Today, Joe Janes from Univ. of Washington, Mike Sweet from Credo, and myself had a great conversation on reference content, student research habits, and how reference content can be more discoverable during the LJ webinar “Reference: The Missing Link in Discovery.”
Joe highlighted research results from OCLC Perceptions study and 2 studies at the University of Washington – Project Information Literacy and use of Wikipedia for course-related research which focused on the changing research behaviors of students. He also addressed the teaching of reference sources to librarians, comparing his learning of sources years ago to today’s focus on content over containers. He speculated on various reference sources that have gone away, transitioned, and what still persists.
My focus was on reaching today’s user in the academic library and how things have changed and what changes need to occur to keep reference content discoverable and viable. I summarized a few strategies that publishers are using today including: embedded research guides, mobile apps, search widgets, geolocation services, and the use of additional reference book metadata in the online catalog, journal databases, and link resolvers.
During my piece, I polled the audience on two questions – Would you like to search reference content on a single interface? to which 93% responded YES; and, Should reference content be indexed in journal databases? to which 68% said yes, and 26% were undecided.
Mike demonstrated Credo’s new Topic Pages, which I wrote about in a previous blog post. We had some great Q and A as well. The webinar will be archived in about a week. Check the Library Journal webinar site for more info. The slides are here if you want to take a look Credo_LJ_Webinar_final.