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Advance Your Research

Advance Your Research (AYR) is a series of webinars and workshops geared towards graduate students and other advanced researchers that are designed to help make the research process better, faster and smarter.

Fall 2019

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019
10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
James Branch Cabell Library, Room 205


The Secret Life of Citations
10 a.m. Kelsey Cheshire, Julie Arendt and John Glover
Understand what citations can do beyond their intended purposes as acknowledgements and referrals within papers. 


Your Secret Weapon: People Power
11 a.m. Janet Reid and John Glover 
Meet VCU experts: career counselor Shawniece Moore, office administrative assistant for the Department of English Greg Patterson, and Technology Services and Support director Jason Chan, who know what you need to succeed. 


Graduate Student Survival Panel
Learn survival skills from knowledgeable graduate students in this interactive session.


Lunch with Your Librarian
12:30 p.m.
Enjoy lunch and informal conversations with other grad students and with library colleagues.


Searching for Global Information and Resources
1 p.m. Sergio Chaparro
Discover important global information resources to improve your research and scholarship.


To Believe or Not to Believe Research
1:30 p.m. Hillary Miller and Erica Brody
Find answers to this common question “I want to cite this source, but should I trust it?” by mastering techniques to critically evaluate research literature.


Tip Jar
2 p.m. Kelsey Cheshire
Hear 30 crowdsourced tips for research success in 30 minutes in this fast-paced session. 


Seeking the Elusive School / Life Balance
2:30 p.m. Nia Rodgers and Dana Ladd
Discover services and resources that the libraries and the campus offer to help you manage your present and future when you’re feeling stressed about life. 

Fall 2018

What Does Your Advisor Mean by “Working on Grants?”

Nina Exner

Explore how research grants work and how they interact with research at the university and on the job.

Let’s Get this Project (Management) Started

Janet Reid, Pattie Sobczak and Erica Brody

Organize any project or paper from beginning to end more effectively and with less stress by learning about project management models and 5 key tips.

Make Your Data Talk with Visualization

Erin Carrillo and Nina Exner with John Glover

Learn about a range of simple to advanced tools to visualize your data.

Research Tweaks from the Tip Jar

Various Librarians, Julie Arendt coordinating

Learn small changes to your practices that can make your research life easier.

Manage Your Professional Identity

Nia Rodgers and Hillary Miller

Discover how ORCID and other resources can help manage your academic and professional identity.

Fall 2017

Search like a Pro
Nita Bryant
Learn how to leverage database features and use time-saving tools and techniques to improve your searches.

Full Text, Fast and Free
John Glover
Learn how to get full text for free. Use fair tools and insider tricks to get around paywalls and read the articles you need.

Is it Legit? Publishing Spam and Honest Offers
Martha Roseberry
Find out about tools and strategies for evaluating journals. Find out about tools and strategies for evaluating journals—both for when you're planning to publish and for when you encounter an article in an unfamiliar journal.

Watch Your (Copyrighted) Figures
Carla-Mae Crookendale and Hillary Miller
Find out how copyright law affects your ability to use and share scholarly figures, images, surveys and more.

Spring 2017

Jump-start your Career with an Informational Interview - Kim Hanneman

Find your competitive advantage in the job market and build the foundation of a professional identity.

Get More out of Google - Julie Arendt

Learn how to search the Web effectively and uncover hidden literature and pockets of great sources.

Don't be a Cautionary Tale - Margaret Kidd and Margaret Henderson

Use these tips and strategies for saving your research and managing materials and more.

Library Access after Graduation and without Affiliation - Emily Hurst, Hillary Miller and Marilyn Scott

Discover library resources you have access to after graduation. Finding free, reliable, high-quality information will be discussed.

Fall 2016

Ideas for Grantwriting - Patricia Sobczak, Emily Hurst and Bettina Peacemaker

Top tips for the search, writing and review process.

Uniquely You: Establishing a Digital Academic Identity - Hillary Miller and John Glover

Learn how to use tools like ORCID and Google Scholar to raise your online academic profile.

Reading for Quality - John Cyrus and Julie Arendt ​

Discover how purposefully reading articles can improve your own research methods.

Better Reference Management through Technology - Marilyn Scott, Martha Roseberry and Talicia Tarver

Save time, toil and trouble by organizing your sources and references using Zotero and Mendeley.

