Profiled research projects


Major Collaborative Projects

UBC Blockchain Research Cluster

Blockchain@UBC is Canada’s largest and most diverse research cluster devoted to blockchain technology.

  • Principal Investigator and Cluster Lead – Victoria Lemieux


UBC Designing for People Research Cluster

UBC is home to a DFP research cluster and peer network including over 60 faculty engaged in DFP research, who provide the foundational expertise for this initiative.

  • Associated iSchool Faculty: Eric Meyers, Luanne Freund, Julia Bullard, Lisa Nathan, Heather O’Brien


InterPARES Trust (2013-2018)

InterPARES Trust  is a multi-national, interdisciplinary research project funded by a SSHRC Partnership Grant, exploring issues concerning digital records and data entrusted to the Internet. Its goal is to generate theoretical and methodological frameworks to develop local, national and international policies, procedures, regulations, standards and legislation, in order to ensure public trust grounded on evidence of good governance, a strong digital economy, and a persistent digital memory. ITrust builds on the foundations of InterPARES (International Research into the Preservation of Authentic Records in Electronic Systems) carried out in three phases from 1998 through 2012. The research findings and products of the first three phases of the InterPARES Project can be found at

  • Principal investigator: Luciana Duranti
  • Associated iSchool Faculty: Victoria Lemieux


Making Research Accessible: SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (2018-2021)

Making research accessible: transforming the utility of scholarly communication for the downtown eastside (DTES) community in Vancouver, British Columbia

  • Principal Investigator – Heather O’Brien
  • Associated iSchool Faculty – Luanne Freund, Co-PI

The Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver, BC a is a vibrant, resilient community facing well-known challenges of poverty, homelessness, and drug use. DTES residents and community agencies actively work to address systemic inequalities, improve residents’ quality of life, and advocate for social change. Research carried out collaboratively by scholars and community members has the potential to support these efforts, yet “top-down” university-led research has been historically problematic for disenfranchised communities such as the DTES. The PDG addresses this gap in community-oriented knowledge mobilization (KMb), building on existing projects led by the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU) Libraries, and exploring new ways to mobilize research together with communitybased (UBC Learning Exchange) and research (BC Centre for Substance Use) partners. This regional project will be an exemplar for university-library-community collaborations beyond BC and provide a body of research that focuses on making research more broadly accessible.



iSchool Faculty Research

Evidenced-Based Evaluation Framework for Community-Based Experiential Learning (CBEL) Projects for the Bachelor of Media Studies (BMS) – TLEF Grant (2017-2021)

This TLEF project will design and test an evaluation framework (i.e. model and data collection instruments) to evaluate CBEL projects for the BMS. This evaluation framework will be used to improve CBEL initiatives for students, teachers, and community partners alike. Results of this project should also inform an evidence-based strategy that integrates current independent CBEL initiatives, focused on individual courses, into a single coherent CBEL strategy for the whole BMS.

  • Principal Investigator – Richard Arias-Hernandez

Enabling deep learning for multilingual sociopragmatics – NSERC Discover Grant (2018-2023)

  • Principal Investigator – Muhammad Abdul-Mageed


Contextual misinformation detection using Arabic social media – SSHRC Insight Grant (2018-2021)

  • Principal Investigator – Muhammad Abdul-Mageed
  • Associated iSchool Faculty – Luanne Freund, Co-PI

Conceptualizing recordkeeping as grief work: Implications for archival theory and practice – SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2018-2020)

  • Principal Investigator – Jennifer Douglas

Conceptualizing the archive as grief work: a new perspective on the Sylvia Plath archives – UBC Hampton Fund (2017-2019)

  • Principal Investigator – Jennifer Douglas


SSHRC Insight Grant Antecedents and learning outcomes of exploratory search engagement (2016-2019)

This research frames exploratory search as an educational and societal investment. It recognizes that information needs cannot always be reduced to a simple query and multiple sources may be needed to piece together evidence, solve a problem, or make a decision. Through funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, we are exploring the intersection of user (e.g., cognitive ability, topic expertise) and task (e.g., complexity) characteristics and learning in exploratory search environments with respect to user engagement. We are developing, using and evaluating subjective and objective measures of UE and learning, with the hope that we will contribute to the robustness of measurement approaches in interactive information retrieval.

  • Principal Investigator – Heather O’Brien