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Research Commons: Workshops for graduate students & postdoctoral fellows

The Research Commons is pleased to offer you a range of workshops, developed in the context of SFU Library's Instruction Strategy. Register for upcoming workshops. Search by date in our workshops calendar.

If you do not see the topic(s) you are interested in and/or would like a specialized workshop for yourself and a group of colleagues, send a request to research-commons@sfu.ca.

SFU values diversity and is committed to inclusion. If you require any disability related accommodations in order to fully access and participate in our workshops and/or events, please contact us directly at library-workshops@sfu.ca. Please contact us as soon as possible as some accommodations will require lead time to arrange (i.e. CART, ASL)

Digital Humanities

Introduction to Content Management Systems: Creating Exhibits with Omeka

Content Management Systems (CMS) allow users to create powerful websites with user-friendly interfaces. Omeka is a “free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions". Any person interested in creating online exhibits and managing digital objects will benefit from this course. Attendees are encouraged to bring digital items or texts that are meaningful to them. Attendees will learn how to digitize files and objects and create rich exhibitions using the Omeka platform.
 
Note: Please bring a laptop.
 
 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Introduction to APIs and Webscraping: Ethical Considerations

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are parts of a website’s code made available to the public, which can be used to query data in controlled amounts. Web scraping is described as the act of pulling down (usually large) amounts of data from a website. Though both are increasingly used as tools in scholarship, the ethics regarding the use of either of these tools is hotly debated: How should we store data that contains potentially sensitive and/or identifying information? Should scholars be beholden to a business’s terms and conditions, even if that corporation is a multi-billion dollar company? APIs are legally sound, but what kinds of data should be scraped?

This tutorial will provide attendees with a basic understanding of APIs and web scraping, as well as the tumultuous history of using both in scholarship. Attendees will then be encouraged to participate in critical discussion surrounding the ethics of each for scholarly use.

Notes:

  • This workshop is geared towards participants who want to use APIs and web scraping in their own research, or who have used these methods and are interested in discussing their ethical considerations. Therefore, prior knowledge of APIs or web scraping is useful but not required.
  • Please bring a laptop.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7301

Introduction to Twitter bots with Tracery

Using the Tracery story-grammar generation tool, participants will learn how to turn simple JSON lists into full-fledged Twitter bots like @Gastwon, (https://twitter.com/gastwon) @TaySEliot (https://twitter.com/tayseliot) or even @SoftLandscapes. (https://twitter.com/softlandscapes). No programming experience is necessary.

Please bring a fully charged laptop.

 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Academic Writing for Graduate Students Positioning Yourself as a Junior Scholar

This seminar-style workshop series is designed for graduate students for whom English is an additional language (EAL). The workshop focuses on writing tasks that may be required in the earlier stages of a graduate program.  You will learn how to apply your analytical skills to the discourses of your chosen disciplines and explore how effective academic writing in Western scholarly tradition is achieved in order to position yourself as junior scholars in your chosen academic communities. Students will complete several reading, writing, and grammar tasks, all of which will be used to provide personalized feedback.

Required textbook:

Swales, John M., & Feak, Christine B. (2011). Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills (3rd Edition). Ann Arbor: U of Michigan Press (ISBN: 978-0472-03475-8).

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:20pm
Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Learning

Introduction to Content Management Systems: Creating Exhibits with Omeka

Content Management Systems (CMS) allow users to create powerful websites with user-friendly interfaces. Omeka is a “free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions". Any person interested in creating online exhibits and managing digital objects will benefit from this course. Attendees are encouraged to bring digital items or texts that are meaningful to them. Attendees will learn how to digitize files and objects and create rich exhibitions using the Omeka platform.
 
Note: Please bring a laptop.
 
 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Research data management

For assistance with research data management, including help with SFU's Research Data Repository Radar, please contact data-services@sfu.ca.

Drop-in data support office hours are available this Spring semester:

Downtown Vancouver campus. Every Wednesday, from January 15 to April 8, data consultations will be available in person from 2:00pm-5:00pm in HC 7400, on the 7th floor at the Harbour Centre campus. For January 15, the consultations will be in HC 7027 from 1:30 - 4:30

Clean data

Do you work with research data in spreadsheets? If so, this workshop is designed for you! We’ll be covering the best practices for Data Organization in Spreadsheets, according to Data Carpentry. Then we’ll look at formatting values, fixing dates, merging/splitting columns, and more. By the end, you’ll be prepared to take your spreadsheets to the next level.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 9:30am to 11:30am Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Secure data

Protect your research data by following strong security practices. This workshop will cover topics including:

  • cloud storage,
  • full disk encryption,
  • threat modelling,
  • communication and file sharing,
  • account security,
  • two-factor authentication (2FA), and
  • digital preservation.

Learn how to keep data secure with SFU resources.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Find Data

Wondering where to find datasets that will be most suitable for your research project or thesis? The data ecosystem is scattered across multiple providers and subject areas, which makes finding what you need both challenging and time-consuming. This workshop will introduce you to several tools and strategies to find relevant datasets, including open data portals (both governmental and otherwise), Statistics Canada, CHASS, the Abacus Dataverse Network, Nesstar, ICPSR, and Statista.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Share Data

Do you have research data? No matter your subject area, the answer is most likely, yes! More and more funding agencies, universities, and journal publishers are requiring that research data be ethically and appropriately published and shared online. Beyond these requirements to do so, data sharing also encourages collaborative research enquiry, supports new discovery and innovation, and foregrounds research accountability. This session will get you thinking about how, when, and where to publish and share your research data, including resources to support data sharing.     

 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908) Cancelled

Got Data? Use R for Data Visualization

Data visualization is the process of graphically representing data. Visualizing data allows you to draw insights, find patterns, as well as define and test models which might be difficult to create by observing raw data only. There are a number of R packages which help you with numerous types of visualizations.
 