Spring 2016

From the Source's Mouth - Carla-Mae Crookendale and Nell Chenault

​Tips and best practices for conducting interviews as research.

Scientific Images - Julie Arendt and Roy Brown

Find images for class assignments, conferences and publications, and use them without breaking the law.

The Workshop - Eric Johnson

The Innovative Media Workshop (on the lower level in Cabell Library) offers a comprehensive suite of resources, services and workspaces designed to build a creative ecosystem for learning and using varied real and digital tools. The Workshop offers workstations, a makerspace and much more. You will find spaces for editing of sound, video and graphics as well as equipment and software for creating scholarship, illustrating research, presenting information and inventing new things.

Fall 2015

Posters: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly  - Nita Bryant, Bettina Peacemaker and Martha Roseberry

Design tips and organization strategies to help makes the most of your research poster.

Gettin' STEAM-y - Julie Arendt and Carla-Mae Crookendale

Discover what science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the the arts can contribute to each other through collaboration.

Know Your Copyrights - Hillary Miller

Learn how to protect and leverage your rights as an author while publishing and sharing your work.

30 tips in 30 minutes

Discover (at least) 30 research tips, tools, apps, sites and resources.

Spring 2015

Read for Research - Marilyn Scott and Nell Chenault

Learn tricks and tips for reading and using scholarly texts and media effectively.

Google for Researchers - John Glover

Learn to use Google to find scholarship, locate files, search websites effectively and keep track of current information.

Find the Money - Bettina Peacemaker and Julie Arendt

Learn how to use Pivot and the Foundation Directory to save time and find the right funders for your organization, program or project.

Uncover Grey Literature - Nita Bryant

Grey literature is essential to research and practice in prevention, treatment and policy domains but is often missed with traditional search strategies and tools.

Fair or Foul? Fair Use of Images - Nell Chenault

Is my images Fair Use? Learn best practices for managing and using images in the classroom, when presenting and in research publications.

Fall 2014

Scholarly Conversations: Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due - Marilyn Scott

Discuss and share how to correctly incorporate the ideas, concepts, and work of others into your own writing. Viewing your work as part of a larger scholarly conversation will help you avoid plagiarism.

The Scholar Network - Julie Arendt and John Glover

Build a reputation as a researcher, find other like-minded researchers and seek collaborator through new tools like Twitter,, Google Scholar, ORCID, and others. Learn how to make your work more visible online and find your people.

Your "Aha!" Moment - Carla-Mae Crookendale

Learn about library resources that will help you think creatively and convert your research into new ideas.

From Graph to Graphic - Martha Roseberry and Ken Hopson

Explore tools, tips and best practices to create data visualizations for a paper, poster or presentation.

Spring 2014

Data, Data, Everywhere - Julie Arendt, Nita Bryant and Bettina Peacemaker

Uncover collections of data that you can analyze, use, or reuse in your thesis or dissertation.

More Than "Just Browsing" - John Glover

Crack the LC classification code. Discover tools and tactics to find related, useful material beyond the search box.

Free and Clear! Create, Find and Manage Images and Media - Emily Winthrop and Nell Chenault

Explore free images and media options to strengthen your presentations and papers.

Better Reference Management through Technology - Marilyn Scott and Martha Roseberry

Save time, toil and trouble by organizing your sources and references.

Fall 2013

Make an Impact: Finding the Right Journal for Your Research - Julie Arendt and Bettina Peacemaker

Understand what an Impact Factor is and what it is not, and how to use it and other techniques and resources to find the right journal for research

3(0) Thesis: Practice Your Elevator Pitch - Martha Roseberry and Donna Coghill

Tips to reel off your research to grant administrators, potential collaborators, big wigs, and your grandma.

Better Reference Management through Technology - Marilyn Scott and Martha Roseberry

Save time, toil and trouble by organizing your sources and references.

Learn to Love Your Lit Review - Nita Bryant and John Glover

Learn how to locate the important literature on your topic, track down citations, and organize them effectively.

Let Me Google That for You: How to Make the Web Work for You - John Glover and Erin White

Learn to leverage common web tools to find grey literature and online scholarly material, understand key players, stay up to date, and get yourself out there.

Can I Publish That? Working with Images and Media - Emily Winthrop and Nell Chanault

Become more familiar with the parameters of copyright for images and media and the procedures for using these materials in academic publishing.