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Hekman Library for Student Success Tutors

Librarian-crafted quick guide to the library and the research process for Student Success

What questions do you have?

Have a particular question or scenario you're not sure about? Send a message to your Student Learning Librarian, Amanda Matthysse, and we'll use this page as an on-going discussion forum, with those questions and answers posted for you to refer to any time.

Student Success - Library FAQs

Q: Is it okay to send students to the research desk at the beginning of a big project or should they try to figure it out themselves?

A: The beginning of a project is a great time to seek out a little extra help, even just to toss around ideas with another person or develop a plan for exploring and finding more information. You can walk up to the research assistance desk to talk to student Library Research Consultants or the research librarians or you can get library help online through email or the Live Chat anytime during library hours; you can also schedule an appointment with a librarian to talk more in-depth.

Q: How can students get started doing research and finding out more about what's in the library?

A: One great resource to use when getting started with research is the library's Subject guides (found on the library homepage under Research Help) - these guides are made by the librarians as lists of recommended sites, books, databases and more in different subject areas. You can also direct students to talk to a librarian at any time during their research. The list of all our librarians and their subject specialties are under Research Help-Research Specialists, with all our contact info for you to easily reach out with questions or make an appointment.

Q: When you're looking for articles, how do you make sure you get the most current studies and information?

A: Most databases have functions that allow you to control the Publication Date of the articles you're viewing - you may choose to select a range of only the last 5 or so years, which will limit the articles you see to only those published recently. This can be very helpful for subject areas that rely on the most current data to stay relevant, such as nursing or social work.

Q: What happens on your end when we ask for an article that the library says it doesn't have?

A: When you see an article that has the icon "FullText@Hekman" instead of just a PDF or full text link, this means we may or may not have immediate access to the full article online; sometimes, it will direct you to our print copies or a different database, or sometimes we may not have it at all. In the last case, we can still get it for you through Interlibrary Loan. All you do is fill out a request form online, and when we receive that, we use a database of libraries from around the world to get a copy for you from somewhere else. Once we have it, we'll email you the PDF (it usually takes a day or two at most). For a few special databases (only those related to Science Direct or Elsevier), we have a different sort of request service to get you the PDF immediately. Either way, for you and your students, the requests are always free, so you never have to worry about paying for access to an article.