RUSA Definition of Reference (2021)
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Description: The Definition of Reference (2021) was prepared by Rebecca Eve Graff, Elizabeth German, Cynthia Johnson, and Janet T. O’Keefe. The methodology and process can be found in RUSA White Paper: Towards a new definition of reference. This is an update to the 2008 definition submitted by a subgroup of the RSS Executive Committee. A history of the definition of reference through 2002 can be found in Definitions of Reference Service: A Chronological Bibliography. The 2021 Definition of Reference is focused on describing the nature of reference work. While counting and assessing reference transactions are critical for library operations, the 2021 Definition seeks to provide a venue for reference practitioners to explore the boundaries and morphing nature of reference work -- independent of the statistics used to measure the impact of this work. The Definition and Reference Work Themes allow for our community of practice to create new understandings and deepen our knowledge of reference.