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Reference Question of the Week – 6/22/08

   June 28th, 2008

Magic 8 Ball: Ask Again LaterThis isn't a reference question, but instead is a list of a few other places where reference questions (and answers) are being archived:

Help Build a Library Q&A Custom Search
A post on the Library 2.0 Ning group mentioned a project to create a Google custom search engine of just reference questions from libraries. If your library does this, be sure to add it to the list - the more data it can search, the more useful it will be.

"The Oracle Collective"
An article in this week's New York Times Magazine talks about asking questions on the internet, and a few services that provide answers (Yahoo Answers, Ask.com, etc). It's an interesting article, and the recommendations at the end are worth reading. Via LISNews.

I Get By With A Little Help From MeFi
No roundup of ask-a-question resources is complete with mentioning Ask MetaFilter. MetaFilter, a.k.a. MeFi, is a community blog to which interesting websites are posted (essentially "filtering" the internet for the rest of us). In Ask MeFi, volunteers from the community provide answers to questions asked by site visitors.

Internet Public Library Reference Desk
Staffed by librarians and library students, the Internet Public Library is always a reliable source for answers. Their list of frequently asked questions isn't as fancy as some, but it still gets the job done. (And in the interest full disclosure, I volunteered with the IPL when I was in library school.)

Surely There Is A Wiki...
Very similar to Yahoo Answers and Ask MeFi in principle is WikiAnswers. As a wiki, anyone can ask or answer a questions, and also edit existing answers. The format of a single answer can be easier that reading lots of individual replies from different people, but here you can also view the discussion of the answer. Part of Answers.com.

I know lots of individual libraries are doing this too, and some are twittering their reference questions. If you know of other good sources to ask questions online and search through answers, please share.

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4 Responses to “Reference Question of the Week – 6/22/08”

  1. Worth Reading » Says:

    […] annotated, linked list of places where reference questions (and answers) are being archived, from Swiss Army Librarian. Sources listed include “a Google custom search engine of just […]

  2. Library & Literary Miscellany Links of the Week » Library & Literary Miscellany Says:

    […] Reference Question of the Week by Swiss Army Librarian is not actually a reference question from the week like it usually is; instead, it’s a compilation of links pointing to other places where reference questions are archived […]

  3. Build your online reputation with Q&A. | no.stupid.answers Says:

    […] In fact, in the last few days I’ve read posts from Search Engine Journal, The IT Informer, Swiss Army Librarian, and Baltimore SEO. It’s actually very clever and easy to do, when you think about it. […]

  4. Melissa Says:

    There’s also Radical Reference: “Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. We support activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing professional research support, education and access to information.” All questions and answers are archived on the site.