How to be a Peer Research Consultant: A Guide for Librarians and Students (Paperback)
Every student brings their own individual set of educational and personal experiences to a research project, and peer research consultants are uniquely able to reveal this “hidden curriculum” to the researchers they assist.
In seven highly readable chapters, How to Be a Peer Research Consultant provides focused support for anyone preparing undergraduate students to serve as peer research consultants, whether you refer to these student workers as research tutors, reference assistants, or research helpers. Inside you’ll find valuable training material to help student researchers develop metacognitive, transferable research skills and habits, as well as foundational topics like what research looks like in different disciplines, professionalism and privacy, ethics, the research process, inclusive research consultations, and common research assignments. It concludes with an appendix containing 30 activities, discussion questions, and written reflection prompts to complement the content covered in each chapter, designed to be easily printed or copied from the book.
How to Be a Peer Research Consultant can be read in its entirety to gather ideas and activities, or it can be distributed to each student as a training manual. It pays particular attention to the peer research consultant-student relationship and offers guidance on flexible approaches for supporting a wide range of research needs. The book is intended to be useful in a variety of higher education settings and is designed to be applicable to each institution’s unique library resources and holdings. Through mentoring and coaching, undergraduate students can feel confident in their ability to help their peers with research and may be inspired to continue this work as professional librarians in the future.
About the Author
Maglen Epstein, Research and Instruction Librarian, and Bridget Draxler, Associate Director of Writing, Speaking, and Academic Support, both work at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. In addition to separately training undergraduate students in research support and writing tutoring, respectively, Maggie and Bridget have also co-trained students in the combined position of Writing and Research Tutor as part of an initiative to better support underrepresented first-year students. Their combined experience with tutor training, collaborative efforts to create cross-campus partnerships, and individual expertise in research instruction and writing pedagogy have shaped the collaborative and practical nature of this book.