About cIRcle

What is cIRcle?

cIRcle is UBC's Open Access Digital Repository (or Institutional Repository), established by UBC Library in 2007 for the University of British Columbia. Its aim is to provide a single place to access and view the breadth and scope of the intellectual work of UBC campuses.

cIRcle serves to disseminate and preserve the research activities of UBC's scholarly community. In addition to materials like preprints and postprints of academic journal articles, other items such as theses, dissertations, departmental publications, technical reports, bulletins, conference proceedings, course notes and other learning objects may be deposited into cIRcle.

Contributions to cIRcle are entirely voluntary.

cIRcle's main goals are:

  • to showcase UBC's intellectual output by making the research carried out at UBC freely accessible;
  • to support the teaching, learning and research activities on campus.

cIRcle uses DSpace, an open source software developed collaboratively by MIT and Hewlett-Packard, and maintained by the DSpace Foundation.

Note that digital repositories are also known as 'Institutional Repositories':

"An institutional repository (IR) is a digital collection of a university's intellectual output. Institutional repositories centralize, preserve, and make accessible the knowledge generated by academic institutions." (Canadian Association of Research Libraries)

See more information on our About cIRcle page.

What is Open Access?

Open access material is scholarly material that is freely and openly available to anyone on the web. Visit the UBC Scholarly Communications site for more information on Open Access.

What is UBC’s Open Access Position Statement?

Endorsed by the Senates of both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan in 2013, UBC’s Open Access Position Statement encourages UBC faculty to deposit their research in cIRcle.

What is the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications?

“In keeping with the global movement towards open access, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), (“the Agencies”), have developed a harmonized policy on open access, applicable to research results. The unified approach of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications was modeled on CIHR’s Open Access Policy. The objective of the policy is to ensure that results arising from Agency-supported research are freely accessible online within 12 months of publication.” (Source: Frequently Asked Questions, Government of Canada)

What does the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy mean for UBC researchers?

As per the Government of Canada, "[t]he objective of this policy is to improve access to the results of Agency-funded research, and to increase the dissemination and exchange of research results. All researchers, regardless of funding support, are encouraged to adhere to this policy."

Effective as of 1 May 2015, the Government of Canada policy requires that all Tri-Agency funded research from its three major granting agencies – Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) – be made freely accessible online within one year of publication. In the case of CIHR, this policy has been in effect since 2008.

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. Contact us to add your UBC research to cIRcle.

Why contribute to cIRcle?


  • Uploading your scholarly work to cIRcle is simple as cIRcle staff provides step-by-step support.


  • Search engines such as Google and Google Scholar crawl cIRcle regularly, increasing the visibility of your research by making it quick and easy for others to find and access your work.
  • We record view and download statistics for each item in cIRcle so you can track interest in your work from around the world!


  • We provide permanent URLs for each item in cIRcle. This means that there is no need to update the URL every time there's a website redesign--the links to your materials will stay the same over time.

Who can contribute to cIRcle?

cIRcle is an open access digital repository for published and unpublished material created by the UBC community and its partners. Exemplary student output that has been approved by a professor or instructor may also be added to cIRcle. Due to resource limitations, cIRcle is currently unable to regularly accept content from alumni. Exceptional or unique material will be considered for deposit on a case-by-case basis – please contact cIRcle staff. Note: Theses and dissertations of most alumni are available in the UBC Theses and Dissertations collection. If you’d like to learn more about how to deposit your work in cIRcle, visit our Submissions page.

Who can help me if I have difficulties depositing materials in cIRcle?

For thesis submission inquiries, visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' website. Also, see Advantages of Electronic Theses listed on their website.

If you are uploading a submission or have other technical questions, start by checking our user guides and our FAQ for the information you need.

For other cIRcle-related inquiries, contact the cIRcle Office.

How will people find work that I deposit in cIRcle?

Web search engines make it quick and easy to find scholarly work deposited in cIRcle. Google and Google Scholar, for example, regularly crawl and index cIRcle and other digital repositories around the world.

Your scholarly work is also searchable from the cIRcle homepage. The search interface supports Author, Title, Keyword, Abstract and full-text searches. Try a search now using cIRcle's Advanced Search feature!

Your department can add links to cIRcle from its homepage, and you can do the same from any personal webpage you may have set up.

