Elevating Librarian-Mediated Search Services: When 2nd Best Isn\u27t Good Enough


Objective: To optimize librarian-mediated search services, librarians must consider all aspects of their search service that affect service utilization and efficacy. The library literature provides little information concerning the format in which libraries are providing literature search results and even less on the effect of format on search service utilization.  At our academic health science library, the number of search requests received rose dramatically after we began providing results in RefShare format. RefShare is the collaboration tool available in ProQuest’s RefWorks®.  We wanted to know how other libraries were providing results and whether they had seen format affect search service utilization. Methods: A survey created using Springshare’s LibWizard® was distributed to the MEDLIB-L listserv, the expertsearching listserv, and through direct email to AAHSL reference and education librarians. The survey was sent out on March 31st, 2019 and closed on April 30th, 2019. We asked about the audience that the librarian/library served and requested basic information about the librarian-mediated search services offered -- with a special focus on formats used to send literature search results to the requester. Results and Conclusion: We have analyzed the survey results, and we share our findings here

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