Presentation on theme: "ARE WE GETTING WARMER? QUERY CLARIFICATION IN VIRTUAL REFERENCE Marie L. Radford Lynn Silipigni Connaway Library Research Round Table ALA Annual Conference."— Presentation transcript:
ARE WE GETTING WARMER? QUERY CLARIFICATION IN VIRTUAL REFERENCE Marie L. Radford Lynn Silipigni Connaway Library Research Round Table ALA Annual Conference Washington, DC June 23, 2007
2 Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, & Librarian Perspectives Funded by Institute of Museum & Library Services Rutgers University & OCLC (10/05-9/07) Four phases: I.Focus group interviews II.Analysis of 850 QuestionPoint live chat transcripts III.600 online surveys IV.300 telephone interviews
3 Would you clarify?
4 A helpful answer?
5 i dont want scuba diving classes i want driving classes
6 Do librarians clarify? Good news! n=581
7 When librarians clarify… 50% (217) asked the highly recommended follow-up question: Does this completely answer your question? n=434
8 What do librarians clarify? Topic Background Verify Their Understanding Search History Type of Resource Extent/Depth Referral Corrected User Misunderstanding
9 Librarians ask about TOPIC 45% (195) sought TOPIC information Is there a specific animal that you're researching? n=434
10 Librarians ask about BACKGROUND 31% (133) sought BACKGROUND information When is your paper due? Are you in the NYC area? n=434
11 Librarians VERIFY 20% (87) VERIFIED their understanding So you are looking for the reasons why the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? n=434
12 Librarians ask about SEARCH HISTORY 19% (83) sought SEARCH HISTORY information Ok, and have you checked their Web sites yet? n=434
13 Librarians ask about TYPE OF RESOURCE 11% (49) sought TYPE OF RESOURCE information Are you looking for books, articles, or online information? n=434
14 Librarians ask about EXTENT/DEPTH 11% (48) sought EXTENT/DEPTH information Were you looking for in-depth history? Or a summary? n=434
15 REFERRAL 4% (16) asked a REFERRAL question Do you want me to refer your question to your library? n=434
16 CORRECTED MISUNDERSTANDING 2% (7) CORRECTED MISUNDERSTANDING By the way, what I told you about the list being in strictly chronological order was not correct; I'm sorry. n=434
17 How about the Users? Users offered information about: Topic Background Extent/Depth Correct Librarians Misunderstanding
18 Users Clarify TOPIC 52% (69) offered TOPIC information I am doing marketing reseach on marylands restaurant industry n=132
19 Users Clarify BACKGROUND 24% (32) offered BACKGROUND information I am in 7th grade GT Sciene and I am Doing a 2 year research project… n=132
20 Users Gave EXTENT/DEPTH 20% (26) offered EXTENT/DEPTH information the thing is i need it to be simple and not to wordy n=132
21 Users CORRECT Librarians Misunderstanding 16% (21) CORRECTED the librarians misunderstanding No. The form says I need the correct name for the position.
22 Users VERIFY 14% (19) VERIFIED their understanding So the best thing is to find it on the online catalog… is that correct? n=132
23 Users Offer SEARCH HISTORY 14% (18) offered SEARCH HISTORY information I looked in the card catalogue and didn't see it there... n=132
24 Users provide TYPE OF RESOURCE 9% (12) offered TYPE OF RESOURCE information...And [not] a book, online though Yes, but Im looking for more historical and architectural resources n=132
25 Users ask for REFERRAL 4% (5) asked for a REFERRAL Can you contact me with anyone from the […] Library n=132
26 When did librarians & users clarify? Surprising finding… Two different patterns of clarification! Librarians clarified in beginning of interaction Users clarified in middle of interaction
27 When did they ask for clarification? n=581
28 Types of clarifying questions… Open or closed? Percentage of all questions asked by librarians: 66% (554) Closed Questions 34% (284) Open Questions n=838
29 Closed or open: Is it clear? Can you tell me more about what you are looking for? An invitation to talk, but still a closed question? Can I ask what grade level this is for so I dont give you something that is too technical or too easy? Ok An unhelpful, closed response to an ostensibly open question.
30 Imposed Query Imposed queries emanate from both formal and informal relationships between people (Gross, 1999, p. 501). For a history project, I must do a poster diagram of the evolution of pyramids from masatbas to step pyramids to straight-sided pyramids.
31 User identifies an information need and asks a question (Gross, 1995, p. 237). I want to plan a camping and rock climbing trip to Pilot Mountain. Do you have any recommendations? Self-Generated Query
33 What makes a difference for accuracy? Analysis of Accuracy of Ready Reference questions (n=180) Does question clarification make a difference? Does asking a follow-up question make a difference? YOU BE THE JUDGE…
35 Future Directions Continue to collect & analyze data Online surveys Librarian survey completed Non-user and User surveys in progress Telephone interviews 100 with Librarians completed 100 Users in progress 100 Non-users in progress
36 END NOTES This is one of the outcomes from the project Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives. Funded by IMLS, Rutgers University, & OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Special thanks to Jocelyn DeAngelis Williams, Patrick Confer, Timothy Dickey, David M. Dragos, Mary Anne Reilly, Susanna Sabolcsi-Boros, Julie Strange. Slides available at project web site:
37 Questions & Comments Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Marie L. Radford, Ph.D.