n. A note pointing to the source of information cited. A note pointing to sources for more information. An entry in a catalog or index directing the user to another heading; a cross-reference. A service to aid patrons in locating materials relevant to their interests; see reference interview. Something used for comparison. Consultation; use.


Duff and Johnson 2001, 47–48 When making reference requests, either in person or over the telephone, to a reference librarian or archivist, or to an information retrieval system, a user will refine his or her search request several times depending on the feedback from the person or the system. Gartrell 1997, 59 Providing reference service for JWT and other business users quickly showed us some distinctions between our accustomed academic researchers and those in the business world. We found that business inquirers most often need the answer, they need it now, and want it in “packaged” form. They are not, as a rule, much interested in where the answer came from or in the interesting twists in the process of finding it. Scholars are more likely to enjoy the chase and participate in an exchange of ideas about how to track down an elusive bit of documentation.