When it comes time to turn in all of the paperwork for the first of my official reviews, the 3Y (third year) review, that will be a long 18 months from now. While I can describe the day to day minutia at the moment, I know by then my brain will be dealing with entirely different challenges and this blog post will feel far far in the past.

One of the recommendations of faculty colleagues who have done this before was to have a file and to just toss things in as you go–to weed through or clear out later. I haven’t decided if it is easier or harder that the majority of my things are electronic these days. Ideally it will mean the files I’m compiling will be more digital, but it doesn’t really give you a satisfying file folder to pull out at the end of the day.  I have a file folder, make no mistake, but when our work is created and stored and often exists only digitally, it seems like a colossal waste of paper to print it all and store in a box in my cube.

Thus, in addition to the file folder, I have a folder in my email called “Things for My File.” Anything that seems relevant goes in there and on difficult days, I go back through it in order to restore a little smidgeon of faith in my abilities.

This past week I got to add something new to my file: a student’s poster.

The College of Dentistry had their annual research day last week. This focuses heavily on student research, with participants from all years, including some summer undergraduate interns and our international students. I’ve done the usual song and dance of offering my assistance with the literature reviews, being included as a recommendation by coordinator for the posters, etc.  Some students will take me up on it, some won’t.  While I’d love to see “must make appointment with reference librarian and have her sign off on form” included in the requirements, that might need a couple more years.

One of my students has been very aggressive in taking me up on my offer of assistance, consulting not only about a general literature search but coming back when he’d gone through most of the articles and wanted to double check, talking about how to use RefWorks, etc.  I got to see a digital copy of the poster before it was printed and was very pleased to see he’d included by name on the poster with acknowledgement for my research assistance.  I was even more pleased when he emailed to let me know he’d won the category in which his poster was entered.

I have a copy of that digital file from the student and today I added that second email to my file so that 18 months from now I can look back on it and see a clear example of a time when I worked with a student, was recognized by that student for my assistance, and then saw that work valued highly by researchers in the field.

Inquiring Hedgehog wants to know: What’s in your file?