Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Zheng,Songhui,

Title: Virtual reference services in China: Helping the information-poor

Publication Full: The Electronic Library

Year: 2006 Volume: 24 Issue: 6

Start Page: 763 Other Pages: 773

Descriptors: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries), ELECTRONIC information resources, WEB site development, DIGITAL libraries, INFORMATION storage & retrieval systems, ELECTRONIC reference sources, LIBRARY Web sites, LIBRARY information networks, INFORMATION resources management, CHINA, Information services,


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to explore the construction pattern and the difficulties for China to develop virtual reference services (VRS). Design/methodology/approach – The paper first analyzes the definition and features of the digital library, and is followed by an introduction to the development of VRS in China. Through literature search and checking web sites, some 400 documents in CNKI have been analysed on YRS from the period of January, 1990 to June, 2005, and the situation in developing VRS and problems existing in the course of doing it in China have been summarized. On the basis of connecting theory and practice on VRS, the paper provides general tactics on how to develop VRS for libraries in China. Findings – There are some problems existing for China to develop VRS, namely shortage of funds, the information poor, the digital divide, restrictions of information infrastructure, library management, shortage of technical knowledge and user training. The paper projects what may be needed for China to continue its development of VRS in the future. There is a need for appropriate infrastructures, strategies and mechanisms to be established in order to support the diffusion of VRS principles- throughout China. Originality/value – This paper provides some observations and insights on the design and development of VRS in China. It suggests that decision makers in government agencies need to understand the existing gaps in VRS in China. Constructive suggestions are made for China to construct VRS and improve the service level. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Electronic Library is the property of Emerald and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)


M3: Article; Songhui Zheng 1; Email Address: shzheng@stu.edu.cn; Affiliations: 1: Library, Medical College of Shantou University, Shantou Guangdong, China Source Info: 2006, Vol. 24 Issue 6, p763; Thesaurus Term: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: ELECTRONIC information resources; Thesaurus Term: WEB site development; Thesaurus Term: DIGITAL libraries; Thesaurus Term: INFORMATION storage & retrieval systems; Thesaurus Term: ELECTRONIC reference sources; Thesaurus Term: LIBRARY Web sites; Thesaurus Term: LIBRARY information networks; Thesaurus Term: INFORMATION resources management; Subject Term: CHINA; Author-Supplied Keyword: China; Author-Supplied Keyword: Information services; Number of Pages: 11p. Document Type: Article

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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Issn Isbn: 2640473