Distributed expertise: remote reference service on a metropolitan area network.

Davenport, Elisabeth, Procter, Rob and Goldenberg, Ana (1997) Distributed expertise: remote reference service on a metropolitan area network. The Electronic Library, 15 (4). pp. 271-278. ISSN 0264 0473

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What is the nature of reference work in the digital library? What is the role of the reference librarian where many users serve themselves by means of BIDS and other free-at-point-of-use services which emulate the Bath original (e.g. MIDAS in Manchester and EDINA in Edinburgh)? How is the concept of the ‘reference desk’ to be defined where points of presence for both users and librarians are distributed? Can assumptions based on specialist roles and fixed locations migrate to the world of virtual reference work? An Edinburgh-based research project is exploring these issues in the context of the enhanced regional communications now available through EaStMAN (Edinburgh and Stirling Metropolitan Area Network). A major goal is for local HE institutions to explore the possibilities afforded for collaborative reference work. The project team have completed preliminary work with the BIOSIS Abstracts service hosted by the EDINA consortium. In this paper, we present the results of an investigation of the experiences of users and the work patterns of librarians and relate these to the design rationale of a prototype Web-based network reference consultation support system. Our focus here is on typologies of user problems and expert response across various media and genres of interaction. A pilot service is scheduled to start in the autumn of 1997 and we plan to report on its use at a later date.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 0264 0473
Electronic ISSN: 1758 616X
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital library; reference librarian; virtual environment; EaStMAN; users; work patterns; Web-based network reference consultation support system;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 000 Computer science, information & general works > 020 Library & information sciences
Library of Congress Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Item ID: 3123
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2010 15:18
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2013 16:51

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