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VCU Libraries and Grad School host inaugural Summer Camp for dissertation and thesis planning Aug. 15

July 3, 2018

For most master’s or doctoral students, the thesis or dissertation is the big one, the first long, original research ever done.

One of the little-known challenges of graduate research is that students need to know lots of things beyond the subject of study alone. These include:

  • Understanding what can and can’t be used under copyright;
  • Keeping files safely stored and organized over years of research, writing and revising;
  • Managing different versions and drafts that a professor or committee might refer to;
  • Organizing citations, notes, transcriptions, data, IRB correspondence, charts and data visualizations, all the elements of the project.   

To help doctoral and master’s students gain just-in-time tools to smooth the research and writing process, VCU’s research librarians have organized a day packed with information and expertise that grad students need.   

“The sessions will work for a variety of students and studies, whether you are working with text, images, qualitative or quantitative data, bench science, field notes, video or a blend of research materials and methods,” says Research Data Librarian Nina Exner.

This event is designed for students who have finished their comps and are working on designing their proposal. However, all graduate students are welcome.

Students should bring a laptop and files from the proposal/thesis/dissertation preparation to work on during the hands-on sessions. The focus of the August session is on planning. A January session will focus on the writing process for a dissertation or thesis.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018


  • Presentations and hands-on activities, James Branch Cabell Library, Multipurpose Room (Room 250)
  • Simulcast at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, Lecture Room (Room 2-010)



8:30-9 a.m.   Coffee and  welcome

9 a.m. 9:50 a.m.          Storage

10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.    Copyright

11 a.m.-11:50 a.m.       Metadata

Lunch break (Lunch on your own)

1 p.m.-1:50 p.m. File formats

2 p.m. -2:50 p.m. Version control

3 p.m. -3:50 p.m. Data organization

Registration link 

Sponsored by the VCU Libraries and the VCU Graduate School

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