Costing reference: Issues, approaches, and directions for research

Melissa Gross, Charles R. McClure, R. David Lankes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

1 Scopus citations


The Assessing Quality in Digital Reference project is a first step toward understanding the cost of digital reference services in libraries. This article presents three measures isolated by project participants as being most useful for their immediate needs: Total cost of providing digital reference service, the cost of digital reference service as a percent of the total reference budget, and the cost of reference as a percent of the total library or organizational budget. In addi-tion, it reviews selected outstanding issues in the ongoing question of how to determine the cost of reference services in libraries and offers direction for further study toward a general cost model for information services

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAssessing Reference and User Services in a Digital Age
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780203726235
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Cost studies
  • Digital reference
  • Information service evaluation
  • Reference services standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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