Other online indexers or content harvesters like OAIster, Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD), and Library and Archives Canada Theses Portal provide additional access to your materials. These services gather content into large databases that act like library catalogues. However, these all go beyond providing access to the holdings of just one institution. For example, OAIster provides access to more than 50 million records from 2,000 contributors (as of February 2019).

Does cIRcle have a privacy policy?

Privacy Notification: Your personal information (in the form of the IP addresses of the computers you use to access cIRcle) is collected under the authority of section 26(e) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). This information is used solely to track usage statistics for the purposes of evaluating the geographical reach of UBC research made openly accessible via cIRcle. Questions about the collection of this information may be directed to ubc-circle[at]lists.ubc.ca

Submissions to cIRcle must be the final clean copy of the submission. The file should not contain any annotations, comments, handwritten notes, or private information eg. student number, phone number, fax number, personal email address or mailing address. Any private information contained in a file will be redacted prior to deposit in cIRcle.

Do other universities have Institutional Repositories?

According to the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), there are 97 open access/institutional repositories in Canada (as of February 2018). Some examples are:

  • MSpace, University of Manitoba

Using cIRcle

How do I create a cIRcle login?

  1. Go to the cIRcle homepage at: circle.ubc.ca
  2. Click on "Login" under the "Submissions" box
  3. Click on the "Register for a cIRcle login" hyperlink under the "cIRcle Login" box
  4. Enter your email address. (Tip! The email address will be verified and used as your login name.)
  5. You will receive an automatic email message referring you to a specified URL to complete the registration process. Please do this immediately. If you delay too long, you will get an ‘Invalid token’ error message. If you do get this message, please start the login registration process again from the beginning.
  6. Contact the cIRcle Office when you have completed your login registration.

How do I link my CWL to my cIRcle login?

Once you have registered for a cIRcle login you can link your CWL to your cIRcle login. Thereafter you can use your CWL to login to cIRcle. Please note that this step is optional.

If you do not have a cIRcle login, you can register for one by following this link: How do I create a cIRcle login?. If you are submitting a thesis or dissertation, please follow the instructions provided by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

To link your CWL to your cIRcle login, follow the instructions provided at the Login page.

If you have any questions, please contact the cIRcle Office.

How do I cite an item that I have found in cIRcle?

Always cite the published version if available, so the author(s) receives credit through databases that track citation counts (e.g. Thomson Reuter's Web of Science). Note that the page numbering of the cIRcle version may not correspond to the page numbering in the published version.

However, there may be circumstances where you need to cite the cIRcle version. Even if citing the cIRcle version, cite the published version as well so that the author(s) receive citation recognition, as mentioned. Cite the cIRcle version as follows:

Klinka, K., Varga, P. and Chourmouzis, C. (1999). Towards a quantitative classification of soil nutrient regimes in British Columbia : Comparison of regional studies. cIRcle: UBC's Digital Repository: Scientia Silvica Extension Series. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/764.

To cite an unpublished work, such as a thesis or dissertation in cIRcle, use the same format:

Blackman, M. J. (2008). Achieving economic and social sustainability in the inner city: The role of business improvements districts. cIRcle: UBC's Digital Repository: Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/2445.

The URI is the most important piece of the cIRcle citation, as it is a permanent (a.k.a. persistent) and unique link.

Parts of this FAQ adapted from Open Research Online, FAQ at: http://oro.open.ac.uk/help/helpfaq.html#How_should_I_cite_items.

How do I contact the author of a thesis or dissertation I found in cIRcle?

Due to privacy laws, we are not permitted to provide you with a student’s contact information. However, you may wish to contact the UBC Alumni office since they may be able to contact this student on your behalf.

What are the functions of a cIRcle collection administrator?

A collection administrator is authorized to perform a number of online functions within a specified cIRcle collection. These functions include:

  • Editing a collection home page
  • Adding or removing authorized submitters and/or reviewers for a collection
  • Editing the item metadata (descriptive information) of a record already archived in the cIRcle database

Please see the Collection Administration user guides which describe the above functions in more detail.

Note: A collection administrator can perform the above functions only if their cIRcle login has been authorized to so do by the cIRcle Office.

Why isn't my video/audio file streaming?

Video and audio files will stream 24 hours after they have been uploaded. If your video or audio file won't stream after this time period has passed, please contact the cIRcle Office.

Why deposit in cIRcle? (Advantages)

I've already published it, so why should I put it in cIRcle?

  • Web search engines such as Ask.com, Google, and Google Scholar crawl digital repositories regularly, making it quick and easy for anyone to find scholarly works in cIRcle.

