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Advance Your Research Webinars


A series of online workshops for graduate students and advanced researchers, designed to help make your research process better, faster and smarter. A recording will be available after each session.

The series is free and open to all, but please register for the session you plan to attend. For special accommodations, please contact the VCU Libraries Events Office at (804) 828-0593.

Schedule and Registration


Incorporating Feminist Practice into Your Research
Presenters: Kelsey Cheshire, Hillary Miller & Patricia Sobczak
Nov. 20, noon-1 p.m.

Have you considered how to assimilate your personal beliefs as a feminist into your scholarly pursuits? This webinar presents theoretical approaches to incorporate feminist practice into your research.

Data Searching for Secondary Data Analysis
Presenter: Nina Exner
Feb. 12, noon-1 p.m.

Data is everywhere online. There are statistics on so many topics. And yet, if a researcher wants to answer their research questions with existing data, it is usually not possible. In this webinar, we introduce the difference between statistics and response-level microdata. This webinar covers some widely used datasets that may be useful for a variety of studies, as well as search sites for finding more datasets. We also discuss the basics of iteratively adjusting research questions and available datasets in order to create a basic secondary project that incorporates your interests while also using the data that is available.

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Name at least two places to search for a dataset on a topic
  • Locate the dataset that underlays a piece of statistical or study data, in order to attempt a search for the underlying data
  • Identify variable definitions is a well-formed dataset, in order to determine whether it aligns with a certain research question

Researching Globally: Search Strategies and Tips
Presenters: Sergio Chaparro
March 18, noon-1 p.m.

This webinar is intended to educate and present the user with a wide view of relevant databases and mostly electronic resources for global research. It is also meant to discuss some of the most common problems retrieval issues that arise when doing global research. It will also present some of the most relevant information resources available in the Spanish-speaking world.

By the end of this webinar users will be able to:

  • Identify the most important databases and resources for accessing global information for research purposes.
  • Select and search on some of the most important international agencies for research
  • Have an overview of some of the most important databases and resources for Spanish-speaking research
  • Understand some of the major issues that arise when searching for global information.

Organize and Share Your Research Projects with OSF
Presenter: Nina Exner
April 15, noon-1 p.m.

Big research projects can offer several challenges, but we are here to help. Research projects are complex and need good backups and file tracking. In addition, modern collaborations depend on sharing files with different collaborators who might need access to different parts of a research project. Furthermore, public research sharing is growing and science jobs in particular are starting to expect applicants to discuss how they are ensuring reproducibility.

Enter OSF (Open Science Framework). OSF goes far beyond science and can be used to manage almost any research project in any discipline. OSF has a flexible layout that can be used for everything from a digital lab notebook to a tracking system for data cleaning to a platform to share your posters and presentations. This webinar discusses the basics of OSF features. It discusses some concepts in organizing a research project in advance to make the best use of OSF. This webinar is a good place to learn about building organized and sharable research projects with OSF.

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Sign up for an OSF account using their VCU eID
  • Describe the role of open research in the modern research economy
  • Identify the various elements of the OSF interface
  • Explain when to use OSF file storage versus when to use OSF Components
  • Use their understanding of OSF features to fit various parts of a research project with appropriate OSF features

Image: Advance Your Research, by Jeff Bland