A survey is presented of the use of unobtrusive testing techniques to measure reference enquiry answering performance, emphasising research carried out in Britain. British studies reveal similar performance figures to those obtained by American studies; the average succes rate here also being only about 55 per cent. Possible developments in the use of the techniques to aid user service research and management are suggested, and the limitations of unobtrusive testing methods are considered. The improvement of enquiry answering performance would seem to lie in better training of library staff in communication skills.
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