  • Google Scholar indexes vastly more open access than subscription-based articles - greatly increasing the likelihood that your work will be found and read. See Neuhaus et al (access for UBC members only).

  • cIRcle's commitment to preservation means that every item deposited will be assigned a permanent URL that you can quote worry free. Where possible, files are migrated to newer formats so they remain readable over the long term. At the very least, files will be preserved in the original format deposited.

  • Another benefit of depositing your scholarly works into cIRcle is that it is an open access repository. Open access refers to making digital information freely, instantly and unreservedly available to others. Allowing open access to your materials makes it cheaper and easier for you and your peers to exchange scholarly information. This does not mean, however, that you lose moral authority over your work. Users are obligated to acknowledge and properly cite your work.

  • cIRcle allows a more comprehensive collection of scholarly works to be submitted than may be possible in the traditional publishing world. You can deposit copies of published articles and book chapters as well as unpublished work such as conference and working papers, reports, theses, dissertations, datasets, learning objects, multimedia materials, newsletters and administrative documents.

  • By depositing scholarly materials into cIRcle, you place your work in the larger UBC context. In conjunction with other digital archives on campus, cIRcle's aim is to create as complete an archive as possible of UBC's intellectual output, thereby highlighting the university's unique contribution to the world.

Why is posting to cIRcle better than posting to a department or personal website?

Because of the services cIRcle provides:

  • We maintain the cIRcle software (DSpace) and the servers on which materials are stored (including regular backups).

  • We take care of indexing your materials to make them easily findable, and we work with you to ensure the presence of appropriate metadata for the same reason.

  • We provide training and support to your department or research unit to enable you to contribute your materials to cIRcle.

  • Web search engines such as Ask.com, Google, and Google Scholar crawl digital repositories regularly, making it quick and easy for anyone to find scholarly works in cIRcle. Repository content also receives high ranking in web search engine results.

  • Long-term accessibility & readability: We aim to preserve your work permanently. And we won't change URLs every time there's a webpage redesign - the links to your scholarly work will remain the same over time.

Visit OpenDOAR - Directory of Open Access Repositories to learn more about open access repositories.

Will the research impact of the articles I deposit in cIRcle increase?

Many scholars have found increased research impact when they deposit their articles in digital repositories like cIRcle. The Open Citation Project, carried out by Southampton University (UK) and Cornell University (USA), created an extensive bibliography on this topic: The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies. (Updated 2013).

Will there be a permanent cIRcle link so that I can cite work worry free?

Yes. Items deposited into cIRcle are given a permanent or persistent URL that will not break. You can cite it without worrying that the address will change at some point in the future. Each item in cIRcle has both a URL and a URI. The URI is the best one to use in links or citations. The following URL and URI both belong to the same item in cIRcle,

Atlas of British Columbia:

URL: http://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/21647

URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/21647

One of the main reasons for establishing cIRcle is to provide scholars at UBC with a digital repository where their work can be properly archived and exposed to a wider audience. This means that we are committed to ensuring that your work is accessible and readable for a very long time. We intend to keep current with technological change and, as far as is possible, to upgrade deposited materials to newer formats as required.

See cIRcle cIRcle Policies page section 4

See also How do I cite an item that I have found in cIRcle?

cIRcle organization

How is cIRcle organized?

cIRcle is made up of digital material items found in collections from contributors.

A collection is comprised of individual items and files found within a particular collection.

Contributors are faculty, graduate and undergraduate students as well as postdoctoral students and visiting scholars from UBC departments, labs, research centres, schools or other administrative units. They also include the UBC community and its partners.

What are cIRcle collections?

cIRcle collections are comprised of digital material items resulting from the research, teaching and academic support activities at UBC.

For more information and/or assistance with adding your UBC research, teaching and academic items to cIRcle, contact the cIRcle Office.

What are the rights and responsibilities of cIRcle staff?

Please see the cIRcle Policies for more information or contact the cIRcle Office.

What software does cIRcle use?

cIRcle uses software called DSpace. DSpace is an open source system designed to allow digital files to be archived, managed and shared. DSpace was developed jointly by MIT and Hewlett-Packard.

