Research & Information Associates

RIAs 2016 (and Pam Harris) picture

What's a RIA?

Research and Information Associates — RIAs — are students who assist peers with finding and evaluating information.

Using their expertise within their majors and knowledge gained from instruction sessions and specialized workshops with librarians, RIAs are an excellent resource for getting started with research. Swarthmore students can meet with a RIA to clarify their research questions and identify high quality sources, including scholarly journals and monographs.

Swarthmore's RIAs are able to:

  • Work with students throughout the research process across disciplines.
  • Provide feedback and strategies designed to help students with questions about topic formation, discovery and exploration of relevant literature, contextualizing source material, and citing materials properly.
  • Engage with student researchers about fostering ethical scholarly practices within the framework of their project.
  • Appropriately refer fellow students to reference librarians, SAMs, Writing Associates, and other resources for further consultation.

How can I find a RIA?

RIAs have regularly scheduled office hours at the Research & Information Desk in McCabe Library:

  • Sunday, 1-5pm and 7-10pm
  • Monday & Tuesday, 7-10pm
  • Wednesday, 5-10pm
  • Thursday, 7-10pm
  • Friday, 3-5pm

Any student may schedule an appointment with a RIA via email or by dropping in during office hours (check the calendar to see who's on the desk).

How can I become a RIA?

Take a look at our program and apply here! Contact Sara Powell at for more information.