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New 'Qualitative Research' series focuses on research methodology and strategies

October 25, 2018
Text reads: Qualitative Brown Bag. Three green apples sit near the text with bites taken out of all three.

VCU Libraries is launching a new series of lunchtime brown bag events on qualitative research. In celebration of the new VCU Graduate Credential in Qualitative Research, librarians will be sharing resources, doing training and leading discussion about qualitative research.

Qualitative research is an important way to understand the lived experiences of people. And, yet, lived experiences are complex and understanding them requires a careful lens. Therefore, robust qualitative research benefits from a wide range of resources to analyze and contextualize the human experience. "Libraries have always provided resources for researching lived experiences," says Research Data Librarian Nina Exner. "In this series, we will bring focus to these resources in order to spotlight and support the new Graduate Credential."

Researchers can delve into the epistemological philosophies underlying various qualitative approaches using resources including journals and books on qualitative methods. A great digital collection is Sage Research Methods, which provides videos, ebooks and guides on qualitative techniques and schools of thought.

As researchers analyze and prepare to share their findings, libraries can provide information and support on publishing qualitative research. VCU Libraries supports public access compliance and open access initiatives. Public access compliance is critical for funded researchers whose analyses are part of a grant to gain more effective understanding of lived experiences. Open access initiatives enable research to be shared to any digital audience, regardless of academic, financial or social barriers. "So, whether a researcher is creating a white paper, disseminating deidentified data or seeking high-quality open access ways to share their findings, VCU Libraries' experts can help," says Exner.

Beyond traditional books and journals, libraries offer technology that supports research. Recording tools from the Workshop can document focus groups and interviews, whether on-site in the Workshop's studios or by using checked-out equipment. The Workshop's audiovisual computers and software can analyze video, whether for content analysis or for transcribing and coding video focus groups. Researchers can log in to their favorite campus QDA software on the Workshop's computers and immerse themselves in analysis. As themes or narratives emerge, researchers can use those same computers to create impactful visualizations to tell the story of the case, experiences or phenomena being explored.

Graduate and faculty researchers interested in all aspects of qualitative, mixed methods and multimethod research are welcome to join in these hour-long discussions. This series will offer an opportunity to network with other qualitative and mixed-methods researchers, as well as to build community around the new Graduate Credential in Qualitative Research.

The first brown bag, Monday, Nov. 12, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Cabell Multipurpose Room (250), will share more details and answer questions about these and other resources from VCU Libraries in support of qualitative research.

In the Spring Semester, look forward to these brown-bag sessions on:

  • Jan. 22, 2019
  • Feb. 18, 2019
  • March 12, 2019
  • April 15, 2019

Learn more.

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