Some benefits of using DSpace include (per DSpace website):

  • Getting your research results out quickly, to a worldwide audience;

  • Reaching a worldwide audience through exposure to web search engines such as Google;

  • Archiving and distributing material you would currently put on your personal website, blog, etc.;

  • Keeping track of your own publications/bibliography; and,

  • Having a persistent network identifier for your work, that never changes or breaks

View the DSpace Video and learn more about the large DSpace community of users and developers worldwide.

Who is responsible for managing cIRcle?

cIRcle is managed by the cIRcle Office at UBC Library while Open Collections was developed and is maintained by the Digitization Centre and cIRcle.

All materials in Open Collections are openly accessible to everyone and will be preserved for future generations.

Why DSpace?

DSpace was one of the first digital archiving systems available to the open source community.

It first emerged in 2002. Currently, there are well over 1100 DSpace repositories, including many academic ones, in more than 80 countries using the DSpace to manage their digital repositories (aka Institutional Repositories).

The widespread adoption of DSpace has allowed for a large community of users to apply uniform standards to their digital repositories. In addition, its popularity has meant that DSpace has been able to develop sophisticated IT support systems for both users and administrators.

View the DSpace Video and learn more about the large DSpace community of users and developers worldwide.

See DSpace Wiki for more general information about DSpace.

Copyright, permissions and re-use

What are permissions, and when do I need to get them?

Permissions are something you need to get if you've included materials within your own work(s) that are the intellectual property of someone else - for example, video or music clips, digital images, artwork and/or written materials.

In order to use works or parts of works for which you do not own the copyright, you must first identify, contact and receive permission from the legal copyright owner.

Using includes: embedding others' works into your own work (e.g. including a digital image in your PowerPoint presentation, an illustration or an audio file on your course webpage, etc.) and displaying, distributing and/or reproducing them in some way.

You need to obtain any necessary permissions prior to depositing your work into cIRcle. (Your publisher has these same requirements prior to publishing your work). Visit the Copyright at UBC website for more information on obtaining permission Copyright at UBC FAQ. For help obtaining permissions email copyright.services@ubc.ca.

Please note that for published articles, permissions for self-archiving can take many weeks to obtain. These permissions typically require the permissions team to submit a special request to the publisher, and many publishers take at least 4-8 weeks to respond. Since the practice of self-archiving is still relatively new, moreover, some publishers do not have established policies for dealing with these requests, and permission can take months to obtain in these cases.

You may also be interested in learning about Creative Commons Licenses which allow authors to stipulate how others can share, remix, or reuse their work Creative Commons Licenses.

See an example of a Creative Commons License in cIRcle. (Click on 'Creative Commons' hyperlink under the section which reads, "The following license files are associated with this item.")

What is copyright?

According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for Industry Canada, copyright means 'the right to copy'. Only the owner of copyright, very often the creator of the work, is allowed to produce or reproduce the work in question or to permit anyone else to do so.

Copyright law rewards and protects your creative endeavour by giving you the sole right to publish or use your work in any number of ways. You may also choose not to publish your work and to prevent anyone else from doing so.

For more information about copyright and terms of use visit the Copyright at UBC website.

Please refer your copyright questions to copyright.services@ubc.ca.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to works you have created or produced in some tangible form.

The important thing to remember about IP is that ideas themselves cannot be copyrighted. Therefore, your brilliant idea is only awarded legal protection once you have put it into a tangible form like print, audio files, video, photos, etc. The areas of Canadian law that relate to IP issues include copyright, patents and trademarks.

Fore more information read UBC's Intellectual Property Guide available on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' website. Please refer any questions about copyright to copyright.services@ubc.ca.

Who owns copyright?

In general, the author or creator of a work owns the copyright. Per the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (Industry Canada) website, exceptions to this rule are:

1. if you produced the materials as part of your employment, unless you have an agreement to the contrary. At UBC, faculty, staff and students will generally own the copyright in works they create through teaching and research, with certain exceptions. Please refer to the Copyright at UBC site for more details.

2. if you produced the work as a commission for another party;

3. if you voluntarily assign your copyright to a third party such as a publisher.

Re-use rights of materials in cIRcle are determined by:

a. Canadian copyright legislation
b. Creative Commons licenses if present

Learn more at Copyright at UBC which includes guidelines, tutorials, workshops and copyright assistance. Please refer your copyright questions to copyright.services@ubc.ca.

You may also wish to read UBC's Intellectual Property Guide available on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' website.

Do I sign over my copyright when I deposit my works in cIRcle?

No, the copyright status of your work remains the same.

