Faculty Research Guide

Business Library - Information Literacy

We are here for you!

Librarians want to work with you to ensure that students are well-versed in finding data-backed answers to complex questions and have the ability to present the results of their research in an ethical and professional manner.  We can help in a variety of ways; from creating custom online research guides to embedded Canvas tutorials to visiting your class for lead a hands-on research session, and more;  to make the greatest impact in helping students succeed in their class research projects.  

Contact us to learn how we can engage with your class and assignment for improved student research outcomes.

SMU Libraries Information Literacy

BBA Library Research Program

BBA Library Research Program Structure August 2019

STAR Award

The Business Library presents the STAR (Super Teacher Advocating Research) Award to faculty who ensure that their course(s) include opportunities for their students to apply research skills during their learning. The selected faculty work closely with the business librarians while developing assignments and determining the best way for the research knowledge to be conveyed and assessed. It is generally awarded to one faculty member each year at the Cox Fall Faculty Retreat.

The STAR Award was created during the 2013-14 academic year, which was declared the Year of the Faculty as part of the SMU Centennial celebration. The Center for Teaching Excellence held an event called Sparks! Teaching Awards and Celebration and encouraged departments to recognize faculty for specific skills. The Business Library submitted the names of two faculty for this recognition. Based on the positive response we received from those recipients, it was decided to make the award an annual occurrence starting in 2016.

STAR Award Winners

Don Shelly, Lecturer, Department of Finance

Teaches Portfolio Theory classes for BBA and Cox Graduate students, which require effective use of databases such as Bloomberg in order to select holdings for the Ann Rife Cox and Nancy Chambers Underwood Endowment Funds. Don consults the librarians regularly concerning optimal use of the financial databases.


Simon Mak, Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship

Teaches Entrepreneurship classes in which students learn to use a variety of sources to assess ideas and create viable business plans. Simon assists in the format and upkeep of the Entrepreneurship Research Guide to ensure it is relevant for student learning.

Julian Kolev, Assistant Professor of Strategy

Teaches capstone Strategy classes in which students, in his words, “undertake a research project covering an industry (as a group) and a publicly-traded company (as individuals), focusing on using the tools of strategy to analyze the competitive setting and make specific recommendations to improve performance.  To do so, students will need to be able to access a wide range of Business Library data sources, using them to support their arguments while including proper citations in their papers and presentations.” This statement captures the three main information literacy objectives: access/use; analyze to support arguments; cite properly.

Neil Bhattacharya, Associate Professor of Accounting

Neil has been a frequent collaborator with the Business Library. In years past, the MBA ACCT 6210 class received joint instruction by Neil and a business librarian on applying the WRDS database to their studies.  Most recently, while teaching BBA ACCT 5317, Neil saw the quality of assignments being turned in was lacking.  He reached out to the Business Library to conduct a research presentation and saw marked improvement the following term.

Marci Armstrong, Brierley Endowed Professor of Marketing

Even when Marci was an administrator who only taught one class at a time, she ensured that her graduate students used library resources when researching their company and industry by requesting a curated list of databases for their assignment. When she added MKTG 3342 to her schedule this year, she immediately contacted the business librarians to work with her on developing the class project. This ensured that the students received the information needed for doing market research in general as well as for the specific course project. She actively participated during the library presentation for the class, demonstrating the importance of these resources and doing quality research.

James Linck, Professor and Distinguished Chair in Finance

Since Executive MBAs meet in the Collins Center on Fridays and Saturdays and are rarely on campus outside of class time, they often don’t experience all the resources available through the Business Library. When Jim began teaching the EMBA course, BA 6323 Business Finance, in Spring 2016, he wanted to give his students the opportunity to use the Bloomberg terminals. He worked with the Business Library and Don Shelly to arrange optional sessions fairly late in the semester. Many of his students attended these workshops. His response to this training was, “I got great feedback in afternoon from morning class. I think I will want to implement it as a required activity next year, run them all through.”

Each year since then, a required 90 minute class session early in the semester is spent learning Bloomberg Basics with a business librarian and then applying Bloomberg functions to a case with Don Shelly. These students are grateful for the chance to use the Bloomberg terminals and some go on to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts certification program. Knowledge of what Bloomberg offers allows the students to utilize this information in later classes such as Mergers and Acquisitions.

Greg Sommers, Professor of Practice and Director, Master of Science in Accounting Program

Greg has collaborated with the Business Library on both the graduate and undergraduate levels to engage students with library resources and research skills. As Director of the Master of Science in Accounting Program (MSA), Greg has always been supportive of the contributions made by the Business Library to help students succeed in the accounting curriculum. He strongly encourages the MSA students to contact us for assistance during every orientation. Undergraduate students complete the BBA Library Research Program which is designed to have a connected course and assignment for each major. In 2019, Greg volunteered to create an appropriate assignment for accounting majors, and integrate it into the ACCT II course. This was needed to replace the previous assignment in the Audit course due to changes in the curriculum. The ACCT II course is required for both Accounting and Finance students, resulting in an even larger reach with this valuable learning experience than previously achieved.