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Faculty Information: Research Consultations

What are Research Consultations?

Research consultations are individualized, half-hour appointments students can make with SMSU Librarians. They’re intended for students who 

  • are looking at a substantial research challenge or topic (or researching in a discipline for the first time);
  • can wait at least 24 hours for help;
  • want one-on-one, customized research help.

When are Research Consultations Available?

Research consultations are held most days of the week classes are going on and some Sundays; scheduling depends on the availability of the librarians. 

If you are requiring that your entire class schedule research consultations, please let us know as soon as you can. If we know we have a big group needing consultations, we’ll try to have enough appointments available to accommodate them within your timeframe. Should we not be able to reasonably fit all of your students in within the time you’d prefer, we’ll be happy to discuss other options for your students.

Where can Research Consultations Happen?

Research consultations can be conducted

  • face-to-face; 
  • online via Zoom; 
  • by phone (only if necessary). 

Need More Information?

To request a research consultation and to find out more about the research help support services offered by the library, visit or contact a Librarian.

What do Students do to Schedule a Consult?

In order to request an appointment, students must fill out a brief intake form. Every librarian puts together their form a little differently, but each one asks: 

  • the topic the student’s researching; 
  • instructor name and course name/number;
  • what kinds of sources they need (peer-reviewed articles, trade articles, books, etc.); 
  • their goal for the research consultation (refining their topic, learning how to use a database, etc.). 

It’s important that the students spend time filling out these forms in as much detail as they can. The purpose of research consultations is to allow librarians some lead time to prepare tailored sessions for each student, rather than just react to their situation (which we’re happy to do, too-- but we’re carving out this space for something else).