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  • Suicide Prevention Training at VA Tech

    Posted on November 14th, 2013 sarahann No comments

    Recent class discussions have centered around the resources available to TA’s who may be approached by students who are contemplating suicide. This was advertised in this week’s grad opportunities newsletters, but I just wanted to re-post it here. If anyone is interested, there will be a 3-hour suicide prevention training course offered tomorrow (Friday, November 15).

    This is the information from the newsletter:

    Friday, Nov 15, 9:00am-12:00pm, Lavery Hall, SSD conference room

    This session is offered by a certified trainer to help graduate students who teach or work with undergraduate students. The training is called Gatekeeper Intervention, and participants will learn about college student suicide, working with distressed students in a gatekeeper, support, and referral role, not a clinical counseling role. Resources at Virginia Tech, as well as Title IX reporting requirements will be discussed.  Participants will receive a certificate.  Light refreshments will be served. Students should rsvp directly to the instructor, Robyn Hudson, at robynhud@vt.edu.


  • One Model for Crowdsourcing

    Posted on November 11th, 2013 sarahann No comments

    Arguably,  one of the greatest contributions the internet has made to research is the ability to crowdsource. Now, not only is information provided by well-known academics, but by people from a much wider pool. Contributions can be made by anyone with an interest, and can be rechecked by the community to ensure factuality.

    However, in academia, it is particularly important to have correct information. The peer review process was invented to this end. In order for crowdsourcing to reach its potential as a resource, online and open source resources will have to come up with some form of review to distinguish reputable information.

    One potential model for how crowdsourcing can work in an academic scenario has been presented by the Consumer Products Inventory, a compilation of information about consumer products that contain (or are advertised to contain) nanotechnology.

    In an attempt to maintain the integrity of the information provided by the site, all information is reviewed by a site curator. (Please keep in mind that this is not a formal peer review process.) In order to contribute to the site, one must first request an account, which requires having an institutional email address, and providing information about why you are requesting the account. Any suggested edits are also reviewed by the curators.

    Please note that this site is different from Wikipedia in that no one can write their own information. The only information that will be posted is previously published information, be it in a peer-reviewed journal, or on a manufacturer’s website.