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Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
Evaluating e reference
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Evaluating e reference


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Description of a systematic review and evidence based librarianship related to virtual reference services.

Description of a systematic review and evidence based librarianship related to virtual reference services.

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  • Important to determine at the beginning of the studies to provide some organized structure for future work. It helps to minimize the bias for inclusion of some articles; it can be verifiable by the readers who would like to make sure that the authors did adhere to the selected criteria. There’s also something that is called “publication bias”; it means that often the studies with the positive results get to be published more often that the studies with the negative results or often such studies are published in the journals that are of a least importance and not indexed properly in major databases.
  • In our example we knew right away that we would like to stay clear off the articles that talked about implementation of the electronic reference or establishing such service. We wanted to avoid reviews or book reviews as they were not original studies. Some articles examined the demographic parameters of their users – for example how many female vs. male patrons used the IM services or what was their age, etc. We felt as though it is not important to the main idea of our study of user satisfaction. We also knew that we won’t be able to read raticles in non-English language, so those were excluded as well.With the inclusion criteria we tried to come up with some clear parameters that helped us to identify the initial group of articles to examine. It helped a lot, in fact.
  • For this part of the process the tool was needed. Different researchers approach this in different ways: some look for existing tools, some came up with their own questions that better suit their topics.
  • Each of the four sections contains from 5 to 8 questions. For example, the population section questions whether the study population is representative of all the users, actual and eligible, whether inclusion/exclusion criteria definitely outlined, sample size, whether the population choice is bias-free, etc. Answering these questions can be difficult – we spent a lot of time doing it first on our own and then together, discussing the articles over and over.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Evaluating E-Reference: An Evidence Based Approach
      Elaine Lasda Bergman and Irina I. Holden
      University at Albany
      Presentation for Reference Renaissance
      Denver, CO August 10, 2010
    • 2. Overview
      What is Evidence Based Librarianship?
      What constitutes “evidence?”
      Systematic reviews and analyses
      Systematic Review Process
      Research question
      Database Search
      Article Review
      Critical Appraisal
      Synthesize, analyze, discuss
    • 3. Overview
      Results of our review
      Methods of determining user satisfaction
      Comparison of variables
      Range of results
      Conclusions, lessons learned
      About evidence based librarianship
      About research quality
      About user satisfaction with electronic reference
    • 4. What is Evidence Based Librarianship?
      • Booth and Brice’s definition of Evidence Based Information Practice:
      • 5. “The Retrieval of rigorous and reliable evidence to inform… decision making”
      (Booth and Brice, ix)
    • 6. What is Evidence Based Librarianship (EBL)?
      Gained traction in Medical fields in 1990’s and spread to social sciences after that
      Medical librarians were the first to bring this approach to LIS research
      Increasingly used in social sciences and information/library science
      Sources: Booth and Brice, ix.
    • 7. Don’t we ALREADY use “evidence”?
      Evidence is “out there, somewhere”
      Disparate locations: many different journals, many different researchers
      Evidence is not summarized, readily available and synthesized
      No formal, systematized, concerted effort to quantify and understand if there is a pattern or just our general sense of things
    • 8. Heirarchy of “Evidence”
    • 9. Systematic Reviews vs. Literature Reviews
    • 10. Systematic Reviews: When Are They Useful?
      Too much information in disparate sources
      Too little information, hard to find all of the research
      Help achieve consensus on debatable issues
      Plan for new research
      Provide teaching/learning materials
    • 11. Process of Systematic Review
      • Formulate Research Question
      • 12. Database Search
      • 13. Review Results
      • 14. Critical Appraisal
      • 15. Analysis
    • Research Questions
      Research question formulation
      Description of the parties involved in the studies (librarians and patrons, for ex.)
      What was being studied (effectiveness of instructional mode, for ex.)
      The outcomes and how they can be compared
      What data should be collected for this purpose (either student surveys or pre/post tests, etc.)
    • 16. Our Research Questions