You merely grant cIRcle a license (that is, your permission) to:

  • make your work freely available to cIRcle's users

  • preserve your work by migrating it into newer formats as technology changes

For the most current statement and guidelines on copyright see the official Copyright at UBC site.

Can I upload a copy of cIRcle materials to my own database?

Materials added to cIRcle prior to March 7, 2014 cannot be copied to a publicly available or private database without first seeking permission from the copyright owner. You may, however, provide a link to the materials in your database.

Materials added to cIRcle on or after March 7, 2014 can be copied to another database so long as the database is non-commercial; the material is not altered; and source of the material is properly acknowledged, including citation of the author or authors, title, and full bibliographic details. (Please see the default Creative Commons licenses attached to materials added to cIRcle on or after March 7, 2014). If the conditions just described are not met, then you must seek permission from the copyright owner. Again, you may also simply provide a link to the materials.

If the copyright holder has chosen to make their materials available in cIRcle under an alternative license (for example, other Creative Commons licenses), please consult that license for further details.

Can I print out a copy of the complete file and pass it on to a patron?

Materials added to cIRcle prior to March 7, 2014 cannot be reproduced without first seeking permission from the copyright holder. You may, however, provide the patron with a link to the materials on cIRcle.

Materials added to cIRcle on or after March 7, 2014 with a default Creative Commons license can be reproduced for non-commercial reasons if the materials remain unaltered and the source is properly acknowledged. Proper acknowledgement includes the citation of the author or authors, title, and full bibliographic details. Otherwise, you must seek permission prior to producing a copy. Again, you may also provide the patron with a link to the materials in cIRcle.

If the copyright holder has chosen to make their materials available in cIRcle under an alternative license (for example, other Creative Commons licenses), please consult that license for further details.

Does cIRcle maintain a database of contact information for the copyright owners of uploaded materials?

No, we do not. If the material you wish to use is an electronic thesis or dissertation, please contact the UBC Alumni office. They may be able to assist you with contacting UBC graduates. If the material is authored by a UBC instructor or researcher, please contact them directly or contact their department or unit for possible contact information. For general questions about seeking permission to re-use copyrighted materials, please contact the UBC Permissions Office at: copyright.services@ubc.ca

Authors' rights and responsibilities

Can I restrict who views my work after it's been deposited into cIRcle? Can I restrict how my work is used?

cIRcle is an open access repository. Its aim is to make the scholarly work produced at UBC openly and freely available to the academic community at large.

We understand, however, that there may be instances where it is necessary and desirable to restrict access to specific works temporarily, and we will accommodate this need as far as possible. If you need to impose an embargo on your work, please view the cIRcle policies (Section 5) and the cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License (Section 5).

In general, though, it will be permissible for users to read, download, copy, search, print, distribute and/or link to materials contained in the repository under the terms of Canadian copyright law, or Creative Commons licenses if present.

NOTE, however, that authors do retain moral authority over their work(s), and thus their works must be properly attributed and cited when used by other parties. Specifically: authors, titles and full bibliographic details must be quoted, the hyperlink and/or URL must be given for the original metadata page (the page that provides descriptive data about your materials) and the content cannot be altered in any way.

Visit the UBC Scholarly Communications website for details about managing your copyright.

See also our FAQ How do I cite an item that I have found cIRcle?

What version of an article can I deposit in cIRcle? Can I deposit an article at the time of submission to the publisher?

This depends on your publisher. Publishers often permit authors to self-archive the final pre-publication version of their works, but this is not a universal practice.

Of course, if you own copyright of your work, you can post whatever version you prefer though it is important to remember that some publishers do consider depositing to a digital repository to be "prior publication".

Check the SHERPA/RoMEO website for publishers' copyright and self-archiving policies (or check your own publisher's website). When in doubt, it is best to contact the publisher directly.

For more information about copyright and publishers' agreements, visit Copyright at UBC.

You may also find the related FAQs helpful in answering your questions:

Will I be violating my copyright agreements with my publishers if I contribute published material to cIRcle?

This will depend on the publication agreement you signed with your publisher. Please check your copy of the agreement.

You can also check the SHERPA/RoMEO website for publishers' copyright and self-archiving policies to find permissions normally given to the author as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. You can also write directly to the publisher for permission to contribute your article to cIRcle.

For help with publishers' agreements and permissions, contact Copyright at UBC.

Deposit and removal of materials

Who can help me if I have difficulties depositing materials in cIRcle?

