, to a lesser extent, patron satisfaction. Authentic transcripts are here advanced as superior instruments for study of AskA services, with significant applications also in better understanding other modes of reference. Clandestine questioning by colleagues, MLIS students, and researchers afflicts online reference services; it is argued here that unobtrusive study techniques useful in traditional settings are inappropriate for online reference, generating dubious data while undermining service quality. This paper examines how research affects the work of virtual reference librarians, and suggests appropriatemeans of assessing virtual reference services for scholarly as well as library management purposes.



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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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