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Journal cover: Reference Services Review

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Online from: 1973

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Chat reference evaluation: a framework of perspectives and measures

Document Information:
Title:Chat reference evaluation: a framework of perspectives and measures
Author(s):Lili Luo, (School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA)
Citation:Lili Luo, (2008) "Chat reference evaluation: a framework of perspectives and measures", Reference Services Review, Vol. 36 Iss: 1, pp.71 - 85
Keywords:Digital libraries, Reference services
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/00907320810852041 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This paper aims to provide a holistic view of the current practice of chat reference evaluation and to suggest a framework that could help reference practitioners evaluate chat reference services in multiple contexts.

Design/methodology/approach – A thorough review of the literature on chat reference evaluation is conducted and the evaluation studies are grouped by their evaluative perspective and measures. Based on the literature review, a framework of perspectives and measures for chat reference evaluation is proposed.

Findings – Chat reference evaluation has incorporated a number of new elements that do not exist in desk reference evaluation. All the evaluation perspectives and measures reported in chat reference literature are incorporated into a final framework except for one variable – “cost-effectiveness” – which lacks the support of empirical studies in the literature.

Practical implications – The analytical review of the literature provides a holistic view of how chat reference is being measured for its value to both libraries and users, thus furthering the professional understanding of chat reference performance in the library environs. The framework of evaluation perspectives and measures resulting from the literature review is applicable in multiple chat reference contexts and can be customized to serve different evaluation purposes. In turn, this framework gives chat reference evaluators a clear idea of what to look at and how.

Originality/value – This paper fills the need to provide reference practitioners with both a critical view of current chat reference practice, and a tool that could help them design and develop a chat reference evaluation project.

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