The digital reference electronic warehouse project: Creating the infrastructure for digital reference research through a multidisciplinary knowledge base

Scott Nicholson, R. David Lankes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the valuable offerings of librarians in the digital age is the human intermediation of information needs. In physical libraries, these reference questions are answered, and few artifacts remain from the transaction; therefore, the knowledge created through the work of the librarian leaves with the patron. Due to the medium of communication, digital reference transactions capture the knowledge of information professionals. There are hundreds of digital reference services generating knowledge every day; however, the lack of a schema for archiving reference transactions from multiple services makes it difficult to create a fielded, searchable knowledge base. The development of such a schema would allow researchers to develop tools that practitioners can employ. In turn, this would create a collaborative environment for digital reference evaluation. The goal of this work is to outline the steps needed to develop this schema, present the results of a survey of digital reference services, explore some of the pitfalls in the process, and envision the future uses of this Digital Reference Electronic Warehouse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalReference and User Services Quarterly
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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