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Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Wikoff,Nora,

Title: Reference transaction handoffs: Factors affecting the transition from chat to e-mail

Publication Full: Reference & User Services Quarterly

Year: 2008 Volume: 47 Issue: 3

Start Page: 230 Other Pages: 241

Descriptors: REFERENCE services (Libraries), ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries), ASKA services, REFERENCE interviews (Library science), INTERNET in library reference services, REFERENCE librarians,


This article describes a content analysis of virtual reference transcripts taken from the NCknows virtual reference service. The analysis sought to determine why librarians consider some questions to be unanswerable at the time they are submitted by users. Questions were coded by a classification of question causes and by how complete the reference interview was in the transaction. The transcripts were then coded according to the reasons given for ending the chat early. The analysis showed that most reference interviews were incomplete and that the most common explanation for why librarians could not answer questions at the time was that they were already busy assisting other users. The study indicates that more North Carolina librarians should be hired to staff the service and that librarians should make a greater effort to conduct a complete reference interview so that more questions can be answered while users are still online. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Reference & User Services Quarterly is the property of American Library Association 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; Wikoff, Nora 1; Affiliations: 1: George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, Saint Louis. Source Info: Spring2008, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p230; Thesaurus Term: REFERENCE services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: ASKA services; Thesaurus Term: REFERENCE interviews (Library science); Thesaurus Term: INTERNET in library reference services; Thesaurus Term: REFERENCE librarians; Number of Pages: 12p; Illustrations: 2 charts, 6 graphs. Document Type: Article

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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Issn Isbn: 10949054