Quality standards for digital reference consortia

Abby Kasowitz, Blythe Bennett, R. David Lankes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This article identifies a working set of standards by which to assess individual digital reference services (Internet-based human-mediated information services) and to define membership within a collaborative network of digital reference services. The standards are designed for the Virtual Reference Desk AskA Consortium, a group that represents several subject-area and information referral digital reference services geared in part to the K-12 education community. However, the standards can serve as a model for digital reference consortia and cooperation in general. This article presents the standards in the context of traditional and digital reference evaluation, describes the process by which the standards were created and revised, presents the standards as defined by multiple levels of adherence, discusses common themes reflected in the standards, and applies the standards to other digital reference contexts and consortia. Plans for continual evolution of the standards are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalReference and User Services Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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