OCLC QuestionPoint

From Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The following information has been compiled from the vendor website and from Jody Fagan's Virtual Reference Software Comparison Spreadsheet (used with permission).


  • Oriented toward cooperatives and consortia
  • Co-browse functionality
  • Integrated e-mail
  • Local and global knowledge bases
  • Survey capability
  • Session transcripts
  • Outsourcing available (through 24/7 Reference Cooperative)


QuestionPoint consists of two components: the reference management software and 24/7 cooperative coverage. Pricing depends on the number of libraries participating and whether or not 24/7 coverage is utilized. If it is, pricing is determined by population served.

Libraries, Consortia & Others Using This Software

Literature/Case Studies From Institutions

  • Truelson, J.A. (2004) "Partnering on Virtual Reference Using QuestionPoint: Guidelines for Collaboration between Academic Libraries in Australia/New Zealand and the US." Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 35(4), 301-8.
  • Markgren, S., Ascher, M.T. and S.J. Crow. (2004) "Asked and Answered-Online: How Two Medical Libraries Are Using OCLC's QuestionPoint to Answer Reference Questions." Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 23(1), 13-28.
  • Wanserski, J. (2003) "From AskWendt Live to QuestionPoint: A Chronology of the Development of a Persistently Virtual Reference Product and Service." Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 8(1/2), 71-94.
  • O'Leary, Mick. (2003) "QuestionPoint Fortifies Libraries in Internet Age." Online, 27(3), 70-72.
  • Quint, B.E. (2002) "QuestionPoint marks new era in virtual reference." Information Today, 19(7), 50,54.

User Reviews/Opinions Of This Software

Notes by Stephen Francoeur

As of July 2005, there are two chat options for Questionpoint subscribers. One is web-based chat client that provides basic funcionality (page pushing but not co-browsing). This chat client is one that OCLC developed for its Questionpoint service several years ago and is still offering to subscribers. The other chat client is also web-based and is a modified version of the eGain software. This second chat client was one developed by 24/7 Reference and allows for full co-browsing, automated routing of incoming chats in a cooperative setting, and considerable reporting options. The eGain client has also been modified by another vendor: LSSI, who in 2003 sold their chat reference operations to Tutor.com (news release here).

In 2004, OCLC acquired 24/7 Reference, which is why they offer two different chat clients to subscribers. How long both will be offered is not clear (although it is far less likely that the eGain client modified by 24/7 Reference will be the one to disappear). For details on the merger, see this news announcement on the OCLC site.

For more information, please see the vendor site.