The Social Science Librarians Boot Camp RVA is a one-day conference for librarians, academic technologists, and others supporting the work of social scientists that will offer an inside look at the processes and tools used by researchers in the social sciences.

SSLBC-RVA 2018 will be held on August 8, 2018 on the University of Richmond campus in Richmond, VA. 

Modeled after the Social Science Librarians Boot Camp held annually in Boston since 2011, SSLBC-RVA will include topical presentations from faculty and experts in the field, hands-on workshops, and opportunities for networking and discussion. While we expect this conference will be especially helpful for early career librarians and academic technologists, all are welcome.

As librarians and technologists, we spend a lot of energy thinking about how we can support the work of researchers in our areas, but those of us without PhDs in the disciplines we support (which is most of us) often lack in-depth knowledge about the theories, assumptions, paradigms, methods, and processes that are used by researchers in those disciplines. We learn these things on the job and through experience, but we envision a conference where faculty from social sciences fields will “pull back the curtain” to directly address some of these matters and offer their own perspectives on how they do their work.

Examples of guiding questions for the conference —

  • What does it mean to say “I’m trained as a sociologist” vs. “I’m trained as a political scientist”?
  • What are some of the hot topics in social sciences that researchers from across disciplines are engaging with? How do those from different disciplines understand their places at the table?
  • How are contributions to the field disseminated and how is that changing?
  • How do researchers in each discipline use quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods?
  • How does theory get built and tested?

Additionally, we’ll get hands-on experience with some of the tools & processes of the trade — for example, software for quantitative, qualitative, and GIS analysis and visualization, research and data management tools, survey procedures, considerations for grant applications, and more.