Help

DTES RESEARCH
ACCESS PORTAL

Nick Ubels (he/him) – Community Engagement Librarian

Welcome to the Downtown Eastside Research Access Portal (DTES RAP) help page. I’m here to help!

The DTES RAP provides access to research and research-related materials in and about the Downtown Eastside. You can learn more about the neighbourhood and its history here.

Get started with our user guide below. It’s organized by task to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. We will be adding more topics soon.

I am available to help you:

• Answer research questions
• Learn how to use the DTES RAP
• Access items in the DTES RAP

If you have a question, please email me at nick.ubels@ubc.ca. You may also schedule a phone or video appointment for one-on-one support using the button below. Learn more about video appointments with this handy infographic.

Search the collection

Our search feature helps you find relevant items from the DTES RAP collection. Follow these steps to use it effectively.

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1. Find the search bar

You can find the search bar at the top of the DTES RAP homepage.

You can also find our search feature by clicking the Search button, the third option in the website menu.

2. Start a list of keywords

Your keywords, or search terms, will help you find relevant items. They should describe the main ideas, people, places, or organizations you want to research. Strong keywords are:

  • Specific
  • Free from abbreviations

Abbreviations are less likely to be used in item descriptions than full names or words.

For example, “gentrification” could be a more helpful search term than “renos.” Basic search will automatically return results for all forms of your keyword. In this example, your results would include matches for “gentrification” and “gentrified”.

Think of some similar or related words to add to your list of keywords. For “harm reduction” you may consider “risk mitigation” and “safe supply.” Some items in the collection will also list suggested keywords. You can use these possible keywords in later searches. They might bring up other relevant results.

3. Type a keyword into the search bar

4. Press the Search button

5. Review your results

Learn how to review your search results.

6. Search again

After you have reviewed your search results and saved any relevant items, try another search using a different keyword. You can make your search more precise by using filters or advanced search. Remember that searching is a process. It can take a few attempts to find what you’re looking for.

Review your search results

Your search results are a list of items in the collection that match your keyword. Learn how to understand them in this section.

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1. The number of matches
You may need to narrow your search if there is a high number of matches. You can make your search more precise by using filters and advanced search queries. If you get too few matches, you should try a different keyword from your list. Type a new search term into the bar and press search.

2. Sorting options
Your results are automatically set to Sort by Relevance. Select this button if you would like your results to be sorted alphabetically by title or by the date they were created instead.

3. Page navigation
Click Next and Previous to view more results.

Each result will include some important details:

1. Title
To view more details or access the item, click on the title. Learn how to get an item in the Get Items tab.

2. Format
This could include text, image, audio, or video.

3. Date published

4. Creator(s)

5. Brief description
Read a short summary of this item. Click the Show More icon to see the full summary.

6. Topics
We’ve tagged each item with one or more topics. You can click on the tag to see other items about this topic.

7. Access restrictions
Free Use means that anyone can access the item. Restricted Use means you may need a subscription, special permission, or support to access the item.

If you are unable to access a restricted use item, please contact us at mrai.info@ubc.ca and we will help. Learn more about the kinds of access we provide: Access Statement (PDF).

Search tip: If you’re looking for all items by a particular creator, you may need to search for their last name. Some items only include an initial for the creator’s first name. We are unable to edit this information about all items, so searching for a creator’s full name may miss some matches.

Use filters

Filters can help you narrow down your search results. You can use them to limit your results to certain publishing dates, affiliations, and more. To use filters on your search results, start by clicking the Show Filters button on your search results page.

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You can apply these filters to your search results:

  • Topics are general subject areas in the collection. Items are tagged with one or more topics.
  • Affiliations are the organizations connected to the creators of an item. Some examples are Department of Geography, UBC; Hives for Humanity; and the Planning Institute of British Columbia.
  • Date filters limit your results to a certain time period. For example, if you only want to find items published in the last year, you would select 2019 to 2020.
  • Genres describe the form, style, or context of an item. Some examples of genres include book, thesis, and artistic performance.
  • Categories describe why an item in the collection was created. Some examples of categories include academic research, creative work and news and information.
  • Types describe the file type of items in the collection. Some examples of types include text, still image, and video.

Topics, Genres, Categories, and Types are assigned are assigned to items in the collection by the Making Research Accessible initiative using a controlled vocabulary. These consistent terms group related items together.

Select a term listed under a filter type to apply that filter. The term will be in bold and your search results will update automatically.

Search tip: If you want to find all of the items in the collection that match a certain filter, start with a search for *. This is called a wildcard search. On your results page, apply the filters you would like to use.

Use advanced search

Are you searching for items by a certain creator? Are you only interested in finding podcasts? Find more relevant items with our advanced search feature. You can search by particular kinds of information like title, affiliation, or creator. You can also bring together search terms to refine or expand your results.

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Find Advanced search

Find the Advanced search feature by selecting the link below the search bar.

Return to Basic search by selecting the link below the advanced search bar.

