• Digital Reference Triage: An Investigation Using the Delphi Method into the Factors Influencing Question Routing and Assignment

      Pomerantz, Jeffrey; Nicholson, Scott; Lankes, R. David (2003)
      This article describes a Delphi study conducted to determine factors that affect the process of routing and assigning reference questions received electronically by digital reference services, both to experts within the service and between services. Fifteen factors were determined, by expert consensus, to be important at the conclusion of this study. These fifteen factors are divided into three groups: 1) general factors, 2) factors in routing the question to an individual, and 3) factors when routing the question to another service. These factors were ranked in order of importance and grouped according to the recipient of the question. These fifteen factors need to be taken into account when automating the triage process. This article has laid out a methodology for investigating other digital reference processes so that those processes amenable to automation may be automated, and expertsâ talents and time may be best used.
    • Integrating Digital Reference Service into the Digital Library Environment

      Pomerantz, Jeffrey; Lankes, R. David; Nicholson, Scott; Goodrum, Abby (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2003)
      The difference between a digital library and a library with which a digital reference service is affiliated is discussed, and digital reference in these contexts is defined. There are several issues involved in integrating digital reference service into a digital library environment, but two that are unique to the intersection between digital libraries and digital reference: collection development of previously-answered questions, and presentation of specialized subsets of the materials in the digital library's collection. These two issues are explored.
    • A Repeated Survey Analysis of AskERIC User Survey Data, 1998-2002

      Pomerantz, Jeffrey; Lankes, R. David; Janes, Joseph; Smith, Linda C.; Finneran, Christina M. (Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 2004)
      Four surveys of users of the AskERIC email reference service were conducted, during the years 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2002. These surveys presented a snapshot of the AskERIC user population and user satisfaction at a single point in time. This paper reanalyzes the findings from these surveys utilizing repeated survey techniques. This paper presents the evolution of some of the demographics of AskERICâ s user population over time, as well as the evolution of AskERIC user behavior. As perhaps the oldest AskA service in existence, this analysis of AskERIC data sheds light on the evolution of all AskA services, and of email-based reference services in general.