By the end of this workshop you will be able to use R to create 2D scatter plots, bar charts, and box plots, and use R functions to ease the process of finding linear relationships and models using data provided throughout the workshop. Additionally, you will learn about selecting appropriate colour palettes for your plots. Depending on interest and time, we will explore adding interactivity to your plots. 
 

Requirements

  • Bring your own laptop
  • Willingness to learn more about R (whether for the first time or as an experienced R programmer)
  • Install the latest version of R and Rstudio 

Required libraries

  • ggplot2,
  • patchwork,
  • RColorBrewer,
  • ggiraph (if time permits).
 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Research programming

Introduction to Bash shell, Python programming, and Git version control

We start this 2-day hands-on workshop with an introduction to bash shell, a popular Linux command-line environment. By the end of this hands-on session you will know how to navigate the file system from the command line, how to run basic commands, and how to do more complex things with just a few keystrokes.

Then we move to Python, a popular language for scientific computing and great for general-purpose programming as well.  This workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. This workshop is offered by The Carpentries, whose mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing. 

Finally the workshop will end with a 3-hour session on Git, the world’s most popular version control system. You will learn how to track your project history in a Git repository, how to work with remote repositories on GitHub, how to collaborate with others using Git, and how to build a free static website with a Git repository on GitHub.

Participants will need to bring their own computer/laptop. Please see note above for instructions for installing Python and other necessary files.

 

 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Research software

Citation Management

Cite your sources easier and faster with Zotero

Want to make your research and writing more efficient? Hate the last minute rush of trying to create a correctly formatted bibliography? This workshop is for you! We will introduce Zotero, a citation management tool that can help you import, organize, share, and manage your citations and documents, as well as create correctly formatted in-text citations and bibliographies in almost any style -- in seconds.

Bring your laptop: this interactive workshop will cover registration, installation, and everything that you need to know to get up and running with Zotero.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 1315

Citation Management Drop-in Lab

Have questions about using citation management software, like Zotero or Mendeley? We can help! Our citation management experts can introduce you to citation management tools, answer questions, and demonstrate features and techniques. Bring your laptop and your questions!

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, March 2, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm Surrey, Galleria 3, Rm 3260
Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 7027 (Consultation Room)

GIS

Drop-in GIS support office hours are available this Spring semester:

Downtown Vancouver campus. Every Wednesday, from January 15 to April 8, GIS consultations will be available in person from 2:00pm-5:00pm in HC 7400, on the 7th floor at the Harbour Centre campus. For January 15, the consultations will be in HC 7027 from 1:30 - 4:30

Burnaby Campus. Every Wednesday, from January 8 to April 22, GIS consultations will be available in person from 1:00pm-3:00pm in Room 7037 in the Research Commons of the W.A.C. Bennett Library, 7th floor.

Introduction to Spatial Thinking and ArcGIS (in computer lab)

  • Which areas in Ontario are susceptible to drought? Which areas are susceptible to longer periods of drought and which to shorter periods?
  • What is the travel route of the Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna)? Does it pass close to areas where predators are present, specifically those which prey on eggs?
  • Are neighbourhoods with low socioeconomic status spatially correlated to high morbidity rates?

Many of these questions ask about the spatial relationship between two or more phenomena. This workshop is an introduction to spatial thinking and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This workshop assumes attendees have no previous experience with GIS.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • think spatially about their research;
  • understand the elements of GIS;
  • use a leading industry software (ArcGIS);
  • create simple maps using geospatial data;
  • look for and find geospatial data and resources.

Workshop page (SFU Canvas): GIS workshops page includes workshop descriptions and suggested streams for different disciplines, handouts, slides, and example datasets

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 2:30pm to 4:30pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Lab 1350

Georeferencing Maps and Aerial Photos in ArcGIS

Georeferencing is the process of connecting images (e.g. aerial photographs, scanned historical maps, satellite images) with their geographic locations in a coordinate system so that the images can be used as spatial layers in GIS software. This workshop will teach you the skills needed to georeference images in ArcGIS so that you can view, make queries, and analyze your image-based data with other geographic data.

Software

  • ArcGIS Desktop 10.6 (participants will not need their own computer)

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • choose an appropriate projection for georeferencing;
  • georeference an image without coordinates;
  • create vector data on the image for further analysis.

Core competencies

  • georeferencing, projections, vector digitizing

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Mapping Census Data

This workshop will cover two very practical skill areas for ArcGIS users:

  • finding Canadian Census data that is accessible to university researchers,
  • and mapping it using ArcGIS software.

This workshop will guide you through tips for mapping large amounts of census data quickly and for working with spatial patterns and relationships among census variables.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • find and choose Census data required for their research;
  • extract relevant Census data from Census files;
  • understand the census spatial units;
  • map census data using census spatial units.

Software: ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Desktop (participants will not need their own computer)

Workshop page (SFU Canvas): GIS workshops page includes workshop descriptions and suggested streams for different disciplines, handouts, slides, and example datasets

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Geoprocessing in ArcGIS

The analysis of place-based (or spatial) data requires a basic understanding of how to process the data. For example, what are the routes taken by Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna) during winter migration and where do their routes overlap with predator territory? If we have data on the locations of Anna’s hummingbird and their predators, we could process their network (or routes) and then analyze the overlap with predator territory.

Researchers in various disciplines will find this workshop helpful as an introduction to basic geoprocessing tools and workflow automation in ArcGIS. In this workshop, participants will learn to run basic and advanced geoprocessing tools using Python and an automated workflow process tool called Model Builder. During the workshop, participants will:

  • explore different data formats that work with ArcGIS;
  • use tools to their full extent in ArcMap;
  • learn about kernel density analysis;
  • automate geoprocessing tools; and
  • use Python in IDLE and in ArcMap.

