Information Services

Paper: Program Description Abstract

Applying Text Mining Analytics to Virtual Reference Services: A Case Study on the Email Question & Answer (Q&A) Service at an Academic Health Sciences Library

Tuesday, May 7
2:50 PM - 3:05 PM
Room: Columbus AB (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : Virtual reference services have been widely adopted by academic libraries for almost two decades. Patrons can ask librarians for help either through live chat or via a web email form. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the web email service has been used at an academic health sciences library by applying text mining analytics to email inquiries.
Description : The Health Sciences Library (HSL) at a large research university in the Southeastern U.S. was the study site. One-year, de-identified email records (January-December 2016) collected through the “Ask Us” Web form at the HSL website were used as the data sample.

Python scripts were developed to clean data, remove stop words, build datasets, and perform basic term-frequency counting. In addition, LightSide and VOSviewer were adopted as text-mining tools. The former was used to investigate the correlation between the top extracted terms from the datasets and patrons’ Ask-for-meeting requests; the latter was applied to extract and visualize the key topics in patron questions.
Conclusion : Patrons from the University’s School of Public Health used the Email Q & A service the most frequently. Particularly, students submitted more inquiries than faculty or staff. In 2016, the heaviest usage of this service occurred in September; Monday through Wednesday, and the beginning and ending of a month were often the peak time. There is some positive correlation between certain terms in patron inquiries (e.g., “literature review,” “request consultation”) and the Ask-for-a-meeting request. The key topics of patron questions include “systematic literature review,” “endnote,” “search,” "access," and "submission." This study helps HSL better allocate time, personnel needed to provide support, and resources.

Send Email for Fei Yu

Nandita S. Mani, AHIP

Associate University Librarian & Director, Health Sciences Library
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Nandita S. Mani, PhD
Associate University Librarian for Health Sciences & Director, Health Sciences Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Nandita S. Mani is the Associate University Librarian for Health Sciences and Director of the Health Sciences Library
As AUL & Director, Mani oversees one of the nation’s leading health affairs libraries. The UNC Health Sciences Library (HSL) is the primary library for the University’s schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. It also serves the UNC Medical Center and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC), a statewide program for clinical education and health services.

She provides leadership and general administration of the HSL, which includes leading a workforce of over 55 FTE, oversight of a budget with annual expenditures of approximately $8 million, planning and policy formulation around collection development programs, facilities, infrastructure, technology innovation, cooperative activities, and outreach to the five Health Affairs schools and the hospital. She participates in fundraising and revenue development including contracts, grants, and other sources. In addition, participates in university-wide programs and committees and represents the library system regionally, nationally, and internationally. She is also an active member of the UNC International Affairs Advisory Committee.

Mani is also serving a 10 yr term as Managing Editor for Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, is an Assistant Editor for Consumer Health on the Internet, and has published in the areas of information science and instructional design and technology. Her grants participation spans the areas of chronic kidney disease, technological innovation integration, and online learning.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Nandita Mani

Send Email for Jennifer Walker


Assets

Applying Text Mining Analytics to Virtual Reference Services: A Case Study on the Email Question & Answer (Q&A) Service at an Academic Health Sciences Library

Audio Slides Video

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Applying Text Mining Analytics to Virtual Reference Services: A Case Study on the Email Question & Answer (Q&A) Service at an Academic Health Sciences Library