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Research at Boston College

2017-18 Seminar Series Schedule

All seminars take place from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the locations noted. Lunch will be provided.

Presentation are labeled as follows for the intended audience:
Humanities (H), Natural Sciences (NS), Social Sciences (SS), and All

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Spring 2018 Seminars


Thurs, February 1, 2018
Walsh Hall, Room 131


Data Acquisition and Tools

Matt Gregas, Ph.D., Senior Research Statistician

Rani Dalgin, M.S.W., M.Ed., Senior Statistical Consultant

Audience: NS, SS

Data Collection is an essential part of a well-run research study yet it often gets ignored in research methods courses. This goal of this seminar is to provide the audience with guidelines and best practices for data collection. We will talk about using your data analysis plan to make sure you are collecting the correct information and to help you develop tools to minimize errors and nonsense data values which can bias your study. The Design of data collection instruments will be discussed.  We will also introduce data capture software designed to make data collection efficient and accurate.


Wed, February 14, 2018
Walsh Hall, Room 131



Audience: All

Carli Spina, MLIS, J.D., Head Librarian, Assessment & Outreach, Interim Copyright & Licensing Specialist

As a scholarly content creator, you will want to manage your copyrights to gain the maximum benefit for your career. Some basic knowledge of copyright and licensing can help you make choices that protect your work and give it greater visibility. This session will address both your rights as a content creator and the rights of others.  We will cover basic copyright concepts, fair use, public domain, getting permissions, copyright infringement, and reserving rights in publishing agreements. In addition, we will discuss new models in academic publishing, including open access, Creative Commons licensing and author ID tracking.  We will discuss how all of these topics are related to your dissertation and other publishing opportunities.


Thurs, March 1, 2018
Walsh Hall, Room 131



Authorship and Publication Ethics

Audience: All

Lisa Cuklanz, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Communication

Summer Hawkins, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Social Work

James O'Toole, Ph.D., Professor and Clough Millennium Chair, History

Dunwei Wang, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chemistry


Tues, March 27, 2018
Murray Function Room, Yawkey Center


Ethical Issues Regarding the New Faculty Majority

Audience: All

Mary Troxell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Practice, Philosophy

Meghan Sweeney, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Practice, Theology

We will discuss the various ways that the increasing population of non-tenured faculty involves unique ethical challenges, both for the persons in those positions and for the university as a whole.

Our presentation will be structured around the insights shared at the conference, Toward a Culture of University Ethics, which took place last year. The conference dedicated a panel to the ethical issues surrounding part-time and non-tenure track faculty.

We will discuss:

  1. A brief summary of the Ethics conference.
  2. An overview of the growing presence of PT/NTT faculty: who comprises such faculty and the roles that they play at a university.
  3. How these positions can be ethically problematic, e.g., while they comprise the majority of faculty at many universities, they typically have no representation in faculty governance.
  4. Ethical challenges faced by those who occupy these positions, e.g., the pressure to make classes easier in order to ensure better student evaluations.
  5. A larger question: what ethics should shape the way we understand the role of both tenured and non-tenured faculty? A system of privilege masquerading as a meritocracy, a focus on efficiency versus a focus on fostering human flourishing?

We will share the insights from that panel and show brief clips from the talks that the three speakers on the panel gave.  We will have time at the end of our presentation for questions and comments.



Wed, April 11, 2018
Walsh Hall, Room 131


Peer Review

Audience: All

Jennifer Erickson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Political Science

Jianmin Gao, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chemistry

Ling Zhang, Ph.D., Associate Professor, History

Peer review is a critical component of research and scholarship. Understanding the system, how one’s work functions within it, and some of its potentially problematic areas can help you navigate it responsibly and ethically. Drawing on their experiences as manuscript reviewers, book and journal editors, and grant reviewers, this panel will discuss the process of peer review, focusing on some of the ethical issues that may arise.  As this session is intended to be highly interactive, please consider the issues and questions you have about peer review that you would like to pose to the panel.


Thurs, April 26, 2018
Murray Function Room, Yawkey Center


Data and the Humanities

Audience: SS, H

Sarah Melton, Ph.D., Head of Digital Scholarship

What do we talk about when we talk about data? With apologies to Raymond Carver, this seminar will provide an introduction to some of the major questions you may encounter in your research. Topics include:

  • Common sources of data in the humanities and humanistic social sciences
  • An overview of ways to collect, manage, and process data
  • Ethical considerations when working with data
Tues, May 1, 2018
Walsh Hall, Room 131

Conflict of Interest

Audience: All

Jiin-Yu Chen, Ph.D., Associate Director, Research Integrity & Postdoctoral Affairs


Fall 2017 Seminars


Tues, October 31, 2017
Heights Room, Corcoran Commons


Researchers' Obligations and Impacts upon Society

Audience: All

Jiin-Yu Chen, Ph.D., Associate Director, Research Integrity & Postdoctoral Affairs

As part of conducting research and scholarship well, consideration of obligations to society and the effects of research and scholarship should be taken into account.  This seminar will discuss several frameworks to examine the foundations of these obligations and highlight their features.  It will also consider what researcher can do to meet these obligations.


Mon, November 13, 2017
Heights Room, Corcoran Commons


Data Management

Audience: NS, SS

Enid Karr, M.S., M.A., Senior Research Librarian, Bibliographer for Earth & Environmental Sciences

Barbara Mento, M.S., Data/GIS Manager, Research Librarian, Senior Bibliographer for Economics

Sally Cooper Wyman, M.S., Collection Development Librarian, Bibliographer for Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, and General Science     

Government and other funders increasingly require “data management plans" for grant proposals as they recognize the fundamental vulnerability of the electronic data underpinning so much of the research they fund.  They are urging the use of best practices for creation, maintenance and storage of data files, as well as long-term archiving solutions.  These same funders (NSF, NIH, NEH, etc.) are also placing stronger emphasis on the importance of sharing that data, through creation of metadata to enhance discovery by others and deposition of data in institutional, subject and multidisciplinary data repositories.  Learn how to write good data management plans, best practices for keeping your data safe, and options you have for sharing and archiving your data. Regardless of your funding situation, keeping your data safe is a keystone of responsible research practices.

Thurs, November 30, 2017
Heights Room, Corcoran Commons


Race and Gender Bias in Academia

Audience: All

Damita A. Davis, M.S., Associate Director, Office for Institutional Diversity

Biases, intentional or not, can affect many different spheres of academia, ranging from teaching in the classroom to selection of mentors and research projects to career development and job placement, retention, and promotion.  This interactive, discussion-based workshop will focus on the various forms of bias (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) that appear in the academy and its impact on research, teaching, the tenure and promotion process and other scholarly endeavors.  Additionally, during this workshop, recommendations for addressing such biases as well as available resources at Boston College will be provided.