Software requirements:

Participants will need to bring their own computer, running the Windows operating system. This workshop requires the use of ArcGIS Desktop, which is available for download and can be installed on Windows operating systems only. Instructions on installing ArcGIS Desktop and other necessary information will be sent out to participants closer to the workshop date.

Prerequisite:

This workshop assumes prerequisite knowledge of introductory Python. You can attend the Python workshop on Feb 8 & 9, or if you can't make it to this Python workshop, you may learn on your own the first 5 modules of Software Carpentry Programming with Python, which should sufficiently prepare you for this series of workshop.  Please contact data-services@sfu.ca if you have any questions.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:30pm Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Geoprocessing in ArcGIS with Python

Researchers often have to analyze many individual datasets separately using the same process. For example, maybe you need to convert 100 CSV files into shapefiles and create buffers with increasing increments around them, in each one. Sometimes even working spatial analysts don’t have access to premade tools that can run this analysis; in which case, they need to create the tool themselves to automate most of this processing.

Almost all uses of GIS involve a repetition of work, and this creates the need for methods to automate, document, and share multiple-step procedures known as workflows. Geoprocessing allows you to automate your GIS tasks and perform spatial analysis and modeling. This workshop will guide participants in the creation of custom geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS using Python. At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • create a geoprocessing workflow in ArcGIS Model Builder;
  • create a geoprocessing workflow using Python code;
  • run basic geoprocessing and shapefile editing tools using Python code; and
  • code a single tool that can be used in ArcMap to run the entire workflow.

Software requirements:

Participants will need to bring their own computer, running the Windows operating system. This workshop requires the use of ArcGIS Desktop and Python. ArcGIS Desktop is available for download and can be installed on Windows operating systems only. Instructions on installing ArcGIS Desktop and other necessary information will be sent out to participants closer to the workshop date.

Prerequisite:

This workshop assumes prerequisite knowledge of Introductory Python and Geoprocessing in ArcGIS  materials or their equivalent. You can attend the Python workshop on Feb 8 & 9, or if you can't make it to this Python workshop, you may learn on your own the first 5 modules of Software Carpentry Programming with Python, which should sufficiently prepare you for this series of workshop.  Please contact data-services@sfu.ca if you have any questions.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:30pm Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Intro to Geospatial Data with R

The lessons in this workshop will cover how to open, work with, and plot vector and raster-format spatial data in R. Additional topics include working with spatial metadata (extent and coordinate reference systems), reprojecting spatial data, and working with raster time series data. This full-day workshop will be guided through parts of the Data Carpentries' syllabus, parts from Robin Lovelace's Geocomputation with R workbook, and parts from the Rspatial.org workbooks.

This lesson assumes you have some knowledge of R. If you have never used R before, or need a refresher, you could take one of the R workshops offered through the Research Commons or you could start with the Carpentries' Introduction to R for Geospatial Data lesson. This lesson also assumes you have some knowledge of geospatial data types and common file formats. If you have never worked with geospatial data before, or need a refresher, start with the Carpentries' Geospatial Project Organization and Management lesson.

Software

  • The most recent version of R and RStudio (participants will need their own computer).
  • For installation instructions and to download the data used in this lesson, see the workshop homepage
  • Make sure you have set up a RStudio project for this lesson, as described in the setup instructions.
  • If you don’t have an RStudio project, you will need to manually set the working directory with setwd([your-directory-name]) so R can find the data files to load.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • import and export raster and vector data from R;
  • analyze and edit raster and vector data;
  • explore spatio-temporal data in R.

Core competencies
spatial analysis, aligning data, plotting data, publication quality graphics

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 10:00am to 3:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 1315

Advanced GIS: Vector and Tabular Data Analysis

Vector data is discrete data stored in points, lines and polygons. The tools at your disposal and the kind of analysis you can conduct with this type of data is different than those for raster data. This workshop will deepen your knowledge of attribute tables that accompany vector data. You will learn to add new data in an existing table, import data from an Excel worksheet, join two tables together, convert a list of X-Y coordinates to a shapefile, and create simple SQL-queries.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • edit and add information to an attribute table;
  • import Excel tables and X-Y coordinates into ArcMap;
  • formulate queries;
  • join data from two separate sources;
  • and, explore spatial patterns in data.

Software: ArcGIS Desktop 10.6 (participants will not need their own computer)

Workshop page (SFU Canvas): GIS workshops page includes workshop descriptions and suggested streams for different disciplines, handouts, slides, and example datasets

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Introduction to Cartography

Making a map isn’t difficult, but making a visually appealing map is much harder. A bad map is difficult to understand, and makes viewers more likely to ignore it entirely. A beautiful map will not only better communicate your ideas, but can transform an average poster, paper, or presentation into a great one.

Learning Outcomes: By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Import data into QGIS (from ArcGIS)
  • Find and use custom basemaps
  • Understand the elements of good cartographic design
  • Use QGIS map layouts to make maps faster and more consistently
  • Export maps for publication

Software: QGIS (Windows version) - installed on Lab computers

Core Competencies: cartography, map layout, basemaps

Workshop page (SFU Canvas): GIS workshops page includes workshop descriptions and suggested streams for different disciplines, handouts, slides, and example datasets

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Advanced GIS: Raster Data Analysis

Raster data is continuous, pixelated data. For example, aerial photographs, LIDAR data, and digital elevation models store information as raster data. In contrast, vector data is discrete and is stored as geometric objects: points, lines and polygons. The tools available to you, and the kind of analysis you can conduct, with raster data are different than those for vector data. This session will focus on working with raster data in ArcGIS.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • distinguish between different types of raster data;
  • work with digital elevation models (DEMs);
  • explore raster surface data (hill shade, contour, aspect data);
  • create and work with mosaic datasets.

