Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/49417

Seekers, Sloths and Social Reference: Homework Questions Submitted to a Question Answering Community

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Title: Seekers, Sloths and Social Reference: Homework Questions Submitted to a Question Answering Community
Authors: Gazan, Rich
Keywords: Online social networks
Question-answering systems
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Rich Gazan (2007). Seekers, Sloths and Social Reference: Homework Questions Submitted to a Question Answering Community. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia 13(2), 239-248.
Abstract: An increasing number of students are seeking homework help outside library structures and systems, such as on social reference sites, where questions are answered by online community members who rate one another’s answers and provide collaborative filtering in place of traditional expertise. This paper reports the preliminary results of a participant observation and content analysis of homework questions submitted to Answerbag, a social reference site with over one million unique visitors per month. The results suggest that members of the online community are able to distinguish between questions submitted by Seekers, those who interact with the community and engage in conversation about their questions, and Sloths, those who post their homework questions apparently verbatim and interact no further. How the community reacts to these distinct types of questioners reflects values similar to those of professional reference providers, and the community structure also allows members to educate questioners about community standards and the ethics of information seeking.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/49417
Appears in Collections:ICS & LIS Faculty & Researcher Works


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