Please check out our User Guides and FAQs for detailed help documentation.

Please contact your collection administrator first (check with your academic or research unit's administrative, web support, or communications staff, or email the cIRcle Office.

For thesis submission inquiries, visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. Also, see Advantages of Electronic Theses listed on their website.

For other cIRcle-related inquiries, you may also contact the cIRcle Office.

Are cIRcle submissions peer-reviewed?

There is no cIRcle policy requiring or implementing a peer-review process prior to submitting work into cIRcle.

When uploading items to cIRcle, the online submission form contains a 'Peer-Review Status' indicator for which the value 'Unreviewed' or 'Reviewed' must be selected. The 'Reviewed' status generally refers to a scholarly work such as a journal article or a manuscript that has been through a publisher's stringent review process. An 'Unreviewed' item has not been peer-reviewed.

You can, of course, deposit a copy of your work that has already been peer-reviewed, provided you have the rights to do so. This will depend on the publication agreement you signed with your publisher. Please check your copy of the agreement. You can also check the SHERPA/RoMEO website for publishers' copyright and self-archiving policies to find permissions normally given to the author as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.

For more information about peer-review content in cIRcle, please contact the cIRcle Office.

How should I name my file?

Before depositing your material to cIRcle, please review our cIRcle File Naming Conventions Guide for best practices.

PDF format is preferred for documents but cIRcle staff can convert files to PDF on your behalf if needed. For details about other file formats currently supported, contact the cIRcle Office.

Can I remove or edit material from cIRcle?

cIRcle provides a permanent archive for UBC research and teaching materials and items may not normally be removed from cIRcle. They may, however, be withdrawn for specific reasons outlined in the cIRcle Policies section 6. b.

Withdrawn items are not deleted per se, but are removed from public view. Withdrawn items' identifiers/URLs are retained indefinitely, although no longer accessible to the public.

Changes to deposited items are not permitted.

For additional information, see the cIRcle Policies page.

What if I don't see my thesis or dissertation in cIRcle?

When your thesis meets Graduate Studies' requirements, you will receive an email notification that it has been added to cIRcle, UBC's Digital Repository. It may take 3-5 days after you receive this notification before it appears in the repository.

If you submitted a thesis or dissertation at UBC Vancouver prior to 2008 and do not see it in the repository, please contact Chris Hives, University Archivist and project manager for the Retrospective Theses and Dissertations, 1919-2007 project.

Can someone from outside UBC submit materials to cIRcle?

No. Items may only be deposited by accredited members of the University of British Columbia, or its designated affiliates, agents, and partners.

A work that has been co-authored by UBC and non-UBC authors may be deposited by the UBC author(s) (provided any necessary copyright permission has been obtained).

See our FAQ about Who can contribute to cIRcle? or for more detail view the cIRcle Policies page.

Do I have to supply metadata (descriptive data) for materials I deposit in cIRcle?

Yes, and it's simple - you fill out basic descriptive information about your work (Author, Title, Keywords, etc.) on the online submission screen as part of the process of depositing your file(s) into cIRcle.

If cIRcle staff are uploading the deposit on your behalf, you may wish to provide your cIRcle contact with metadata such as the preferred entry of your name.

The metadata and text is indexed and searchable by Internet search engines such as Google, Google Scholar, etc. This enables students, faculty, researchers, and others around the world to find your scholarly work.

For more information, see our FAQ on What is metadata?

See an example of a metadata record in cIRcle.

How do I deposit a file in cIRcle?

If you have already registered for a cIRcle login and been authorized by cIRcle staff to deposit to a collection, go the cIRcle homepage and click on Login to start a new submission. From there, you can follow the instructions in the online submission form. For assistance with this process, please view our User Guides or contact the cIRcle Office for assistance.

For thesis submission inquiries, see the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Electronic Submission Guide.

Related Links:

How long will it take before a deposited file shows up in cIRcle?

It depends on the submission and review process that has been established for the particular cIRcle collection into which you will be depositing your scholarly work. Please contact the cIRcle Office for assistance.

For thesis submission inquiries, visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. Also, see Advantages of Electronic Theses listed on their website.

What is a "checksum?"

cIRcle generates an MD5 checksum for every file it stores; we use this checksum internally to verify the integrity of files over time (a file's checksum shouldn't change). You can use this checksum to be sure what we've received is indeed the file you've uploaded.