Software: ArcGIS Desktop 10.6 (participants will not need their own computer)

Workshop page (SFU Canvas): GIS workshops page includes workshop descriptions and suggested streams for different disciplines, handouts, slides, and example datasets

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Introduction to QGIS

GIS software doesn’t have to be expensive! QGIS is a free, open source GIS platform with powerful tools and wide variety of plugins. Learn how to use the basic tools in QGIS for your spatial projects. 

Learning Outcomes: By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Import data to and export data from QGIS
  • Edit data within QGIS
  • Do basic vector analysis in QGIS
  • Do basic raster analysis in QGIS
  • Export simple maps using the layout manager

Software: QGIS is installed on the computers in the lab where this workshop is delivered. However, we encourage you to bring your own laptop with QGIS installed because you may need to download plugins and it is best you can run QGIS on an environment you are comfortable with. QGIS runs on Linux, Windows and Macs. To download QGIS, please visit https://qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html

Core Competencies: vector analysis, raster analysis, data management

Pre-Requisite: Basic knowledge of GIS and/or some familiarity with ArcGIS. Otherwise, we suggest taking Intro to Spatial Thinking and ArcGIS workshop.

Workshop page (SFU Canvas): GIS workshops page includes workshop descriptions and suggested streams for different disciplines, handouts, slides, and example datasets

 

 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Migrating from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro

ArcGIS Pro is Esri's newest desktop software. This workshop will introduce ArcGIS Pro and show users how they can move their files from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro. Along the way we will also explore the differences between the two software and new tools users may not have in ArcMap.

Software
ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap 10.7 (this workshop takes place in the computer lab so participants will not need their own computer)

Learning outcomes
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • create map documents in ArcGIS Pro;
  • load and analyze data in ArcGIS Pro;
  • understand the pros and cons of using ArcGIS Pro (as of the date of the workshop)

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 2:30pm to 4:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 2105

Python

Introduction to Bash shell, Python programming, and Git version control

We start this 2-day hands-on workshop with an introduction to bash shell, a popular Linux command-line environment. By the end of this hands-on session you will know how to navigate the file system from the command line, how to run basic commands, and how to do more complex things with just a few keystrokes.

Then we move to Python, a popular language for scientific computing and great for general-purpose programming as well.  This workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. This workshop is offered by The Carpentries, whose mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing. 

Finally the workshop will end with a 3-hour session on Git, the world’s most popular version control system. You will learn how to track your project history in a Git repository, how to work with remote repositories on GitHub, how to collaborate with others using Git, and how to build a free static website with a Git repository on GitHub.

Participants will need to bring their own computer/laptop. Please see note above for instructions for installing Python and other necessary files.

 

 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Geoprocessing in ArcGIS

The analysis of place-based (or spatial) data requires a basic understanding of how to process the data. For example, what are the routes taken by Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna) during winter migration and where do their routes overlap with predator territory? If we have data on the locations of Anna’s hummingbird and their predators, we could process their network (or routes) and then analyze the overlap with predator territory.

Researchers in various disciplines will find this workshop helpful as an introduction to basic geoprocessing tools and workflow automation in ArcGIS. In this workshop, participants will learn to run basic and advanced geoprocessing tools using Python and an automated workflow process tool called Model Builder. During the workshop, participants will:

  • explore different data formats that work with ArcGIS;
  • use tools to their full extent in ArcMap;
  • learn about kernel density analysis;
  • automate geoprocessing tools; and
  • use Python in IDLE and in ArcMap.

Software requirements:

Participants will need to bring their own computer, running the Windows operating system. This workshop requires the use of ArcGIS Desktop, which is available for download and can be installed on Windows operating systems only. Instructions on installing ArcGIS Desktop and other necessary information will be sent out to participants closer to the workshop date.

Prerequisite:

This workshop assumes prerequisite knowledge of introductory Python. You can attend the Python workshop on Feb 8 & 9, or if you can't make it to this Python workshop, you may learn on your own the first 5 modules of Software Carpentry Programming with Python, which should sufficiently prepare you for this series of workshop.  Please contact data-services@sfu.ca if you have any questions.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:30pm Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Geoprocessing in ArcGIS with Python

Researchers often have to analyze many individual datasets separately using the same process. For example, maybe you need to convert 100 CSV files into shapefiles and create buffers with increasing increments around them, in each one. Sometimes even working spatial analysts don’t have access to premade tools that can run this analysis; in which case, they need to create the tool themselves to automate most of this processing.

Almost all uses of GIS involve a repetition of work, and this creates the need for methods to automate, document, and share multiple-step procedures known as workflows. Geoprocessing allows you to automate your GIS tasks and perform spatial analysis and modeling. This workshop will guide participants in the creation of custom geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS using Python. At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • create a geoprocessing workflow in ArcGIS Model Builder;
  • create a geoprocessing workflow using Python code;
  • run basic geoprocessing and shapefile editing tools using Python code; and
  • code a single tool that can be used in ArcMap to run the entire workflow.

Software requirements:

Participants will need to bring their own computer, running the Windows operating system. This workshop requires the use of ArcGIS Desktop and Python. ArcGIS Desktop is available for download and can be installed on Windows operating systems only. Instructions on installing ArcGIS Desktop and other necessary information will be sent out to participants closer to the workshop date.

