AM Panels & Technical Sessions 2009 START Conference Manager    

Opportunities, Threats, & Theoretical Approaches: Research in Traditional and Social Virtual Reference Quality

Marie L. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Jeffrey Pomerantz, Chirag Shah, Jung Sun Oh, Sanghee Oh and Rich Gazan

(Submission #17)


Today’s digital reference service environment faces many opportunities and threats. This panel presents three different approaches, methods of analysis, and methods of data collection to examine quality issues in virtual reference (VR) as well as other reference platforms. One threat has to do with sustainability of VR quality in this time of budgetary constraints. Radford and Connaway will present "Thriving on Theory: A New Model for Virtual Reference Encounters" describing new research-based model that delineates quality criteria from user and provider perspectives. Pomerantz, Shah, Oh, and Oh's paper: "The Same, Yet Different: Comparing Studies of 'Traditional' Digital Reference and Social Q&A" compares traditional vs. social Q&A. Social Q&A services have opened up pluralistic approaches that go beyond professional VR, but also pose threats to quality. Gazan examines one of these social Q&A services, Answerbag, in his paper "When Wrong is Right: Intentionally Bad Answers in a Social Q&A Community." He will discuss his analysis of instances in which wrong answers are intentionally offered. It is hoped that the audience for this session will consist of researchers and library practitioners in virtual environments, as well as those interested in general information service evaluation and user studies. The panel will culminate in an interactive discussion with substantial audience question and answer component to be led by the moderator.


SIG SPONSORSHIP?: Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)


[Additional Materials, speaker bios (DOC)]  

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