If you wish to verify the file using checksums, click "Show checksums" on the "Uploaded File" page. The cIRcle-generated MD5 checksum for every file we've received from you will show to the right of the filename.

You will then need to use a local program to generate your own checksum for these files, and verify that your results match ours. On most UNIX-like systems (including Mac OS X), use md5sum. For instance, type "md5sum MYFILE" for every file you want to check; the summary should print on your screen. For Windows machines, MD5 tools are freely available: try md5 (from http://www.fourmilab.ch/md5/), or md5sum, available via the textutils package in Cygwin (http://www.cygwin.com/).

All of these utilities will need to be run from a command-line, or terminal, window. The entire digest printed out when you run the md5 tool on your local copy of the file you're uploading should be exactly equal to what cIRcle reports.

What is metadata?

In general, there are three types of metadata regarding archived works or content - namely, Descriptive Metadata (describes an item); Administrative Metadata (used to preserve metadata, provenance and authorization policies of an item); Structural Metadata (provides information about how to present an item and an item's associated file(s) to the end-user).

Metadata, at its simplest, means "structured data about data." It is "descriptive information about an object or resource whether it be physical or electronic" as per the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative with its aim to "mak[e] it easier to find information".

In cIRcle, it refers to the information you provide to describe your work (that is, the content) that you are depositing. Some of the required metadata fields are, for example, Author/Creator, Title, Language, Type, Affiliation, and so forth. As a result, Internet search engines such as Google, Google Scholar, and others crawl and index cIRcle regularly, making it quick and easy for anyone to find your scholarly work.

See example of a metadata record in cIRcle.

What types of materials can I deposit in cIRcle?

In terms of content:

  • Conference and workshop papers

  • Research papers (pre- and post-prints)

  • Unpublished reports and working papers

  • Books, chapters and sections

  • Learning objects

The work must be contributed in digital form and should be complete and ready for viewing and uploading at the time of submission. UBC Library's Digitization Centre offers digitization services on a case by case basis. To request digitization assistance, please submit a Digitization Project Proposal Form. Video and audio files must be in an encoded format such as MP4, MP3, MOV, AVI or WAV. cIRcle staff cannot accept unencoded DVDs or CDs at this time.

If an item (or submission) is made up of multiple files, all of the digital pieces must be provided as a set - for example, a PDF document with its associated data file(s).

The author/owner should be willing and able to grant cIRcle with his/her permission to preserve and distribute his/her scholarly work. The author must have copyright permission, or general approval must be obtained from the publisher, if applicable.

If the work is part of a series or set of related works, the other works in that series should, if possible, also be contributed so that cIRcle can offer as full a set as possible.

In terms of file formats:

We provide support for as many file formats as possible as long as an appropriate file viewer for the submitted content is freely available on the Internet. Over time, items stored in cIRcle will be preserved as is, using a combination of time-honored techniques for data management and best practices for digital preservation.

As for specific formats, however, the proprietary nature of many file types makes it impossible to give guarantees. Given the problems with preserving proprietary file formats, we strongly encourage cIRcle submitters to use open file formats such as PDF (Portable Document Format), ODF (OASIS Open Document Format), PNG (Portable Network Graphics), etc. whenever possible.

Put simply, our policy for file formats is:

  • Everything stored in cIRcle will be retrievable.

  • We will recognize as many file formats as possible.

  • We will support as many known file formats as possible.

When a file is uploaded to cIRcle, we assign it one of the following categories:

  • Supported : we fully support the format

  • Known : we recognize the format, but cannot guarantee full support

  • Unsupported : we cannot recognize a format; these will be listed as "application/octet-stream", aka 'Unknown'

For more information, see the cIRcle Policies page.

What about research data in cIRcle?

The UBC Library is working on a number of projects related to research data, and maintains a Research Data Management web site. The Library’s Humanities & Social Sciences Division also provides Data Services, primarily in the Social Sciences.

Small datasets in any discipline may be deposited in cIRcle provided that the datasets are accompanied by adequate documentation and are in a format that may be easily understood and re-used by other researchers. See, for example:

(Supplementary Data) From near extinction to recovery: Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic ammonoid shell geometry and • Birth weight and economic growth data sets, University Lying-in Hospital, Montréal, 1843-1905

If you are interested in submitting datasets to cIRcle, please contact the cIRcle Office.

How large can a file be?

You can upload files under 1GB. For larger files, please contact the cIRcle Office.