Prerequisite:

This workshop assumes prerequisite knowledge of Introductory Python and Geoprocessing in ArcGIS  materials or their equivalent. You can attend the Python workshop on Feb 8 & 9, or if you can't make it to this Python workshop, you may learn on your own the first 5 modules of Software Carpentry Programming with Python, which should sufficiently prepare you for this series of workshop.  Please contact data-services@sfu.ca if you have any questions.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:30pm Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Qualitative Data Analysis

Making Literature Reviews Easier with NVivo for Windows

This interactive workshop introduces importing and coding of literature review materials and key tools that can be particularly helpful when reviewing literature in your area of research.

Topics covered include:

  • introducing NVivo and setting up a project
  • working with your information
  • identifying themes, topics and ideas and collecting data to support them
  • using tools such as text search query, matrix coding query, and Framework Matrix.

What will you achieve from this session? You will have the knowledge to set up a literature review in NVivo, and begin to work with your information. You will also be able to use NVivo to organize your content and begin to identify themes, topics or ideas. It is appropriate for those who have had some experience with NVivo. For more information about NVivo at SFU, please visit NVivo Software for Research Analysis.

Participants should also have some familiarity with citation management software (Zotero, Mendeley, Refworks, EndNote, etc). Zotero will be used during this workshop.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, January 27, 2020 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Lab 1350
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 4009

NVivo Drop-in Lab

Bring your laptop and your NVivo questions to this drop-in lab session! Our facilitators are experienced NVivo users, and can help orient researchers to using NVivo software for organizing, coding, and analyzing textual, audiovisual, social media, and other data. They can also support other uses of NVivo, such as organizing literature reviews and handling survey data.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Consultation Rm 7035, Research Commons
Monday, April 6, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 7027 (Consultation Room)

Introduction to NVivo for Mac (in Mac Lab)

NVivo is a qualitative data analysis software program, but what does that mean -- and what does it mean for your research? Find out what NVivo is, when to use it, and how to get started.

In this hands-on introductory workshop, you'll take a tour of the NVivo software environment, using sample data. You’ll be introduced to NVivo’s functions and you’ll leave equipped with the basic info you need to begin working with NVivo. Topics introduced may include importing files and beginning coding.

This workshop is suitable for those with little or no experience using NVivo or other qualitative data analysis software.

Notes:
1. This workshop is for NVivo for Mac. The Windows interface is significantly different. Please check here for NVivo for Windows workshops being offered.
2. This workshop takes place in a Mac lab, so you don't need to bring your own laptop. However, if you wish to use your Mac laptop, please make sure you preload it  with the latest version of NVivo. You can download NVivo and the license key with your SFU computing ID by using the self-serve download link here. If you are unable to get past the authentication page, then please email nvivo-rc@sfu.ca.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm Surrey, Galleria 3, Lab 3050

Making Literature Reviews Easier with NVivo for Mac

This interactive workshop introduces importing and coding of literature review materials and key tools that can be particularly helpful when reviewing literature in your area of research.

Topics covered include:

  • introducing NVivo and setting up a project
  • working with your information
  • identifying themes, topics and ideas and collecting data to support them
  • using tools such as text search query, matrix coding query, and Framework Matrix.

What will you achieve from this session? You will have the knowledge to set up a literature review in NVivo, and begin to work with your information. You will also be able to use NVivo to organize your content and begin to identify themes, topics or ideas. It is appropriate for those who have had some experience with NVivo. For more information about NVivo at SFU, please visit NVivo Software for Research Analysis.

Participants should also have some familiarity with citation management software (Zotero, Mendeley, Refworks, EndNote, etc). Zotero will be used during this workshop.

Note: You will need to bring your own Mac laptop, installed with the latest version of NVivo for Mac.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Advanced NVivo for Windows

Need help moving forward with your qualitative data analysis? If you’re already comfortable with bringing in documents and coding them, you’re ready to move on to analyzing your material. In this hands-on workshop, Graduate Peer NVivo Facilitators will walk you through visualizations and queries using sample data and may be able to address other topics depending on the needs of the group.

PREREQUISITE:
Before registering for this workshop, you must be familiar with coding in NVivo and/or have already taken the Introduction to NVivo workshop.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Lab 4009

Introduction to NVivo for Windows

NVivo is a qualitative data analysis software program, but what does that mean -- and what does it mean for your research? Find out what NVivo is, when to use it, and how to get started.

In this hands-on introductory workshop, you'll take a tour of the NVivo software environment, using sample data. You’ll be introduced to NVivo’s functions and you’ll leave equipped with the basic info you need to begin working with NVivo. Topics introduced may include importing files and beginning coding.

This workshop is suitable for those with little or no experience using NVivo or other qualitative data analysis software.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, March 6, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Lab 1350

R (Software)

Drop-in R support office hours are available this Spring semester at both the Burnaby and Vancouver campuses.

Burnaby: From January 7th to April 21st, our Graduate Peer for Research Programming will be available in person Tuesdays 1:00pm--4:00pm every week in Room 7010 in the Research Commons on the 7th floor of Bennett Library, SFU Burnaby campus. Note the location will change to 7037 in the Research Commons for February 25, and March 3, 10, 31. 

Vancouver: From January 22nd to April 8th, our Graduate Peer for Research Programming will be available in person Wednesdays 1:00pm--4:00pm every week in Room 7027 on the 7th floor of the SFU Harbour Center campus. 

Registration not required! Please drop in with your R questions including using R for visualizations, and bring your own laptop with R and RStudio installed. Questions about using R? Email us at data-services@sfu.ca    

Data anonymization: Please note that any data needs to be suitably anonymized if working with sensitive subjects before meeting with the Research Programming Peer. 

Introduction to R (2-day workshop)

This two day workshop introduces the programming language R.  R is an open-source, widely used, and increasingly popular tool for statistical and data analyses, text mining, geospatial analysis, modelling, and a growing number of other applications. No prior knowledge is required. Students will learn the skills needed to start analyzing their own data.

