Service Equality in Virtual Reference

Shachaf, Pnina and Oltmann, Shannon M. and Horowitz, Sarah M. Service Equality in Virtual Reference. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 2008, vol. 59, n. 4, pp. 535-550. [Journal article (Paginated)]


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English abstract

Research is divided about the potential of e-service to bridge communication gaps, particularly to diverse user groups. According to the existing body of literature, e-service may either increase or decrease the quality of service received. This study analyzes the level of service received by different genders and ethnic groups when academic and public librarians answer 676 online reference queries. Quality of e-service was evaluated along three dimensions: timely response, reliability, and courtesy. This study found no significant differences among different user groups along any of these dimensions, supporting the argument that the virtual environment facilitates equitable service and may overcome some challenges of diverse user groups.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: quality of service, virtual reference
Subjects: I. Information treatment for information services > IJ. Reference work.
L. Information technology and library technology > LC. Internet, including WWW.
Depositing user: Pnina Shachaf
Date deposited: 24 Oct 2008
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:13


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