Descriptive Code Reports

Running Descriptive Code Reports for Your Institution

This document provides instructions to AskAway coordinators on running institution-level descriptive code reports. At the end of every AskAway session, AskAwayers are given the opportunity to apply up to four descriptive codes to the session, such as research, ready reference, circulation, citation, etc. These codes can be used to gather data about the types of questions received on AskAway.

A list of the descriptive codes currently in use and their definitions is available here.

How do I run reports on descriptive codes for my library's AskAway sessions?

1. Login to your QP Admin account (9-digit login).
2. Click on the Reports tab on the left-hand side of your screen.
3. Click on Descriptive Codes under Counts of Current Data.
4. Choose the date range for your report, then click Search. NOTE: reports can only be run for sessions within the past 90 days.
5. Click on the number beside each code to view the transcripts tagged with that descriptive code.

The codes have been selected to capture evaluative information on use of the AskAway service as a whole. The list was kept as brief as possible, and attempts to capture data that might not be otherwise recoverable (i.e. via keyword search of transcripts). Up to four descriptive codes may be applied to each session.

Why are there no subject-based descriptive codes?

Subject-based descriptive codes have not been included because keyword searching of transcripts is available and will provide more nuanced data than subject codes. More information about keyword search of transcripts is available here.

What kinds of information can I get from the descriptive codes?

Descriptive codes will allow us to gain a better understanding of how our patrons are using the service. For example, they'll tell us how many questions are in-depth reference versus ready reference, directional, circulation, citation or e-resource access questions. They'll help us track usage from unaffiliated patrons, first-time users, and pranksters. They'll also help us identify turn-aways and give us better data on the impacts of high traffic.

Questions about descriptive codes? Contact the AskAway Admin Office.