Photo courtesy: Pixabay


Is it that time already? What happened to last week? Last month? This past year? Where does the time go nowadays?

Time is a precious commodity. Many folks are in the throes of planning, organizing and setting goals for 2018 or wrapping up as many activities and projects as possible before the end of 2017.

After achieving a particular goal though, it is hard for one to deny that good feeling of accomplishment. For some, it may even warrant some kind of reward – either big or small.

Speaking of time and accomplishment, cIRcle is excited to share some indelible highlights of UBC scholarly research materials archived during 2017. It’s now time to take a well-deserved break!


Year in Review – A look back at cIRcle in 2017:


UBC President’s Speeches and Writings

cIRcle was thrilled to archive the first round of UBC President Ono’s speeches and writings in 2017. Just in case you missed it, you can read the Library announcement here.

Future speeches and writings are set to arrive on a quarterly basis starting in 2018.


UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Two video presentations (courtesy of the UBC Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies) were recently added to the growing collection of 3,600 plus items:

Being a man today

Water: The life of a community


Missed our “In the Spotlight: UBC Faculty Research Collection” blog post? Read it here


UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

For ethnomusicologists and anyone curious about music and its social activity, watch “An Audience of One: The Private Music of the Chinese Literati

In 1926, the blind singer, Dou Wun, arrived in Hong Kong from Guangzhou at the age of sixteen. Watch “Hong Kong’s Folk Music and Local Culture: The Art of a Cantonese Blind Singer

Read a book chapter by Shirley Lew entitled, Creating a path to feminist leadership

Learn about the Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution (APDR) Project and view/download the first batch of items

Step back in time again to explore “Spectacular Opera Across Borders: Cantonese Opera Theaters in North America During the 1920s

Read a memoir entitled, “Labor of Love: A Memoir of Gertrude Richards Ladner 1879 to 1976”, about early BC nursing practice, the science of nursing as well as attire and living conditions.


UBC Lectures, Seminars, and Symposia

Starting in 2017, the “Grand Rounds” from the UBC School of Population and Public Health monthly seminar series arrived in cIRcle with more of them coming in 2018:


Can I borrow a microbiome?: Life-saving poop and the ethics of microbiome therapies

Is there a need for medically-prescribed heroin in the addiction treatment system?

More than just numbers: hearing from the real experts in the opioid crisis

Tackling Poverty and Socioeconomic Inequities


The first and second of the Ziegler lecture series from the UBC Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies’ (courtesy of St. John’s College) also arrived in 2017.


How can you add your faculty research and more to cIRcle? Find out here


UBC Library and Archives

Since the next Science Literacy Week is a while away, you can listen to the 2017 round of Frequencies podcasts (courtesy of the UBC Okanagan Library) that was part of this year’s Science Literary Week. This particular series is one that “explores the connections between science and society: the implications of scientific research on our culture, how scientists communicate their ideas, and how our society responds”.

This collection has 674 items so far which includes datasets, interactive resources, moving images, sound, still images and text files.


Browse the newest additions received in 2017


The Banff International Research Station (BIRS)

A joint Canada-US-Mexico initiative that seeks to bring together people from a wide range of mathematical, scientific and industry backgrounds and to create a forum for the exchange of knowledge and methods between these specialists. The BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos are primary research data in the disciplines of mathematics, statistics and theoretical computer science.

With over 5,260 items to date, the Top Country Views & Downloads were from China, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Republic of Korea, Italy, Russia, Japan, and Germany.


View the wide selection of previous and current videos and upcoming ones happening in 2018.


Vancouver Institute Lectures (VILs)

Established in 1916, the Vancouver Institute (VI) sponsors lectures of general public interest. It started recording the lectures in the form of audio and video tapes back in 1975 and were preserved with help by University Archives. Take a walk down memory lane to learn about the history of the Vancouver Institute via Eric Damer’s 1995 MA thesis entitled, Town and gown: the early history of the Vancouver Institute.


Watch recently added VILs here


 Graduate Research

This cIRcle collection showcases and preserves exemplary UBC graduate student research. All graduate student submissions have been reviewed and approved by a course instructor or research adviser. Browse the entire collection


What types of graduate research work can be added to cIRcle? Find out here


Undergraduate Research

This cIRcle collection aims to showcase and preserve UBC’s exemplary undergraduate research across all disciplines. All undergraduate student submissions have been reviewed and approved by a course instructor or research adviser. Explore this expanding collection


Who can add exemplary undergraduate work to cIRcle? Learn more




Above image is courtesy of Pixabay


In musical practice, there is an assortment of musical elements at “play”.


Just think. Real-time creative decision-making. Risk-taking. Collaboration.


So what happens when they all “play” together?


Improvisation! That is, musical improvisation.


“I’ll play it first and tell you what it’s called later.” – Miles Davis


The International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) is known as “a central source for the collection and dissemination of research on the social implications of improvisational practices”.


Founded as a partnered research institute from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) project, “Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice” (ICASP), IICSI has its own research team. It consists of 58 scholars, students, creative practitioners, and community partners representing 20 different academic institutions including the University of British Columbia (UBC) and over 30 community-based organizations.


Together, they are “creating a vibrant intellectual hub and a focal point for leading-edge research and critical inquiry in the field of improvisation studies”. Through this network comes the following benefits such as ‘new technologies and models for practice-based research, knowledge transfers, new research, student training, and development of policies, instruments, and technologies’ to list just a few.


IICSI has three main strategic research priorities: 1) Improvisation as Practice-Based Research, 2) Improvisation, Community Health, and Social Responsibility, and 3) Improvisation, Intermediality, and Experimental Technologies.


Below is a quick soupçon of the IICSI sample research-intensive questions under current exploration:


Sample Research Questions re: 1)

How do arts-based improvisatory practices themselves suggest new models of knowledge transfer?

How might these practices help us measure the impact of our research activities, and how might they enable a broader range of stakeholders to engage with these activities?


Sample Research Questions re: 2)

How do improvisational arts-based practices contribute to the development and flourishing of healthy communities?

How (and to what extent) do these practices help communities (particularly at-risk and aggrieved populations) produce new understandings of identity, history, memory, and the body?


Sample Research Questions re: 3)

How can new technologies help facilitate the ability of communities to improvise across time, space, and ability limitations?

How might intermedial co-creation develop new opportunities for mobilizing knowledge?


With more research questions arising faster than they can be probed, it is good to know that IICSI has created an online research library housing a range of items such as films, articles, think pieces, and interviews.


At UBC, cIRcle is not only helping to disseminate IICSI research and make it openly accessible, it is also archiving and preserving this unique musical form of scholarly research for future scholars, practitioners and the general public.


Explore the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) Colloquium cIRcle collection via UBC Library’s Open Collections portal and stay tuned for more!


Are you a UBC researcher? Click here to add your research to cIRcle, UBC’s Digital Repository



Above image is courtesy of Pixabay


At the University of British Columbia (UBC), the ‘highest calibre [of] research faculty and students’ create, innovate and inspire while they work and study at its two campuses located in Vancouver and in the Okanagan Valley. According to UBC 2016/17 figures, it ‘secures approximately $600 million in research funding each year with 199 companies spun off from UBC research; 1,326 research projects with industry partners; and 1,172 research contracts and agreements with government and non-profits’.


If you are looking for an openly accessible collection of such published and unpublished scholarly research by the UBC faculty community and its partners, take a moment to learn more about this notable one.


The UBC Faculty of Research and Publications collection in cIRcle, UBC’s Digital Repository showcases all types of content ranging from grant-funded research datasets to text files of preprint and postprint articles, case studies, technical reports, working papers, book reviews, conference proceedings and summaries to audio and video recording files to historical photographs of people, places, and objects.


With 3,521 items now and counting, the oldest item found in this collection was published back in 1929. More recently, one of the newest items found in cIRcle was a journal article published just this year by UBC authors from these interdisciplinary areas: Faculty of Arts, Library, Faculty of Medicine, School of Journalism and the School of Population and Public Health.


This collection covers a broad range of both historical and current thematic subjects such as air pollution, Canada, community environmental health, forest productivity, genocide, health human resources, HIV, homelessness, medical technology, monuments and memorials, prisoners, war, workplace health, and much more. So far, the latest top country views and downloads originate from the United States, Canada, China, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Republic of Korea, Australia, India, and the Netherlands.


Part of this unique collection is the Adam Jones Global Photo Archive created by UBC Okanagan professor Adam Jones, head of International Relations at UBC’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. He is known as a “[g]lobetrotter, acclaimed author, and genocide expert” who has visited more than 103 countries to date.


One newly added item garnering media attention this month is a report written by UBC professor and Canadian Cancer Society Chair in Cancer Primary Prevention, Dr. Carolyn Gotay et al. She provides an update on the activities of the Breast Cancer Prevention & Risk Assessment Clinic in British Columbia. So far, it has received 1,369 views from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Iran, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Japan.


Another part of this growing collection includes the Making Research Accessible Initiative (MRAi). Also known as the UBC Learning Exchange, MRAi is a community engagement initiative based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Did you know that the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is a funding partner and contributor of MRAi? With new items added nearly everyday, there are currently over 150 faculty research articles and other community-sourced historical materials from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside which are now openly accessible in cIRcle via UBC Library’s Open Collections portal.



Are you a UBC researcher? Click here to add your research to cIRcle








News Release from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC):


Research is at the heart of understanding the challenges and opportunities people face in areas such as education, immigration and technology. That’s why the Government of Canada continues to support the work of our country’s social scientists and humanities researchers. The evidence they produce informs policies that improve our understanding of each other and our communities.

To support their efforts, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced today more than $265 million in funding for over 3,300 social sciences and humanities research projects across Canada.


The funding is being awarded through scholarships, fellowships, and grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), one of the three federal granting councils responsible for supporting researchers whose work helps fuel a stronger economy, healthy communities and a growing middle class.


Read the full press release


See the Award Recipients‘ list



Explore UBC’s Tri-Agency Open Access Policy here


Make your UBC research openly accessible here










Above image is courtesy of SPARC


In the News: UBC and Abroad



BCcampus, BCIT, SFU, UBC CTLT and UBC Library celebrate International Open Access Week 2017

A BC collaborative event, in celebration of this global movement now in its 10th year, will be happening at BCIT’s downtown campus location tonight.


The event theme, Tension and Risk in Open Scholarship: A Conversation: 2017-10-26, will address not only the “benefits and opportunities of open access but also a recognition that openness can sometimes create unintended consequences for individuals and communities”.


Learn more


Explore Open Access Week at UBC




Building a Sustainable Knowledge Commons – COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories)

COAR just released an animated infographic highlighting the five prerequisites for a sustainable knowledge commons


About COAR

An international association comprised of 100+ global members and partners (representing libraries, universities, research institutions, government funders and others) aims to build a sustainable, global knowledge commons based on a network of open access digital repositories.


Download the PDF




Examples of open access in action


What concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly outputs openly available?


Check out SPARC’s new site highlighting 16 examples of the concrete benefits of making research open.


Learn more



A global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education.




Open access: six myths to put to rest

What are the six most common misconceptions about open access?

Test your knowledge courtesy of Peter Suber (Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and author of Open Access (MIT Press, 2012).



  • The only way to provide open access to peer-reviewed journal articles is to publish in open access journals
  • All or most open access journals charge publication fees
  • Most author-side fees are paid by the authors themselves
  • Publishing in a conventional journal closes the door on making the same work open access
  • Open access journals are intrinsically low in quality
  • Open access mandates infringe academic freedom


Uncover the facts here




Open Access at the Natural History Museum, London

In 2017, the Natural History Museum in London signed the International Open Data Accord (joining the growing number of museums) in publishing their collection databases and digital reproductions online. This undertaking is “part of its five-year plan to build a Museum for the future” by combining the expertise and skills from museum scientists, librarians, and archivists to create and digitize electronic records, making them openly accessible to all. So far, there are 3.8 million specimens already digitized and accessible via the Museum’s Data Portal comprised of the Museum’s research and collections data.


Learn more







Marking its tenth anniversary this October, the International Open Access Week: October 23-29, 2017 is a large scale, global event. It is where open access advocates, supporters and participants share their knowledge and experiences about the benefits of Open Access. This event serves to “inspire wider adoption and participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research”.


Starting in 2007 as an Open Access Day event dubbed as “a partnership between SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and students who organized local events on a handful of campuses across the United States”, it is now a worldwide event where anyone interested in furthering the dissemination of openly accessible scholarly research can partake.


The collaborative International Open Access Week 2017 event by UBC Library, UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, Simon Fraser University (SFU) and British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) libraries, and BC Campus will take place as follows:



Thursday, October 26, 2017



5:00-6:00pm (arrivals and appetizers)



6:00-8:00pm (including coffee and dessert)



BCIT’s downtown campus


The event theme, Tension and Risk in Open Scholarship: A Conversation: 2017-10-26, will address not only the “benefits and opportunities of open access but also a recognition that openness can sometimes create unintended consequences for individuals and communities”.


Register here and join BC’s open scholarship conversation in celebration of International Open Access Week 2017!





Photo credit: Don Erhardt


Situated on the UBC Vancouver campus, the Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution (APDR) Project is comprised of a network of colleagues not just from UBC but also from partner institutions in North America and Asia. The APDR Project supports research, analysis and policy proposals on cross-cultural dispute resolution in the areas of trade and human rights, with particular attention to Canada, China, India, Indonesia and Japan.


Known as an MCRI (Major Collaborative Research Initiatives) project, it is “a flagship-funding program within the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)” whose principal investigator is Dr. Pitman Potter, a professor at UBC’s Allard School of Law. He has ‘published several books such as Assessing Treaty Performance in China: Trade and Human Rights (Vancouver and Toronto: UBC Press, 2014) and The Legal System of the People’s Republic of China (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013) and over 100 articles and essays’.


With the last part of this multi-year project falling into place, the dissemination of the multiple findings are now underway as each country and its research team of representatives prepare to release their publications. These much-anticipated publications are arranged around the following key ‘topics in which the research findings have been grouped for dissemination – development, good governance, health, labour and poverty/inequality – with these volumes which include papers from members of the different research teams’. They also added, “The number of publications from the project, as can be expected from a project in its last stage, is quite vast and varied in types. At the moment, we are updating the inventory of publications and they are being classified according to five main types: book, book chapter, journal article, policy report and miscellaneous (media and other types of publications)”.


So while the APDR Project was ‘granted funding before May of 2015, the new policy on Open Access released by SSHRC last year is not mandatory, the stakeholders are aware [that] this is something the agency is encouraging for all [of] its projects’.


Download the APDR Working Papers Series‘ items now (see directly below) and stay tuned for more new items coming soon!


APDR Working Papers Series’ items:

Learning Networks as a Tool for Good Governance: The Case of the Canada-China Forum on Industrial Relations and Employment Standards

Introduction: Labour and Human Rights

AIDS, Human Rights, and Public Security in China

Public Health and Drug Policing in Malaysia: Using Empirical Evidence for Advocacy

Four Suggestions on Establishing a Legal Environment for a Speedy Transformation of the Economic Development Model

An Analysis of the Social and Legal Problems in Transitional China

Inclusive Workplace Practice in Canada: Competing Inequalities in an Industrial-Mobile Society



“The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.” — Albert Einstein, Astrophysicist


It is thrilling to announce the new arrival of a collaborative report which just archived in cIRcle, UBC`s Digital Repository!

This report was “submitted to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Space Advisory Board in response to a call for input into the development of Canada’s Space Strategy”. It echoes the voices of its contributors who wanted to respond to the call in an efficient and timely manner and, in conjunction, they welcome feedback about the report.

One of the primary authors of this report is UBC’s Jeremy Heyl, a Canada Research Chair in Neutron Stars and Black Holes whose research background includes theoretical physics, astronomy and astrophysics (high-energy astrophysics) as well as research topics on compact objects, cosmology, dynamics, and strong-field QED. His co-authors include UBC Doctoral student, Ilaria Caiazzo and Western University’s Associate Professor, Sarah Gallagher, whose research areas include active galaxies, black holes, and compact groups of galaxies.


Developing the technology required for space exploration missions (space astronomy, planetary science, and space health and life sciences) represents one of the most challenging engineering opportunities of our time and an economic driver for advanced technologies. This leads to prosperity through innovation and the associated use of technologies developed for space exploration (e.g., surgical robotics, telemedicine, remote mining, imaging), strengthening Canada’s international reputation as an advanced nation in science and technology research, and raising literacy by inspiring Canadian students to pursue higher education in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas critical to developing tomorrow’s technically capable Canadian workforce. Indeed, space exploration, perhaps uniquely, ignites interest and motivates young minds to pursue careers in the sciences, engineering and high-tech sectors. Consequently, Canadian universities have made and continue to make substantial investments in faculty, students, cutting-edge laboratories and infrastructure related to space exploration.


View/Download the full report here


“In the second century of Confederation,

the fabric of Canadian society will be held together by strands in space

just as strongly as railway and telegraphy held together the scattered provinces in the last century.”