Create an advanced search query

You can select which information about the items in the collection you would like to search. Each type of information is called a field. Choose from these options by selecting the downwards arrow next to “Any field.”

  • Any field – Search all of the fields of information we have about the items in the collection.
  • Title – Search titles of items in the collection.
  • Creator – Search the names of the creators of all the items in the collection.
  • Affiliation – Search the organization(s) connected to the creator(s) of an item.

Use quotation marks

Use quotation marks around your search terms to find exact matches. This can be helpful if your search term is more than one word.

For example, if you were to enter “shared spaces” in the title field, your search results would only include items where these two words are next to each other in the title.

If you add this term without quotation marks, your search results would include items where shared or spaces are anywhere in the title. Some of these results may not be relevant to you.

Unlike basic search, keywords used in advanced search will not return matches for different forms of the keyword. For example, “shared spaces” will not return matches for “sharing space”.

Add other search conditions: AND, OR, NOT

You can make your search more precise by adding conditions. For example, you may only want to find items with “harm reduction” in the title field that were created by Kathleen Leahy.

The blue and purple sections of this diagram show search results for “shared spaces” in the title field.

On the second line of your search query, you can choose how you would like to apply another condition. Our advanced search feature uses AND, NOT, and OR to help refine your search.

Using AND narrows your search results. Items must match all of your search terms to show up in your results.

For example, the purple section of this diagram, where the circles overlap, shows items with “shared spaces” in the title field AND “Kathleen Leahy” in the creator field.

Using OR broadens your search results. Items can match all, some, or one of your search conditions.

For example, a search for “shared spaces” in the title field OR Kathleen Leahy in the creator field would match items in all three sections of this diagram.

Using NOT excludes items from your search results. Only results that match your first condition and do not match your second condition will be included.

For example, the blue section of this diagram shows search results for items with “shared spaces” in the title field NOT Kathleen Leahy in the creator field.

You can add and remove search conditions by pressing the plus and minus buttons to the right of the search bar.

Press the Search button to run your search. Learn how to review your results. If there are too few results, you will need to broaden your search query and search again. If there are too many, irrelevant results, you will need to narrow your search or apply filters.

You can use filters including Topics, Date, Genres, Categories, and Types to refine your search results further. Learn how to use filters.

Browse by topic

The RAP Topics section lets you browse by subject common in research or publications in the Downtown Eastside. You can find topics by clicking the Topics button, the second option in the website menu.

Get an item

When you find an item you want to access, click on the title. This will take you to a page with more details about that item, including how to get it.

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You will find one or more links to the item on this page. Select the link and a new window will open, taking you to a website where you can get the item.

If you select the link to UBC’s Open Collections in the example above, you will find the page below, where you can read or download the article.

Learn about Free Use and Restricted Use

Items in the DTES RAP are either Free Use or Restricted Use.

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Free Use means that anyone can get the item. It may be hosted in an open access repository, such as UBC Open Collections, or it may be publicly available through another website.

Restricted Use means that you may not be able to get this item right away. It could have some copyright restrictions or we may not have a link to a digital version. You may need a subscription or library card from a university to access it.

If you find a Restricted Use item you would like to access, please contact us using the “Get help by email” button on the article page. You can also email us with the article details at mrai.info@ubc.ca. We will do our best to find a version of this item for you to use.

We are working with creators to make as many items Free Use as possible. As of June 2020, less than 20 per cent of our collection is Restricted Use.

If you would like to only see items that are Free Use, you can check the box marked “Search for free use content only.”

Learn more about the kinds of access we provide: Access Statement (PDF).

Access PDF files

Many items in the DTES RAP are in Portable Document Format, or PDF.

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PDF files are often used to share documents because the formatting will not change when opened on different devices. However, you need software that can open PDF files installed on your device.

Some web browsers have a built-in PDF viewer. These include Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari.

If your browser does not open PDF files, you can install Adobe Acrobat Reader for free from the Adobe website.

Suggest or contribute an item

We value all community contributions to the DTES RAP. Learn how to help us grow our collection.

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If you have:

  • Found an item that would fit in our collection
  • Or published an item that would fit in our collection

Please send us an email at mrai.info@ubc.ca with the subject line “Suggested item:” followed by the title of the item.

In your email, include as many relevant details as you can, such as:

  • Title
  • Creator(s)
  • Location

If would like to see more of a certain topic or format in our collection, please send us an email at mrai.info@ubc.ca with the subject line “Collection feedback”.

Read more about our criteria in our Curatorial Statement (PDF).

Contact a researcher

Our Directory includes some academic researchers and students whose studies are connected to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES).

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Everyone in the Directory has volunteered to share their contact details and information about their work. We hope this page will highlight researchers with experience working in the DTES, make it easier for researchers and community members to connect with each other, and facilitate community-university collaborations.

If you have questions about contacting people listed in the Directory, please email Heather Holroyd at heather.holroyd@ubc.ca.

