The Digital Reference Electronic Warehouse (DREW) Project: Creating the Infrastructure for Digital Reference Research through a Multi-Disciplinary Knowledge Base

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Date

2007

Authors

Nicholson, Scott
Lankes, R. David

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Abstract

One of the valuable offerings of librarians in the digital age is the human intermediation of information needs. In physical libraries, these reference questions are answered and few artifacts remain from the transaction; therefore, the knowledge created through the work of the librarian leaves with the patron. Due to the medium of communication, digital reference transactions capture the knowledge of information professionals. There are hundreds of digital reference services generating knowledge every day; however, the lack of a schema for archiving reference transactions from multiple services makes it difficult to create a fielded, searchable knowledge base. This schema will also allow researchers to develop tools that practitioners can employ; this will create a collaborative environment for digital reference evaluation. The goal of this work is to outline the steps needed to develop this schema, present the results of a survey of digital reference services, explore some of the pitfalls in the process, and envision the future uses of this Digital Reference Electronic Warehouse (DREW).

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“The Digital Reference Electronic Warehouse (DREW) Project: Creating the Infrastructure for Digital Reference Research through a Multi-Disciplinary Knowledge Base” Nicholson, S., Lankes, R. David (2007) 46(3). Reference and User Services Quarterly.