Session Descriptions

Panel 1: The Process of Social Research

In this panel, Andréa Livi Smith, Victor Tan Chen, and Andrea J. Vickery will address how they go about doing their research. The purpose for attendees is to better understand the possibilities of social science research, especially work on the margins they might not have thought about before, and to better understand how support can and should benefit that process. Guiding questions for panelists include:

  • What are the driving questions I seek to answer?
  • What kinds of support do I need, and seek out, from technologists and librarians?

This panel will be moderated by Ryan Brazell.

Panel 2: What is Social Science?

In this panel, Monti Datta, Atiya Husain, and Kristjen Lundberg will discuss their perspectives on their discipline and how it’s practiced, how it’s like and unlike other social science disciplines, and some of the big questions currently facing social research. Guiding questions include:

  • What are the major questions of my discipline?
  • What primary source materials are people using?
  • What types of research are most valued?
  • What are some of the controversial questions in my discipline?
  • What controversial opinions about my discipline do I hold?
  • How do we tend to use the library? How might we in the future?

This panel will be moderated by Samantha Guss.

Workshop A: R QDA: Qualitative Software When Your Campus Doesn’t Pay For It

Nina Exner, Virginia Commonwealth University

Are you interested in qualitative analysis, but can’t start because of the pricy software packages? There are a few big-name Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) software packages like NVivo™ and Atlas.ti™, but not all campuses pay for them. But doing traditional qualitative coding on paper can be frustrating, and leaves the researcher with a hard-to-handle corpus of paper transcripts. One free QDA program is RQDA, a QDA package that runs on the free R statistical suite. RQDA lets you do basic qualitative analyses like text searching, memoing, field notes, categorizing sites, coding, and retrieval of coded text. This workshop will walk participants through launching RQDA, loading text or transcripts, creating and applying codes, and grouping codes into code categories.

Workshop B: Network Analysis with Gephi

Lauren Tilton, University of Richmond

The workshop will provide a brief introduction to key concepts followed by a hands-on workshop with Gephi, an open source network analysis tool.

Workshop C: Communicating Research in the Social Sciences

Hillary Miller, Virginia Commonwealth University

Social science researchers have an increasing number of tools and methods available to them at every stage of their research process that can make their research more transparent, accessible, and reproducible. This workshop will introduce some of these resources and illustrate how researchers can implement them in their own research, including research pre-registration, preprints and postprints, code and data sharing, and research workflow tools like the Open Science Framework.

Workshop D: DIY Swag

Jen Thomas, University of Richmond

Take a creativity break and make your own conference swag. In this one-hour workshop you will fold, bind, print, and customize your own notebook.

Note: each workshop will be offered twice.