Results of survey – interactive features in online reference products

Reposted from Booklist’s Points of Reference blog:

During the RBB webinar on June 1st, Power to the User, we discussed and demonstrated a variety of interactive features available in online reference products. At the end of the webinar, everyone had the opportunity to take a survey on these features. The survey listed over 30 interactive features and provided responses of no value, some value, high value, and neutral/no opinion. There were over 100 responses from 87% librarians/library media specialists, 6% library staff, and 2% each of library school students and publishers. There was a nearly even split between public and academic librarians (42% each) and 6% from school libraries. Id like to share some of these results with you.

Interactive features which received the largest percentage of “high value” responses included:

  • Videos – 63%
  • Customized library links (lead researchers to next step in research process) – 63%
  • Embedded dictionary/thesauri – 64%
  • Critical analysis of content – 68%
  • Citation Builders – 73%
  • Search journal content from reference products – 76%
  • Did you Mean? spelling suggestions – 80%
  • Cross search all reference content in a single platform – 80%

Interactive features which received the highest number of “no value” answers included:

  • Saving Searches (track search history) – 6%
  • Sharing content (email or making collection of articles public) – 6%
  • Download collections of content to a device – 6%
  • Side by Side content comparison – - 7%
  • Animation – 8%
  • Automated reference interviews – 8%
  • Location specific results – 9%
  • Tagging content for public viewing – 10%
  • Editing reference content for personal use – 11%
  • Sending/linking content to social networks – 13%

(Note – a similar survey was done in the fall of 2009 for a session at The Charleston Conference.  You can find the summary materials here and the follow-up article here in the January 2010 issue of Booklist, sp)