The topics covered include:

  • the R environment (directories, workspace, scripts, and packages),
  • simple commands to get you started,
  • data structures (vector, matrix, data frames, lists),
  • basic data analysis tools (built-in statistical packages, plotting, etc.)

 As time permits, an introduction to functions may also be covered.

Requirements:

  • Participants need to bring a laptop with the latest versions of R and RStudio installed.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 10:30am to 5:30pm
Sunday, January 26, 2020 - 10:30am to 5:30pm
Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Manipulating and Handling Strings in R

Although R is known for its statistical computing and graphical capabilities, it also provides many powerful tools for handling, processing, and analyzing strings and text data. This workshop gives an introduction to handling strings using both Base R and the stringr package, and an introduction to regular expressions in R.

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • use common operations and functions to manipulate strings
  • learn what regular expressions are and how to use them in R
  • apply these concepts to perform text analysis in R

Note:

Participants need to bring a laptop with R and RStudio installed, and the latest version of the stringr package. Download R and install the stringr package by running install.packages("stringr") in R.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 9:30am to 12:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Introduction to R for Non-Science Majors (2-day workshop)

This workshop is designed for non-science students interested in the statistical computing program R. No prior knowledge of R is required. Often data outside of the sciences includes textual data, such as a corpus or series of surveys. In this workshop we’ll learn how to process textual data in R, as well as the basic skills to start analyzing it. Specific topics covered include the R environment (directories, workspace, scripts, and packages), data structures (vector, matrix, data frames, lists), and the beginnings of simple data analysis (built-in statistical packages, elementary statistics, etc.).

Note: Workshop participants will need to bring their own laptops, with R and RStudio installed prior to attending the workshop.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

Intro to Geospatial Data with R

The lessons in this workshop will cover how to open, work with, and plot vector and raster-format spatial data in R. Additional topics include working with spatial metadata (extent and coordinate reference systems), reprojecting spatial data, and working with raster time series data. This full-day workshop will be guided through parts of the Data Carpentries' syllabus, parts from Robin Lovelace's Geocomputation with R workbook, and parts from the Rspatial.org workbooks.

This lesson assumes you have some knowledge of R. If you have never used R before, or need a refresher, you could take one of the R workshops offered through the Research Commons or you could start with the Carpentries' Introduction to R for Geospatial Data lesson. This lesson also assumes you have some knowledge of geospatial data types and common file formats. If you have never worked with geospatial data before, or need a refresher, start with the Carpentries' Geospatial Project Organization and Management lesson.

Software

  • The most recent version of R and RStudio (participants will need their own computer).
  • For installation instructions and to download the data used in this lesson, see the workshop homepage
  • Make sure you have set up a RStudio project for this lesson, as described in the setup instructions.
  • If you don’t have an RStudio project, you will need to manually set the working directory with setwd([your-directory-name]) so R can find the data files to load.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • import and export raster and vector data from R;
  • analyze and edit raster and vector data;
  • explore spatio-temporal data in R.

Core competencies
spatial analysis, aligning data, plotting data, publication quality graphics

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 10:00am to 3:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 1315

Got Data? Use R for Data Visualization

Data visualization is the process of graphically representing data. Visualizing data allows you to draw insights, find patterns, as well as define and test models which might be difficult to create by observing raw data only. There are a number of R packages which help you with numerous types of visualizations.
 
By the end of this workshop you will be able to use R to create 2D scatter plots, bar charts, and box plots, and use R functions to ease the process of finding linear relationships and models using data provided throughout the workshop. Additionally, you will learn about selecting appropriate colour palettes for your plots. Depending on interest and time, we will explore adding interactivity to your plots. 
 

Requirements

  • Bring your own laptop
  • Willingness to learn more about R (whether for the first time or as an experienced R programmer)
  • Install the latest version of R and Rstudio 

Required libraries

  • ggplot2,
  • patchwork,
  • RColorBrewer,
  • ggiraph (if time permits).
 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Web Scraping in R

Growing amount of data is available over the web. However, this data is usually presented in an unstructured HTML format which poses a challenge to researchers who want to automatically capture the data and convert it into a form appropriate for analysis. Web scraping is a computational method that offers means to meet such challenges. In this workshop you will learn how to scrape unstructured web pages using rvest R package and prepare the captured data for analysis. You will gain some hands-on experience working on a few small projects that underlie common scraping strategies/issues. The last project will include scraping of multiple web pages.

Prerequisites: Functional knowledge of commonly used base R commands (for an overview see https://www.rstudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/base-r.pdf).

Note: Workshop participants will need to bring their own laptops, with R and RStudio installed prior to attending the workshop.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Text Mining in R

Text mining techniques can be applied to various data sources (e.g., newspaper articles, emails, online discussion posts, etc.) to efficiently extract useful data for different research purposes. For example, health science researchers may be interested in investigating a frequency of a particular disease name mentioned in a large set of newspaper articles. Educational researchers, on the other side, may wish to extract and categorize students' opinions from discussion forum in a high enrollment course. R offers a comprehensive set of functionalities for text mining. In this workshop, you will learn how to implement basic methods for preprocessing textual data, metadata management, a creation of term-document matrices over the collection of textual documents, sentiment analysis, text tokenization, word relationship extraction and text visualization.

Note: Workshop participants will need to bring their own laptops, with R and RStudio installed prior to attending the workshop.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Use dplyr to effectively handle data in R

This workshop for intermediate R users will show you how to leverage dplyr (a package in tidyverse) to more effectively filter, transform, and aggregate your data. If you've used R before, then you know that getting base R to transform data into a form needed for your analysis is usually a challenge, with complex blocks of code to perform what should be simple operations. Luckily for us, dplyr is designed to help easily express these operations so that what is essentially a simple data transformation only requires simple code.
 
