Background: Using a quantitative method named "Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy" (RPYS), this research tries to determine the historical roots of Reference Services. RPYS pave the way for determining the significant years and works in Reference Services.
Methodology: The initial data of this study, which uses a scientometric method, have been extracted from the Scopus. Applying a comprehensive search strategy led to the retrieval of 5007 records in reference services. Using RPYS software, the revised data were analyzed and visualized in Excel.
Finding: The distribution of cited references in reference services revealed 1 peak within 19th century in 1876 for “Personal Relations between Librarians and Readers by Samuel Swett Green, and 3 peaks within 20th century, respectively in 1964 (related to Rothstein, “The measurement and evaluation of reference service”), 1982 (related to Katz, W. A. “ Introduction to reference work: Reference services and reference processes”), and 1986 (related to Mellon, C. A. “Library anxiety: A grounded theory and its development”).
Results: Based on the study findings, it seems that the evolutionary trend of research in reference services has been shaped intellectually by Green, Rothstein, Katz, Mellon, Hernon, Fabian, Ford, Howard, Wyer, Taylor, and few other researchers.