Comparative Analysis of Digital Reference Services from Academic Library Websites
Keywords:Academic Libraries, Digital Reference Service, Virtual Reference Service
Digital reference service is one of the interactive methods of communication between librarians and users. It is an internetbased library reference or question-answer service that connects users with skilled subject experts or reference librarians. This research is an attempt to study the present scenario of digital reference services provided by different academic libraries and to check the status of Indian academic libraries. The objectives of the study are to test the availability of digital reference services on different academic library websites and make a comparative study. In this research 50 Indian and 50 international academic libraries are selected and a comparative analysis is made using six digital reference service forms including Chat Reference, E-mail Reference, Web Form, Text Reference, Phone Reference and Frequently Asked Questions. The study reveals that the top global academic libraries evaluate digital reference services with a strong positive attitude, better to say, define it as indispensable at the same time, the Indian top academic libraries stand the opposite.
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