• E-quality and e-service equality

      Shachaf, Pnina; Oltmann, Shannon M. (IEEE Press, 2007)
      Research is divided about the potential of e-service to bridge communication gaps, particularly to diverse user groups. According to the existing body of literature, e-service may increase or decrease the quality of service received. This study analyzes the level of service received by different genders and ethnic groups when public librarians answer online reference queries. Quality of e-service was evaluated along three dimensions: responsiveness, reliability, and courtesy. This study found no significant differences among different user groups along any of these dimensions, supporting the argument that the virtual environment facilitates equitable service and may overcome some challenges of diverse user groups.
    • E-quality and e-service equality

      Shachaf, Pnina; Oltmann, Shannon M. (IEEE Press, 2007)
      Research is divided about the potential of e-service to bridge communication gaps, particularly to diverse user groups. According to the existing body of literature, e-service may increase or decrease the quality of service received. This study analyzes the level of service received by different genders and ethnic groups when public librarians answer online reference queries. Quality of e-service was evaluated along three dimensions: responsiveness, reliability, and courtesy. This study found no significant differences among different user groups along any of these dimensions, supporting the argument that the virtual environment facilitates equitable service and may overcome some challenges of diverse user groups.
    • Service Equality in Virtual Reference

      Shachaf, Pnina; Oltmann, Shannon M.; Horowitz, Sarah M. (2008)
      Research is divided about the potential of e-service to bridge communication gaps, particularly to diverse user groups. According to the existing body of literature, eservice may either increase or decrease the quality of service received. This study analyzes the level of service received by different genders and ethnic groups when academic and public librarians answer 676 online reference queries. Quality of e-service was evaluated along three dimensions: timely response, reliability, and courtesy. This study found no significant differences among different user groups along any of these dimensions, supporting the argument that the virtual environment facilitates equitable service and may overcome some challenges of diverse user groups.
    • Service Equality in Virtual Reference

      Shachaf, Pnina; Oltmann, Shannon M.; Horowitz, Sarah M. (2008)
      Research is divided about the potential of e-service to bridge communication gaps, particularly to diverse user groups. According to the existing body of literature, eservice may either increase or decrease the quality of service received. This study analyzes the level of service received by different genders and ethnic groups when academic and public librarians answer 676 online reference queries. Quality of e-service was evaluated along three dimensions: timely response, reliability, and courtesy. This study found no significant differences among different user groups along any of these dimensions, supporting the argument that the virtual environment facilitates equitable service and may overcome some challenges of diverse user groups.
    • SI2: Social Informatics and Symbolic Interactionism: A Conceptual Exploration

      Oltmann, Shannon M. (2007)
      This is a submission to the 3rd Annual Social Informatics SIG Research Symposium: The Social Web, Social Computing and the Social Analysis of Computing. This conceptual essay explores how symbolic interactionism can inform social informatics, particularly in the study of socially constructed concepts such as privacy. Examining how physical and virtual objects are defined and constructed can be, and often is, a significant component of social informatics investigations (Kling, 2000; Kling, Rosenbaum, & Sawyer, 2005). Perhaps this is particularly important in domains were those constructions are still emerging, or are in the process of changing, as in Web 2.0. Thus, this essay suggests that social informatics can use symbolic interactionism as a theoretical underpinning to analyzing various aspects of Web 2.0. In the following sections, I review symbolic interactionism, demonstrate how it complements social informatics perspectives, and illustrate how it could inform social informatics research by examining privacy in the context of Web 2.0.