This workshop assumes that you are already comfortable in base R. For example, you should be able to: 
  • Import data from a CSV or text file 
  • Extract and create columns in a data frame, and filter rows according to different conditions 
  • Write an R script that can run on its own without manual user intervention.

By the end of the workshop you will be able to: 

  • Use the primary dplyr functions for selecting, mutating, filtering, summarizing, and re-ordering data 
  • Recognize existing complicated base R code blocks and simplify them down using dplyr 
  • Use tidyr (a tidyverse package) to easily reshape data both to and from long and wide formats. 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 1:30pm to 4:30pm Burnaby, Room TBA

Statistics

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Visual Analytics

Hands-on with Tableau: A Data Visualization Masterclass

Tableau allows you to easily visualize data without having to know programming. This one day workshop will give you the fundamentals to effectively analyze and visualize your data enabling you to tell stories with your data.

Hands-on with Tableau will cover:
  • An introduction to Data Visualization best practices
  • Getting started with Tableau:
    • Saving and publishing
    • Static charts
    • Interactive charts
    • Stacked bar charts
    • Highlight tables and heat maps
    • Scatterplots
Notes: 
  • Please bring your own laptop and power cord.
  • Please install Tableau Public on your computer BEFORE the workshop begins. Detailed instructions for installing Tableau Public can be found here.
  • This workshop is not catered. You will get a 60-minute break at approximately half way through the session.

Instructor: Chad Skelton

Chad Skelton, an award-winning data journalist, is a consultant and trainer based in Vancouver. Chad worked as a data journalist at The Vancouver Sun until 2015. In 2014, Chad won an international Data Journalism Award for his portfolio of work in the previous year. He has received the Jack Webster Award, British Columbia's top journalism prize, six times. Chad created The Sun's public-sector salary database, which has received more than 20 million pageviews, and has built popular interactive tools on everything from commuting patterns to income inequality. He also made a Twitter robot that checks court judgments (@BCCourtBot). Chad has been an instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University since 2005, where he teaches the popular Citizen Journalism (JRNL 1220) and Data Visualization (JRNL 4165) courses.

 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, January 24, 2020 - 9:00am to 5:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 1600

Got Data? Use R for Data Visualization

Data visualization is the process of graphically representing data. Visualizing data allows you to draw insights, find patterns, as well as define and test models which might be difficult to create by observing raw data only. There are a number of R packages which help you with numerous types of visualizations.
 
By the end of this workshop you will be able to use R to create 2D scatter plots, bar charts, and box plots, and use R functions to ease the process of finding linear relationships and models using data provided throughout the workshop. Additionally, you will learn about selecting appropriate colour palettes for your plots. Depending on interest and time, we will explore adding interactivity to your plots. 
 

Requirements

  • Bring your own laptop
  • Willingness to learn more about R (whether for the first time or as an experienced R programmer)
  • Install the latest version of R and Rstudio 

Required libraries

  • ggplot2,
  • patchwork,
  • RColorBrewer,
  • ggiraph (if time permits).
 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Scholarly communication

Publishing Symposium

Are you interested in publishing your academic work, extending the reach of your research, and developing your online presence? The day includes three workshops which will give you everything you need to prepare to publish and share the word about your research.

Preparing to Publish
This workshop will focus on navigating the peer review process and will also touch on the topics of open access, working with an editor, and co-authorship.  It will include a discussion of copyright transfer agreements and licenses and provide insight into publishing venues for assuring your research has the best possible visibility, accessibility, and impact.

Who is looking at your research and how can you measure it?
Find out more about research impact – what it is, how to measure it and how to leverage it.

Raising Your Online Research Profile
This workshop will look at the big picture and context for developing your online academic narrative: why do you want a research profile? How do you get your work out there? The workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to tools for privacy, social media, and auditing and building your online academic portfolio.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, January 31, 2020 - 10:00am to 4:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Introduction to APIs and Webscraping: Ethical Considerations

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are parts of a website’s code made available to the public, which can be used to query data in controlled amounts. Web scraping is described as the act of pulling down (usually large) amounts of data from a website. Though both are increasingly used as tools in scholarship, the ethics regarding the use of either of these tools is hotly debated: How should we store data that contains potentially sensitive and/or identifying information? Should scholars be beholden to a business’s terms and conditions, even if that corporation is a multi-billion dollar company? APIs are legally sound, but what kinds of data should be scraped?

This tutorial will provide attendees with a basic understanding of APIs and web scraping, as well as the tumultuous history of using both in scholarship. Attendees will then be encouraged to participate in critical discussion surrounding the ethics of each for scholarly use.

Notes:

  • This workshop is geared towards participants who want to use APIs and web scraping in their own research, or who have used these methods and are interested in discussing their ethical considerations. Therefore, prior knowledge of APIs or web scraping is useful but not required.
  • Please bring a laptop.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7301

Writing

Graduate Open Writing Lab: Write Time, Write Space (drop-in)

The Graduate Open Writing Lab is for all graduate students who want the time and a quiet, dedicated space to work on their writing. A Graduate Writing Facilitator will be available for consultations and to answer questions.

Registration not required - please drop in!

