Help Shape Support for SMU Academic and Research Goals

Check your email!

SMU Libraries is conducting the first comprehensive campus-wide survey since 2011, in collaboration with OIT.  The survey opened via email invitation on Thursday February 14th and will run until Monday February 25th.  All Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students, as well as 2nd and 3rd year Undergraduate students have been invited to participate.

The general purpose of the survey is to understand how faculty, students, and staff use the SMU libraries, and how their academic and research goals might be better supported by library and related technology services.  This endeavor is in support of SMU strategic goals aimed at advancing the overall academic quality to the level of a premier research and teaching university with global impact.  Results from the survey will be available near the end of Spring 2019. Findings from the survey will be incorporated into the SMU Libraries strategic planning process currently underway.

Questions?  Email Zoltán Szentkirályi, SMU Libraries’ Director of Assessment at

Copyright Questions? We Can Help!

SMU Libraries Copyright helps you navigate copyright law. Our site covers legal basics, including fair use, teaching provisions, and public performance rights.

Copyright and Licensing Is Everywhere.

Whether sharing files through Canvas, using photographs in publications, or setting your latest cat video to music then posting to YouTube, copyright law plays a role in determining how creative works are protected and how those works can be used by others. We can help you find your way.

E-mail us, , for additional assistance.

Feature photo source: Large copyright graffiti sign on cream colored wall by Horia Varlan, used under CC BY 2.0

New Research Data Management Support Available from SMU Libraries

Recognizing the growing need to support SMU researchers’ data management needs, SMU Libraries offers consultation for research data management support. Librarians are available to discuss different aspects of the research data life cycle in the following areas:

  • Data Access: explanation of the various options available to make your data accessible online
  • Data Management Planning: assistance in accessing and completing data management plans using the DMPTool
  • Metadata Advice: instruction on creating metadata that make your data more findable
  • Data Storage and Preservation: advice on best practices for storing and preserving your data
  • Instruction and Training: in-class training and workshops on topics related to data management

Research data management is becoming increasingly important for faculty and researchers who need to manage their data through the entire data life cycle, from planning through preservation. In addition, research data management plans are a crucial component of most federally-funded grants.

For more information on any of the areas for which we provide support, please read the SMU Libraries Research Data Management Support Policy or contact our data support team at


Seven Tips for Spotting False Information and Bias

Trying to determine if that news or social media story you are reading is biased? Check your emotional response, says SMU Information Literacy Librarian Megan Heuer.

“A strong emotional response to a news story, positive or negative, is a sign that a story may need verification,” she says. Heuer regularly shares tips like this in her free public workshops on the SMU campus, “Finding Balanced News in a Biased World.

For librarians, helping students and patrons understand how to evaluate sources of information has long been a key part of their mission. Their code of ethics supports intellectual freedom. “Our personal beliefs do not impact the resources we collect or recommend” Heuer says.

“Instead, professional librarians teach students and library patrons to develop information literacy – the ability to find and evaluate information, to understand how and why it is produced and to use it ethically.”




Use fact-checking sites: When in doubt, verify stories on these sites, Snopes,, Politifact, Hoax Slayer, Truth or Fiction.


Conduct lateral searching instead of vertical searching: Scan a website, then open additional websites on the same topic seeking context and perspective. Don’t limit search to in-depth vertical analysis of one website.


Check age of domain: Use WHOIS to see when the web domain for the story was created. Be wary if the domain is brand new. It may have been created to host fake news.


Conduct a reverse image source: Use Google Images to see how an image has been used in the past and to confirm if the image originated with the story.


Beware of misleading media: Question selective sourcing, opinion-writing and advertising that masquerade as news, as well as quick-fix science news.


Recognize good reporting: Good reporting is ethical, represents multiple viewpoints, identifies sources and uses commonly accepted sources and authorities.


Is your news source biased? Several nonprofit organizations evaluate news bias and fact check news stories. To evaluate a news source or particular story, visit AllSides

Politifact, Factcheck or MediaBiasFactcheck.

See a schedule of all SMU Library workshops.

Article produced by SMU Media Relations for an Official Press Release

Get Familiar with Open Access Publishing

What is open access publishing?

Open access (OA) is the online publication of scholarly articles, at no cost to readers. With unsustainable increases in journal costs, OA could provide the answer to maintaining access to academic journals.


How “open” is open access publishing?

  • Gold journal: completely open access. Though content is freely available to readers, some journals may require the author to pay an article processing charge (APC).
  • Hybrid journal: some content is open access, while other parts are not.
  • Green journal: pre- and/or post-prints to an online repository, such as SMU Scholar.


Why would I choose open access?

Authors want to publish in reputable journals and get cited frequently. Open access allows worldwide access to your work. There is some evidence that OA publishing increases citation counts, and posting your work to a repository ensures indexing by Google Scholar.

