Ask a Librarian

Ask a Librarian

Student Assignment Policy

The TMC Library’s goal is to help students of the Texas Medical Center’s educational institutions become effective researchers. Librarians are available to provide personalized help with questions related to library resources and research in support of that goal. You may contact  a librarian for assistance via one of the methods listed at Ask Us or by requesting a consultation.

TMC Library Gallery with seating area

How The TMC Library Can Help

We can:

  • Explain library and research theories and concepts.
  • Answer questions about the resources available to you through the TMC Library.
  • Assist in developing search strategies that will maximize relevant results.
  • Provide tips and tools to make your time spent searching databases more productive.
  • Answer questions about accessing the full-text of articles and ebooks, including assistance in obtaining copies of resources that are not available directly from the TMC Library.
  • Provide guidance on managing your references with citation management tools.
  • Perform basic troubleshooting on the products and tools provided by the TMC Library.

We cannot:

  • Analyze an assignment and come up with an appropriate research topic. We can help focus a general topic in a more specific direction, but ultimately choosing a research topic is the responsibility of the student.
  • Perform database research and choose specific articles for use in a class assignment, dissertation, etc. While we can assist in search strategies (e.g. by suggesting search terms, advising on search structure), it is the responsibility of the student to perform the research and examine the search results for relevant articles.
  • Write, assist with, or edit the content of assignments, papers, or dissertations. For assistance with the content and direction of an assignment or paper, we suggest consulting with the course faculty.
  • Answer questions about the grading of assignments. Check with the course faculty for any concerns related to grading.
  • Format citations for a bibliography. We suggest utilizing a citation management tool such as RefWorks (available at no cost to you through the library) and consulting the appropriate publication manual or style guide.

Consultation policy

When you request a consultation appointment with a librarian, please keep the following in mind:

  • If you expect be more than fifteen minutes late for your meeting, you must notify the librarian directly via phone or email. After fifteen minutes, the meeting is automatically canceled and you will have to reschedule  it. Your request will be placed end of the meeting queue.
  • After the initial meeting, you must provide evidence of your work on your assignment to the librarian before the 2nd meeting can begin.
  • Meeting with another librarian to cover the same topic/material counts as a 2nd meeting (no “librarian hopping”).
  • The librarian has the right to refuse a meeting or end a session early.