OCLS & Rutgers University have published a report based on five years of research on virtual reference. It is called “Seeking Synchronicity: Revelations and Recommendations for Virtual Reference”, by Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Marie L. Radford, and you can view or download the full PDF at http://www.oclc.org/reports/synchronicity/full.pdf.
More information can be found at http://www.oclc.org/reports/synchronicity/default.htm. Below is an excerpt from the page description :
[…]Seeking Synchronicity distills more than five years of virtual reference (VR) research into a readable summary that features memorable quotes that vividly illustrate very specific and actionable suggestions. Taken from a multi-phase research project that included focus group interviews, surveys, transcript analysis, and phone interviews, with VR librarians, users, and non-users, these findings are meant to help practitioners develop and sustain VR services and systems. The report asserts that the “R” in “VR” needs to emphasize virtual “Relationships” as well as “Reference”.
Among the topics addressed are:
•The exaggerated death of ready reference
•The importance of query clarification in VR
•Ways to boost accuracy and build better interpersonal relationships in VR
•What can be learned from VR transcripts
•How convenience is the “hook” that draws users into VR services
•Generational differences in how people perceive reference interactions and determine success
•The need for more and better marketing
Enjoy your weekend!