IMLS Grant to "Cyber Synergy" Activity Further Supports Research on Virtual Reference Services (VRS)

OCLC Senior Research Scientist Lynn Silipigni Connaway joins Rutgers colleagues Marie L. Radford and Chirag Shah as co-principal investigators in a study of new models for collaborative and sustainable VRS.

The $250,000 National Leadership Grant will support the activity for two years, beginning this month. Titled "Cyber Synergy: Seeking Sustainability through Collaboration between Virtual Reference and Social Q&A Sites," it builds on an earlier IMLS-funded collaboration between Rutgers and OCLC, and includes investigation of models that rely upon more extensive collaboration among librarians and subject experts.

The earlier effort, "Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User and Librarian Perspectives," was led by Radford and Connaway and spanned a five-year period. The findings were recently summarized for a broad audience in a report published by OCLC, "Seeking Synchronicity: Revelations and Recommendations for Virtual Reference."

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Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D.

Marie L. Radford, Ph.D.

Chirag Shah, Ph.D.

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Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
OCLC Research

Robert C. Bolander
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research