Whatever Happened to “Always Cite the Source?”

Denise E. Agosto, Holly Anderton


This article presents a study of source citing in telephone reference service at the twenty-five largest public library systems in the United States and Canada. The results showed that in eighty-six out of the 125 total reference transactions analyzed (68.8 percent of the cases), respondents gave no sources for their answers. The article also discusses a number of additional issues uncovered during the study that are not related to source citing but that have important implications for reference services. The authors conclude that best reference practices are not being followed in many instances of public library telephone reference, and they close with a number of simple suggestions for improving telephone, face-to-face, and digital reference services.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/rusq.47n1.44


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ALA Privacy Policy

© 2019 RUSA