Presentation on theme: "Getting Better All the Time: Improving Communication & Accuracy in Virtual Reference Reference Renaissance: Current and Future Trends Denver, CO August."— Presentation transcript:
Getting Better All the Time: Improving Communication & Accuracy in Virtual Reference Reference Renaissance: Current and Future Trends Denver, CO August 4-5, 2008 Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist, OCLC
Improving Communication & Boosting Accuracy What Do Chat Transcripts Reveal? 850 transcripts analyzed Random sample 561,910 sessions – QuestionPoint, OCLC 25-50 transcripts/month Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives, IMLS Grant
Getting Comfortable Dealing with 2 types of time pressure worries: 1.How long do VRS users wait to be helped? 2.Do I have to hurry? How much time is usually spent searching? How long is the average session?
How Long do VRS Users Wait? Mean – 1.87 Minutes Median – 1 Minute Minimum – 1 Second Maximum – 67 Minutes
How Long is the Average Session? VRS Session time Mean – 12.42 Minutes Median – 12 Minutes Minimum - 12 Seconds Maximum – 71 Minutes FtF Session time Median ~ 12-13 Minutes
What Type of Questions are Asked? n=915 Percent of Occurrence
4 Simple Ways to Boost Accuracy #1 Tip – For ready reference queries, answer specific question asked! Before you push a general info. page… Make sure it has exact answer to users question
Why was President John McKinley assassinated in 1901?
John McKinley Biography John McKinley was born in Culpepper County, Virginia in 1780. At an early age, his father died and his family moved to Kentucky. In 1800, McKinley began the practice of law in Louisville Kentucky. In 1838, while resident of Florence, John McKinley was Appointed the 23 rd Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court by President Martin Van Buren. http://www2.una.edu/library/ McKinley/bio.html
Upon closer look… His second term, which had begun auspiciously, came to a tragic end in September 1901. He was standing in a receiving line at the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition when a deranged anarchist shot him twice. He died eight days later. BUT THE Users QUESTION REMAINS… WHY???
#2 Tip - Boosting Accuracy Clarify the question! For all types of queries Use a follow-up question
#3 Tip - Boosting Accuracy Check web links pushed! Make sure youre not sending broken links!
#4 (Last) Tip - Boosting Accuracy Multiple Questions? Check – Was each & every quesstion answered? End with, Did this completely answer your question(s)?
Getting Comfortable in Chat What can we do to make chat better? Relational Facilitators Aspects with positive impact on interaction that enhance communication.
Avoiding Discomfort in Chat What should we avoid? Relational Barriers Aspects with negative impact on interaction that impede communication.
Recommendations Use basic interpersonal skills Greetings & Closings Beware robotic scripts & negative closure Take cue from user & mirror relational strategies Dont B afraid 2 use informal language, abbrev. & emoticons as appropriate ;)
Most Importantly… Be yourself & show your smile :) TY!!! HAG Day!!
In Conclusion… Research results are from the project Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non- User, & Librarian Perspectives, M. L. Radford & L. S. Connaway, Co-Principal Investigators. Funded by IMLS, Rutgers University & OCLC, Inc. Special thanks: J. DeAngelis Williams, P. Confer, D.M. Dragos, M. A. Reilly, J. Strange, S. Sabolcsi-Boros, & T. J. Dickey.