The encyclopaedia as a form of the book and information source: the Librarian’s perspective Return survey to: encyclopaediaresearch@gmail.

com This short survey aims to gather responses from professional librarians of all kinds regarding their use of reference works and, in particular, of encyclopaedias. I am looking for answers to the question: what is an encyclopaedia?what is made of, and what characterises a good example of it? What do you think about when selecting an encyclopaedia to buy or use? The research primarily concerns print reference works, but I am interested in your thoughts even if you mainly purchase or use online reference tools (eg Britannica Online, CredoReference, ODNB). There are no incorrect answers and any opinions you have on the topic are of interest. The research is part of the requirements for a PhD in the Department of Information Studies at UCL. All responses are anonymous and will only be seen by me. The information will be kept securely and will only be kept for as long as necessary to examine the research data and report on its findings. If you have any queries, please contact me at, or my supervisor, Vanda Broughton, at Before taking part in the survey, please make sure that you: - have read and understood the above information about my research - understand how you can contact me if you have any questions - understand that your responses are anonymous and will be treated confidentially Please return surveys to Thank you! Katharine Survey Process Can you outline, briefly, your relationship with encyclopaedias and other reference works? Physical characteristics What physical characteristics make up an encyclopaedia to you? This applies to online encyclopaedias too – can you think of aspects to the online space in a web encyclopaedia which differ from other kinds of web page? Can you think of any physical features which *must* be present for it to be an encyclopaedia?

Do you make a distinction between a dictionary and an encyclopaedia? If so, what? Qualities Can you tell me what abstract qualities characterise a successful example of an encyclopaedia? I’d like your own thoughts first, although I have a list of examples below. Can you tell me how important you think the following characteristics are to a successful encyclopaedia? Please rank the following qualities (drawn from analysing reviews of reference works) 1-9. This information will form part of the quantitative analysis for the chapter, with the understanding that it is only an indicator. 1. Reasons for existence : The purpose of the encyclopaedia is clear and/or it is a useful addition to current provision. 2. Authority: the information it contains comes from authoritative sources / knowledgeable experts 3. 4. Accuracy: the information appears to be accurate Currency: it appears to be up to date as appropriate to the topic

5. Comprehensivity: The subject coverage, length and detail of entries and date range seem adequate for the topic 6. Quality : it is well laid out, with good print quality / use of graphic design, physical weight if appropriate and/or the quality of writing makes it readable and enjoyable 7. 8. Extras: It has sufficient and useful illustrations, bibliographies, introductions etc Accessibility: it is easy to find the information from different access points

9. Electronic issues: the searching options enhance access to the information and the interface is clear and usable Please return questionnaires to

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