      1. What is the level of satisfaction of patrons who utilize digital reference?
      2. What are the measures researchers use to quantify user satisfaction and how do they compare?
    • 17. Database Search
      LISTA (EBSCO platform): 123 articles retrieved
      LISA (CSA platform): 209 articles retrieved
      ERIC: no unique studies retrieved
    • 18. Working with Results
      279 Results after de-duplication
      Only format retrieved: journal articles
      Abstracts were reviewed applying inclusion and exclusion criteria
    • 19. Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria
      Should be pre-determined at the beginning of the study
      Minimizes bias
      Allows outside verification of why studies were included/excluded
    • 20. Sample Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria
      Peer reviewed journals
      Articles comparing e-reference with face-to-face reference
      Articles on academic, public and special libraries
      Articles on e-mail, IM, and “chat” reference
      Articles describing how to implement digital reference programs
      Articles discussing quantitative or demographic data only
      Reviews, editorials and commentary
      Non-English articles
    • 21. Working with Results
      93 articles were selected based on inclusion/exclusion criteria
      Full text was obtained and read by both authors independently to determine if at least one variable pertaining to user satisfaction was present; then the results were compared
    • 22. Results of Full Text Review
    • 23. Critical Appraisal Tools
      QUOROM (The Lancet, 1999, vol. 354, 1896-1900)
      Downs-Black scale (“Checklist for study quality”)
      CriSTAL (Critical Skills Training in Appraisal for Librarians (Andrew Booth)
    • 24. Glynn’s Critical Appraisal Tool
      Data collection
      Study design
    • 25. Critical Appraisal Process
      24 articles were subjected to critical appraisal
      Each question from Glynn’s tool was answered (either yes, no, unclear or N/A) and the results were calculated
      12 research papers selected and subjected to the systematic review
    • 26. Analysis (Findings of Review)
      Settings and general characteristics:
      Multiple instruments in a single article
      9 unique journals
      US based
      Methods and timing of data collection
      7 paper surveys
      3 pop up surveys
      3 transcript analysis
    • 27. Similar Variables in Surveys
      “Willingness to return”
      11 surveys of all instruments (Nilsen)
      Staff person vs service
      “Have you used it before?”
      Ranged from 30%-69% (email)
      Positivity of experience
      7 point, 4 point, 3 point scales
      65% - 98.2% (email, small group)
      14-417 respondents
      Staff quality
      7 point, 4 point, 3 point scales
      68% - 92.8% (14 respondents)
    • 28. Analysis
      Other questions in obtrusive studies
      “Were you satisfied?”
      “Would you recommend to a colleague?”
      each only asked in only 1 of the studies
    • 29. Analysis:
      Reason for variation:
      Nature of questions asked is contingent on context in which satisfaction was measured
      [correlate to guidelines, librarian behaviors, reference interviews, etc.]
    • 30. Unobtrusive studies: Transcript Analysis
      2 Basic Methods:
      Transcript analysis by person asking the question (proxy patron) (Schachaf and Horowitz, 2008, Sugimoto, 2008).
      75% “complete”, 68% “mostly incomplete”
      Transcripts independently assessed for quality and coded (Marsteller and Mizzy, 2003, Schachaf and Horowitz, 2008)
      3 point scale, “+ or –” scale
      2.24 out of 3 (level of quality); 5 negatives/200 transactions
      Research question: Efficacy of third party assessors vs. user surveys
    • 31. Lessons Learned
      Lessons about user satisfaction with electronic reference:
      Overall pattern of users being satisfied, regardless of methodology or questions asked
      Measurement of user satisfaction is contingent upon context
      Researchers most often try to connect user satisfaction to another variable, satisfaction the sole focus of only one article
    • 32. Lessons Learned
      Lessons about library research
      Extensive amount of qualitative research makes performing systematic reviews challenging
      Inconsistency of methodologies used in original research makes the systematic review challenging, meta-analysis is more often than not impossible
      Common pitfalls in LIS research that affect the quality of the published article
    • 33. Lessons Learned
      Benefits of undertaking a systematic review:
      Sharpens literature searching skills: benefits for both librarians and their patrons who need this kind of research
      Researcher gains the ability to critically appraise research
      The practice of librarianship is strengthened by basing decisions on a methodological assessment of evidence
    • 34. Systematic Reviews and EBL:Impact on the Profession
      Formal gathering and synthesis of evidence may:
      Affirm our intuitive sense about the patterns in current research
      Refine, clarify and enhance a more robust understanding of a current problem in librarianship
      May, on occasion, provide surprising results!
    • 35. Questions?
      Elaine M. Lasda Bergman
      Irina I. Holden