RRGIS-This Question is About

How to select the topic of a question in Desk Tracker.

Question is About in Desk Tracker








Click one of the links below to see specific information about that selection. 


 General Guidelines

For all reference interactions greater than five minutes in duration, one should attempt to fill in the "RRGIS-This Question is About" field in Desk Tracker, selecting only one option from drop-down menu. Please note that these categories have to do with the nature of interactions, rather than their subject; the options describe generic forms of interactions and not the specific academic disciplines which make up their content.

For interactions which overlap multiple categories, please choose the category upon which the most time was spent. In ambiguous circumstances, use your best judgment and don't worry if you have to approximate. It may be useful to ask oneself, "Which category comes closest to capturing the essence of this interaction?" Talking to a colleague also may help lend some perspective to a tricky question. For bizarre or unclassifiable interactions, feel free to utilize the Other category, but try to never leave the field entirely empty. It is not necessary to fill in the "RRGIS-This Question is About" field for reference interactions which are less than five minutes long or information/directional questions.


Database/eJournal Access Problems

Use for when a patron should be able to access a database or a service within a database, such as a full-text pdf download, but cannot due to issues internal to either the database itself or Online Research Resources. Almost without exception, these questions will involve reporting an access problem to ER Tech. For our purposes, Refworks and similar services that the library subscribes to will be considered databases. DO NOT use when a patron does not know how to find a particular database or journal; see Finding specific library materials. DO NOT use when the access problem is due to software or hardware issues; see Technical Issues.



Finding specific library materials

Use for questions which involve locating one or more items which the University of Illinois may or may not have access to. These are generally "known item" questions wherein you do not have to suggest a resource or material for the patron since they know what they want but may not know A) all the details of the item, B) whether or not we have it, or C) how to retrieve it if we do have it.



Government Information

Use for questions about a government resource or questions which are best answered by government information. DO NOT use for questions which you chose to answer with a government resource but which could have been answered another way, such as general statistics questions which might be available through professional associations as easily as government sources; see Research Assistance.


Library policies and services

Use for questions about the library's policy on anything or a service offered by the library. This category should be used both for questions about the nature of a policy and how to use it, such as loanable technology or course reserves. These questions will typically be answerable by a library website, the Rolodex, or a policy that has been articulated by library staff.



Ready Reference

Use for questions which can be answered in one or two factual sentences or which can be answered with the use of a typical reference source, such as a dictionary, encyclopedia, or directory. DO NOT use for an interaction which involves many one-sentence factual answers from variegated sources; see Research Assistance.



Research Assistance

Use for interactions where the patron needs assistant choosing a research strategy and/or research resources. These will generally be very broad questions where the patron does not have a single desired item in mind but rather a range of works. Answers which involve the use of multiple databases or which take a long time are usually Research Assistance, even if the question is recreational in nature and not related to a research project. Interactions related to a final research product, such as writing style, citation format, or research proposal format, would also fall under this category.



Technical Issues (printers, scanners, software)

Use for instances when a piece of technology is not working as it is supposed to. Also use when a patron is unfamiliar with a piece of technology and needs a large degree of assistance to operate it. DO NOT use for problems internal to a website, database, or other electronic resource; see Database/eJournal Access Problems. DO NOT use for a patron's minor difficulties which can be answered by showing them a single line in a manual or "how to" guide; see Ready Reference.




Use for interactions which cannot adequately be classified as falling under any of the above categories. This category is meant as a catchall for odd and difficult to define interactions. If an interaction seems to fall under three or more categories, with no one category clearly dominant, use Other. DO NOT use for odd or difficult questions which are still classifiable under another category, i.e. a strange Ready Reference question or Research Assistance with an especially obscure topic.