Spring Semester 2020 [January 10 to April 6]

Burnaby Campus
Graduate Open Writing Lab  - Mondays, 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, SFU Burnaby, W.A.C. Bennett Library, Research Commons, Rm 7010
(no session on February 17)

Vancouver Campus
Graduate Open Writing Lab - Fridays, 10:30am to 1:00pm, SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre - Room HC 7400*
*on January 10, it will take place from 1:30pm to 4:30pm, Room HC 7000
(no session on February 21)

Writing Workshops

Please register for the following writing workshops:

Writing and Researching Your Literature Review

This interactive workshop focuses on the literature review and literature search. At this session you will learn:

  • conventions of literature reviews,
  • search strategies,
  • advanced features of research databases,
  • and tips to further develop effective and efficient research skills.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Write Conversations: Finding Your Voice

Academic writing can be more than boring readers and emulating stuffy styles. In fact, expressing complex ideas in your own voice can be one of the best ways to make your work stand out. Join us for a conversation on conformity, creativity, and originality and begin your journey toward discovering your academic voice.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, January 24, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 7400

Composition Clinic: Creating Flow and Cohesion in Your Writing

Have you ever received feedback that your writing seems “choppy”? Are you having concerns about how to order your ideas or how to transition from one section to the next? This workshop is focused on developing some strategies for producing cohesive academic writing that “flows.”

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, February 3, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Write Your Abstract!

Need to write an abstract? Wondering how you can put all of the crucial information about your research into just one paragraph? Join us for this workshop, and after applying some of our drafting, revising, and editing strategies, you can walk out with a concise, informative, attention-grabbing draft! Helpful for students writing abstracts for completed or in-progress research, and for those developing abstracts to submit as part of symposium or conference applications. Note: This workshop is for graduate students and undergraduates applying for the Undergraduate Research Symposium (UGRS).

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7200

Using Concept/Mind Mapping for Brainstorming and Organization

A concept map is a tool that can be used to support learning and writing through visualizing the relationships between concepts. Concept mapping (or mind mapping) at any stage of the writing process can help clarify how ideas, terminology, themes, etc. relate to each other, to your research questions, and/or the main points of your project. Concept mapping is for everyone, but can be especially helpful for those trying to manage a longer writing project for the first time (like a thesis), those who rebel against outlining, and those who want to benefit from deconstructing (or reconstructing) the linear form that writing ultimately must take. For many, concept mapping is a writing process game-changer.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, February 7, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 7400

Composition Clinic: Learn to use Lay Language

Strategies for using lay language will help you convey technical and advanced ideas in ways that are more effective than “dumbing it down.” You may be preparing a grant or fellowship proposal, writing for online purposes or fine tuning your “job talk”— all of which require you to translate your work and research to persons outside of your core field of study.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, February 10, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Friday, March 20, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 7400

Using “Free Writing” to Generate Quality Text

You might already be aware of “free writing” as an exercise that can aid the drafting process, but does this task ever seem too free to help you produce quality text that you can use in academic writing? Join this workshop to practice some helpful guidelines for free writing. We’ll provide just enough structure so that your “free” writing doesn’t instead simply feel “lost.”

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 7400

Paraphrasing with Purpose and Integrity

A concept map is a tool that can be used to support learning and writing through visualizing the relationships between concepts. Concept mapping (or mind mapping) at any stage of the writing process can help clarify how ideas, terminology, themes, etc. relate to each other, to your research questions, and/or the main points of your project. Concept mapping is for everyone, but can be especially helpful for those trying to manage a longer writing project for the first time (like a thesis), those who rebel against outlining, and those who want to benefit from deconstructing (or reconstructing) the linear form that writing ultimately must take. For many, concept mapping is a writing process game-changer.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Friday, March 6, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 7400
Monday, March 9, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Write Conversations: Managing Writing Anxiety

Being anxious about academic writing can lead to unhelpful writing habits like avoidance and procrastination. Join us for a discussion on how to make more progress by alleviating writing anxiety!

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Monday, March 23, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Thesis

The Thesis Submission Process

After you have defended, the final step for graduation eligibility is submitting your thesis, project, or extended essay(s) to the Library. This workshop will walk you through the thesis submission process.

Note: A good time to take this workshop is sometime during the semester that you’ll be defending or sometime after you know when your defence date is.

You will learn:

1. How to log into the Thesis Registration System (TRS)

2. What required documents you need to upload to the TRS

3. What “if applicable” documents you need to upload to the TRS

4. What happens after you have submitted

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 11:30am to 12:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Thesis Word Template: Advanced (Fine-tuning & Trouble-shooting)

Prerequisite: This workshop assumes that you have taken the Thesis Word Template: The Basics workshop or equivalent

This workshop covers more advanced features of the Library’s MS Word thesis template. The workshop can help with fixing issues with your thesis or addressing any personal preferences you might have (that are allowable within the template). Topics covered may include, but are not limited to:

  • how to fix margins
  • how to fix page numbering errors
  • how to properly include terms in the List of Acronyms and Glossary sections
  • how to create a landscape page to better fit your figure or table
  • how insert an 11x17 page to fit larger tables or figures
  • how to crop your figures in Word
  • tips on table design and tweaking tables to fit your data without making your text smaller
  • how to see all of your footnotes at once

If you have any issues with the thesis Word template that you want to discuss, please bring them to the workshop.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Thesis Word Template: The Basics

The SFU Library thesis template is a Microsoft Word file designed to assist students in preparing theses, projects, and extended essay(s) in accordance with formatting standards and requirements for submission to the Library.

There are 3 parts to this workshop:

1. SFU Library's research data specialists will give instruction on how to store, preserve (archive) and, if appropriate, share research data for future uses. (15 to 20 minutes)

2. SFU Copyright Office will briefly explain copyright law as it relates to reproducing copyright protected material in your thesis and other published works, and explain how to request permission from copyright holders when required. (30 to 40 minutes)

3. For the remainder of the time, the Theses Office will walk through the overall structure of your thesis and demonstrate the functionality of the thesis template. You will learn how to:

  • download the thesis template (a Microsoft Word file) and set up some defaults
  • format your text using styles (ie. block quotes, lists, references, etc.)
  • insert figures/images and tables and generate auto-numbered captions
  • update the Table of Contents, List of Tables and List of Figures
  • bring in text from other documents

 

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 10:30am to 12:30pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons