Library:Circle/What Is cIRcle

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What is cIRcle?

cIRcle is an open access digital repository for published and unpublished material created by the UBC community and its partners. Its aim is to showcase and preserve UBC’s unique intellectual output by making content freely available to anyone, anywhere via the web.

UBC is committed to “developing a system for making UBC research accessible in digital repositories, especially open access repositories” and cIRcle is part of this strategy. The Senates of UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan have both endorsed UBC’s Open Access Position Statement which encourages faculty to deposit their research in cIRcle. In addition, some funding agencies have open access policies.

If you wish to make your research openly accessible, cIRcle is an option to consider.


cIRcle’s main goals are:

  • To showcase the intellectual output of UBC and its partners by making the research carried out at UBC freely accessible;
  • To support teaching, learning, and research activities on campus; and
  • To preserve materials in cIRcle for future generations.

How is cIRcle connected to UBC Library?

cIRcle is a service of the UBC Library and is a key player supporting the 'Accelerate Research' strategic direction in the Library's Strategic Plan which in turn is based on UBC's core commitment to 'Research Excellence' as described in Place and Promise: the UBC Plan.

What can I find in cIRcle?

Through cIRcle you can find articles, conference and workshop papers, theses and dissertations, technical reports and working papers, books, datasets, learning objects, multimedia and audio-visual materials including podcasts, webcasts and more. cIRcle features both peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed content making it a valuable resource for interdisciplinary research and inquiry.

How can I add my work to cIRcle?

Visit our Submissions page to learn more or visit our Contact Us page.

Why use cIRcle?

With all content in cIRcle being indexed by web search engines like Google and Google Scholar, cIRcle enhances the global reach of and accessibility to UBC research. In fact, did you know cIRcle enables UBC researchers to comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications? For details, visit Scholarly Communications Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.

Offering a number of services to help you manage and enhance your scholarly profile, cIRcle provides three major repository benefits as follows:


  • We will work with you to get your materials submitted and take care of indexing to make them easily findable.


  • cIRcle content is indexed by high-profile search engines such as Google as well as academically focused search engines and collections such as Google Scholar, OAIster and CARL making it quick and easy for scholars and others to find your work.


  • We strive to maintain your work over the long term. And we won't change URLs every time there's a webpage redesign - the links to your materials will remain the same over time.

Need more reasons? Read about how contributing to cIRcle supports Open Access and Granting Agency Mandates, or visit our Who's using cIRcle? tab to see what others are saying about the benefits of using cIRcle.

Who’s using cIRcle?

cIRcle content is organized around communities and collections representing UBC departments, labs, research centres, schools or other administrative units. There are currently more than 60,000 items in cIRcle and the number continues to grow as new research items are added.

Items in cIRcle are generally heavily used. Look for the statistical information at the bottom of each record in cIRcle, or visit our FAQ for more information.

How our contributors are using cIRcle:

TRIUMF logo blue d.png
"TRIUMF was designed and constructed in the late 60s and early 70s, and as such we have a vast collection of print-only design, engineering, administrative, and science reports. What cIRcle does is give our staff ready access to that treasure trove of institutional knowledge, as well as providing an archival platform to secure our written heritage. As we transition away from print materials to digital-primary document access, cIRcle and Digital Initiatives arrived on the scene at a very opportune time for us.

It has been a pleasure working with the cIRcle and Digital Initiatives teams and we look forward to continue working with them to secure our printed legacy."

–Marcello Pavan, Physicist, Professor & TRIUMF Outreach Coordinator - Education & Outreach

"I found that placing self-published documents in cIRcle is a very effective way at letting the world know about a publication while also greatly reducing the number of direct requests to me for copies of the publication. As an added benefit, the world-wide recognition and awareness of me and UBC increases each time a person finds their way to cIRcle.

The impact of a publication, even those self-published, can be measured by how many people read it and use it. The download statistics are interesting and one can see where in the world people find your publication useful. I certainly take more pride in a few thousand ‘hits’ in cIRcle than I do in a handful of references to a published journal article.

I still have more to add to cIRcle and recommend that others do too! We should always encourage sharing of knowledge and I am glad UBC has created a mechanism to do this very effectively."

–Dwayne Tannant, Professor, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan Campus

View this item in the UBC Faculty Research and Publications collection in cIRcle!

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Marshall peter original.jpg "...the Bachelor of Science in Forestry (BSF) program in the Faculty of Forestry underwent an accreditation review this spring [2012]... Examination of typical student “products” by the accreditation review team...form[s] an important component of an accreditation review of a forestry program. ...Through cIRcle, I was able to easily provide an unfettered selection of graduating essays that review team members could conveniently peruse from a distance to ascertain the range of topics and quality included in these essays. I was told by the review team chair that this access was much appreciated and made this component of their review much simpler.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank you and your team for the excellent work you have put into developing and implementing cIRcle."

–Peter Marshall, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies and Professor, Faculty of Forestry

View the Forestry Undergraduate Essays/Theses in the UBC Undergraduate Research collection in cIRcle!

"My experience with cIRcle and its staff has been nothing but positive. The enthusiasm for getting student work published and out in the world is truly laudable, and very much coincides with MURC’s goals of furthering student knowledge and presence in the scholarly world. The opportunity offered to students to get their work out where any interested party could view it and learn from it is a great way to get them thinking like scholars and being a part of the educational and research processes. Thank you cIRcle!."
–Joe Young, Project Manager, Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 (MURC)

View the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC) conference items in the UBC Undergraduate Research collection in cIRcle!

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Dirk van Zyl Headshot 3 small.jpg "We are setting a new standard for open source materials of a very important conference series. The help and support from cIRcle to make this real is highly appreciated."
–Dirk van Zyl, Professor, Department of Mining Engineering

View the Tailings and Mine Waste collection in cIRcle!

"Th[e] digital repository offered the open access and content preservation that we hoped would capture our shared efforts in a permanent way. Our UBC cIRcle team offered support identifying, collecting and preserving material, guiding us through the more technical aspects, and keeping us engaged throughout. cIRcle is a powerful resource that was indispensable in our efforts to create a legacy from the Games."
–Michelle Aucoin, Director, UBC 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Secretariat

View the UBC and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games items in the UBC Faculty Research and Publications collection in cIRcle!

Michelle aucoin Headshot.JPG

Michael Blake Headshot2.jpg "cIRcle allows the UBC Laboratory of Archaeology to make our reports and data available to the widest possible community of users. We provide links to cIRcle's permanent and stable repository of documents, graduate theses and dissertations in our own publications and webpages, thereby quickly disseminating valuable information that otherwise would be very difficult to access. The usage statistics that cIRcle generates are an added bonus--it is great to be able to track the number of downloads of our documents over the course of months and years." See Michael Blake's work in cIRcle Mapping and Testing Precontact Stó:lō Settlements in the Fraser Canyon and Fraser Valley (2004-2005) and Preliminary Report: 1993 Excavations at Paso de la Amada, Chiapas, Mexico.
–Michael Blake, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

View the Laboratory of Archaeology items in the UBC Faculty Research and Publications collection in cIRcle!

"As an investigator who is taking up an ‘integrated KT’ [knowledge translation] approach to dissemination it is helpful to have some additional ways to refer to work (eg. reports) that are developed for a broader audience than the typical audience for peer reviewed publications. cIRcle does provide opportunities to link scholarly articles with work framed for a broader audience."
Judith Lynam, Professor, School of Nursing

View Professor Lynam's report Qualitative Evidence in Practice in cIRcle!

Judith Headshot.jpg

RG Matson Headshot2.jpg "cIRcle is searchable, has good use information, and, above all is reliable, in our world of constantly changing url's. [...] We are impressed [by] the number of downloads recorded in cIRcle, indicating that it has a far wider circulation than we realized."
–R.G. Matson, Professor Emeritus, Dept of Anthropology/Laboratory of Archaeology

View Professor Matson's Cedar Mesa Project in cIRcle!

"Since having [my project] on cIRcle [...] I feel like it validates my project in some way because now it's publicly available it's associated with UBC and UBC Academics, and definitely makes me feel a lot more confident in its accuracy and its acceptance by an academic audience."
–Devon Wong, UBC graduate (BA Sociology, 2010)

View Devon Wong's documentary The Root Cause in cIRcle!


Andre Headshot.png "Nothing makes me strive for excellence more than knowing that anyone in the world could see my work."
–Andre Malan, UBC graduate (BSC Honours Computer Science, 2011)


The system of scholarship and scholarly publishing is going through a process of change across the world. Notions of authorship and scholarly publishing are rapidly evolving in the digital age. Digital repositories (also known as information or institutional repositories) provide an opportunity to make scholarly content (including peer reviewed content) freely available online. Providing open access to an institution’s research output can make the dissemination of scholarly information more cost effective and easier, resulting in greater accountability for public tax dollars.


In April 2006, the UBC Library’s e-Library Committee proposed the creation of a digital repository to showcase UBC’s scholarly work online. A pilot project was launched in spring 2007 and two years later, cIRcle became a full service of the Library. Today, with over 60,000 items online (and growing) scholarly communication is beginning to come full circle at UBC.


The cIRcle Impact and Activity Report 2017-2018 describes the engagement of UBC researchers, students, and community partners with cIRcle, and illustrates the dissemination of their scholarly work.

Previous Reports:

cIRcle Impact and Activity Report 2016-2017

cIRcle Impact and Activity Report 2015-2016

cIRcle Impact and Activity Report 2013

For more cIRcle news and activities, read our previous “cIRcle in the headlines: December edition” updates from 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Follow cIRcle via Twitter - @cIRcle_UBC for the latest news and more from cIRcle.