Information & Referral (I&R) services help people obtain relevant and accurate information to meet specific needs. The provision of traditional I&R services by skilled specialists is being augmented by web-enabled I&R services, raising a number of issues and opportunities. First, this paper analyzes the literature on I&R services in order to understand key issues and common practices in the development of I&R services. Then a framework is presented that explores two key dimensions of I&R services: the communities of interest and communities of place that they serve. This I&R community analysis framework is illustrated with a number of mini-case studies, and conclusions are drawn regarding how it may be applied. The findings of this study should be of interest to many organizations that want to use the web to make information readily accessible to the people they serve.
This article is originally published in Informing Science, 2000.
Information & Referral, Community of Place, Community of Interest, Community Networks
Date of publication
Fagan, Mary Helen, "Web-enabled Information and Referral Services: A Framework for Analysis" (2000). Management Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 5.