Some grants require making your research publicly available, so OA publishing can satisfy the terms of this agreement.


Where do I find open access publications?

There are many highly regarded OA gold journals. Use the Directory of Open Access Journals to find journals in your discipline.

Post your work to an institutional or a disciplinary repository, if your publisher allows it. Look up publisher policies at Sherpa/Romeo. Note: networking sites like Research Gate are not the same as a repository.


What else should I know?

Your librarian can help with questions about OA publishing.

If you have a choice between a gold and a green journal, you are better off publishing in a gold journal.

Some universities have local OA policies. When you join a new institution, check their guidelines.

Actively avoid predatory journals that lure authors into paying to publish. Check the reputation of a journal if you have doubts.

You can maintain copyright, even for OA articles. Most platforms allow you to apply a Creative Commons license, so others use your work only in the ways you deem acceptable.

In-depth Research Assistance From Your Couch

What is Virtual Connect?

With SMU Libraries’ new online service, you can now meet with a librarian from anywhere.  You can see and speak with a librarian from your laptop or mobile device, and share screens to help find what you need.

Book an appointment

To schedule your appointment, find the librarian assigned to your subject, click the “schedule an appointment” button, and then select the option for an online appointment.  Your confirmation email will include the URL for the meeting, instructions for mobile devices, and call in phone number, if needed.

Have question? Ask Us!

For Cox Business School research assistance, go here. 

Spotting Fake News

Why do people fall for fake news?  How do you verify a piece of news as real?  How do you determine bias?  What is the place of personal responsibility in finding good news?

There have been a lot of solutions proposed to fight the fake news problem – human fact-checking services, crowd-sourcing, and artificial intelligence among them – but there are some systemic problems with these solutions.  Given the changing face of fake news, automating a system of checks or blocking known fake news accounts can be a game of whack-a-mole.  Even worse, flagging content as fake leads to greater trust in unflagged, and potentially false, content, according to 2017 study.

We will discuss these topics among others at an upcoming workshop series:

Finding Balanced News in a Biased World Part 1

Tuesday, September 11th at noon,

Fondren Library Red 323

Finding Balanced News in a Biased World Part 2

Tuesday, September 18th at noon,

Fondren Library Red 323

Interested but can’t come at this time? SMU Libraries offers the Request a Workshop service to meet the needs of your class, writing group, department, or student organization. Schedule a convenient time and location that works for you by choosing from a list of possible topics or requesting a custom session.

Looking Back: SMU’s “The Campus” – June 7th, 1944

SMU newspaper reports on D-Day

On June 7, 1944, SMU’s “The Campus” newspaper reports on the tide turning invasion in France with a mix of editorials, hard-nosed journalism, features stories and typical campus happenings. This newspaper offers an excellent snapshot of what campus was like, nearly 75 years ago, with a world war raging.

Excerpt from “The Campus” June 7, 1944

In this issue you’ll find:

  • Student’s reaction of the invasion
  • Article from Vivian Anderson Castleberry, Journalist and women’s rights activist
  • A first hand account of of Japanese Relocation Camps
  • The Prayer from SMU president Umphree Lee made on WRR
  • Special chapel “Invasion Prayer Service”
  • The Mortar Board makes a donation to the library
  • Campus Calendar
  • Greek News

…and more

Currently, SMU Archives has digitized SMU’s student newspaper from 1915 through 1989, which offers a high quality look at all the articles, photos and advertisements of the each publication.

Why Archives? SMU Archivist, Joan Gosnell Explains

We recently chatted with SMU Libraries’ own Joan Gosnell, SMU Archivist. With the upcoming presentations of the Black History at SMU Student Oral History Projects, we wanted to ask Joan some questions about “The Archives.” Joan was a big part in helping Dr. Jill Kelly’s students find their way through the archives to complete their projects. 

Joan Gosnell, SMU Archivist
Joan Gosnell, SMU Archivist

Continue reading “Why Archives? SMU Archivist, Joan Gosnell Explains”

Library Collections Update

Faculty Please complete the survey on library resources before March 1st.


Thank you to all faculty and staff members who attended and provided feedback at the recent Library Collections Budget Town Hall meeting in January. The meeting allowed us an opportunity for further discussion about the trends in library collections costs and the library’s budget. From our conversations, we created an overview of library collection development trends to explain how contracts with vendors impact our ability to afford the journals and books you need.



For those unable to attend, your subject librarian is available to attend your next department meeting to share the town hall presentation with you and your colleagues and to explain in depth how these issues affect your discipline. We are also gathering data about vital resources to better prioritize our spending.


How You Can Help


  • Faculty: Fill out the survey to let us know what resources are important for your discipline. The deadline is on March 1, 2018.
  • Send in the feedback form to tell us if the library does not own material you need for research and teaching.
  • Reach out to your subject librarian with requests for purchases to help us understand what resources you need.