The Enduring Landscape of Online Subject Research Guides

Rebecca Jackson, Kristine K. Stacy-Bates


This article reports the results of two related studies: data collection on characteristics of online subject guides at academic ARL libraries, and a survey of heads of reference at the same group of libraries concerning policies and practices for writing, maintaining, and promoting subject guides. Results are compared to a similar investigation published in 2004. Observation of guides focused on numbers and types of web links included, timeliness and accuracy, and discoverability of guides from each library’s homepage. Survey questions included impact of guide quality on librarians’ evaluations, use of guide templates, and reasons for using or not using a guide management system such as LibGuides.

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