John H. Chapman


Check out a stellar list of Canadian Space Milestones here


Meet Canada’s newest astronauts by visiting these links directly below:


Find more on Astronomy and Astrophysics

Learn more about Science and Technology Studies

Explore Science Guides


Photo courtesy: Pixabay


It is a pleasure to announce the arrival of a new item recently added to cIRcle, UBC’s digital repository resulting from the collaborative efforts between a world-renowned scholar and several of UBC’s academic research units and community partners – School of Music, Hong Kong Studies Initiative, Centre for Chinese Research, Museum of Anthropology, and St. John’s College.


Nancy Yunhwa Rao is an Associate Director of Academic Studies who is both the Head of the Composition Program and the Head of the Music Theory Program of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. As “one of the leading scholars in Chinese American music studies”, she has amassed award-winning research which focuses on the “musical history of Chinese in the United States, Canada, and Cuba” which she “mined [from] immigration files” and so forth.


Examples of her published research are found in a variety of journal publications such as the “Cambridge Opera Journal, Journal of the Society for American Music, Journal of 19th Century Music Review, as well as several collections of essays”. Interestingly, she has published ‘a book on Chinatown Opera Theater in North America via the University Illinois Press’ which is completely filled with the “analysis of playbills, performing networks, opera arias, stage spectacles, and more”.


Watch Parts One and Two of her talk here


Explore the Chinese Special Collections‘ Library Research Guide




Image: cIRcle Graduate Non-Thesis Research Submission Workflow Overview


The GSS (Graduate Student Society) cIRcle Open Scholar Award was a lottery based award held twice a year for graduate students at UBC Vancouver which went live on July 9, 2012.

Graduate students were eligible to submit exemplary non-thesis manuscripts or projects related to graduate coursework to the GSS (Graduate Student Society) cIRcle Open Scholar Award, with approval from their course instructors.

A random selection was made from items submitted to cIRcle during the previous 6 month period – four awards will be made per annum, two in April and two in October.

The GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award was a five-year (2012-2017) collaboration of the Graduate Student Society and cIRcle/UBC Library.

The first two awards were presented on October 18, 2012 and the last few awards were presented before the Award ended on May 1, 2017.

Congratulations to the 2016 & 2017 Award winners – Victor Ngo and Ali Hosseini* (April 2016); Jean-Paul Andre Joseph Benoit and Amy Myring (October 2016); and, Keilee Mok and Alejandra Echeverri** (April 2017)!

* Note: Co-authors are faculty members and were not eligible for the award.
** Note: Co authors had graduated prior to the award period and were, therefore, ineligible.


Over the course of its five-year term, the Award was presented to the randomly-selected UBC graduate students for their exemplary non-thesis research work in either traditional and/or interdisciplinary fields of study:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies (CENES)
  • Community and Regional Planning (SCARP)
  • Computer Science
  • Educational Studies
  • Forest Resources Management
  • Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS)
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES)
  • Physical Therapy
  • Theatre and Film

“I am grateful for the efforts of those responsible for cIRcle

because I see it as a positive alternative that facilitates sharing of research and work.

cIRcle catalyzes the sharing and building of ideas, motivating students to

improve their work and to give back to the research community that provides so much for them.”


    – Robert DeAbreu, GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award Winner, April 2013


While the Award officially ended on 1 May 2017, the Award collection was aptly renamed and became the new UBC Graduate Research collection in cIRcle, UBC’s digital repository which now incorporates exemplary non-thesis research work from UBC Okanagan graduate students too. Hooray!


The UBC Graduate Research collection welcomes exemplary graduate student non-thesis research such as the following:

  • Essays or papers
  • Graduating papers or projects (Capstone, etc.)
  • Manuscripts
  • Presentations (including research posters)
  • Publisher-permitted versions of journal articles, conference papers, etc. based on course-related research
  • Software code
  • Technical reports
  • Video and audio based projects


With too many benefits to list, below are just a sampling of such when making your UBC graduate student non-thesis research openly accessible via cIRcle:

  • Create/enhance your academic and professional scholarly profile
  • Track views and downloads from cities and countries around the world
  • Openly disseminate your UBC research with scholars locally and globally
  • Your work is regularly indexed by web search engines (Google, Google Scholar, etc.)
  • Preserve your UBC scholarly legacy with a DOI (persistent link)


UBC graduate students are encouraged to upload their own work (subject to course instructor or supervisor approval) to the UBC Graduate Research collection anytime.





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