If you are an academic researcher or student and would like to join the Directory, please email mrai.info@ubc.ca

As this page is a new feature of the Research Access Portal we also welcome your ideas about how we can make it relevant to you and the people you work with; please email us your thoughts at mrai.info@ubc.ca.

Learn about research projects

Our Projects page includes some research projects that have happened or are happening in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES).

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All of the people leading research projects on this page have volunteered to share their information with us, and many have provided more information about themselves and their research in the Directory. All of the projects listed on this page have been reviewed and approved by an institutional research ethics board. We hope this page will highlight university research that is happening in the DTES, make it easier for researchers and community members to connect with each other, and facilitate community-university collaborations.

If you have questions about contacting people listed in the project descriptions, please email Heather Holroyd at heather.holroyd@ubc.ca.

If you would like to add your research project to this page, please email mrai.info@ubc.ca.

As this page is a new feature of the Research Access Portal we also welcome your ideas about how we can make it relevant to you and the people you work with; please email us your thoughts at mrai.info@ubc.ca.

Learn about community-university collaboration

Making research findings and related materials more accessible online is just one of the ways university and community members can learn from one another. On our Resources page, you will find checklists, guides, and more items that we have identified for anyone interested in community-university collaboration.

Give feedback

We welcome and value all feedback. Please email the team at mrai.info@ubc.ca

Concepts

Two important phrases that are used often throughout the DTES RAP are community-based research and knowledge exchange.

Community-Based Research Canada defines community-based research as “research projects that strive to be:

  • Community-driven – begins with a research topic of practical relevance to the community and promotes community self-determination.
  • Participatory – community members and researchers equitably share control of the research agenda through active and reciprocal involvement in the research design, implementation and dissemination.
  • Action-oriented – the process and results are useful to community members in making positive social change and to promote social equity.”

The UBC Knowledge Exchange Unit defines knowledge exchange as:

“… a two-way learning process in which academic and non-academic partners share their expertise and capacities to drive effective research impact. Our premise is that academic knowledge alone is often not sufficient to create positive change in society. Non-academic partners’ knowledge, skills and experience are also needed for evidence to be contextualized and used.

Although other expressions are used to describe the same idea, such as ‘knowledge translation’ or ‘knowledge mobilization’, we chose the term ‘knowledge exchange’ to highlight the interactive, iterative and multidirectional character of the process. The term knowledge exchange is also neutral in the sense that it can apply to all disciplines.”

DTES RAP Definitions

Learn about frequently used words and phrases in the DTES RAP. Many of these terms are also used in other collections and databases.
Access describes the availability of an item in the collection. The Making Research Accessible initiative (MRAi) strives to make all items in the collection as freely accessible as possible. At the same time, we must be clear about which items have limited access. The four terms below describe different types of access you may find when using the DTES RAP:
  • Free Use—Open Access Resource
    An item that is available in an open access digital repository, archive, or open access academic journal. These items are available to anyone with an Internet connection. Open access items usually have copyright statements (or “licenses”) that describe the legal conditions for using the item. Be sure to check licenses so you know what is allowed.
  • Free Use—Public Resource
    An item that is freely available on the Internet, but not in an open access repository or journal. These items may not have any listed copyright statements (or “licenses”). Yet they are still likely to have some form of copyright. Make sure the owner has agreed to allow you to copy or reuse this item before you do.
  • Restricted Use—Mediated Access Physical Resource
    An item available from UBC Library in a physical format (e.g. as a book). We can help you access these items by request.
  • Restricted Use—Mediated Access Resource
    A digital item not available for free public access. The most common example in our collection is an article in an academic journal that users pay to access. You may be able to access this item with a library account or another institutional log-in. We may also be able to find an open access version of this item for you.

Affiliations are the organizations the creators of an item are connected to.

Categories describe the context in which an item was created. Some examples of categories include academic research, creative work, and news and information.

Collection describes all of the items, as a group, that can be accessed via the DTES RAP. You can learn more about our collection criteria and priorities in our Curatorial Statement (PDF).

Controlled vocabulary describes the consistent set of terms used to group together similar items in the collection. The Making Research Accessible initiative assigns Topics, Genres, Categories, and Types using a controlled vocabulary.

Creator refers to the person or organization responsible for making an item in the collection.

Filters are used to help narrow your search results. For example, you can use filters to find items from a particular Genre or time period.

Genres describe the form, style, or context of an item. Some examples of genres include book chapters, theses (plural of thesis), and infographics.

Item describes any object in the collection. Some examples include scholarly articles, newsletters, and podcasts.

License describes the rules that set the terms for using an item. Some items may have copyright restrictions where others may have a Creative Commons license.

Metadata is information about another piece of information. Metadata describes information about items in the collection. Some examples include titles, topics, and creators.

Portal describes a gateway or guide to content from around the internet, often focused on a particular topic or theme.

Search results are a list of items in the collection that match your search conditions.

Topics are general subject areas assigned to items in the collection by the MRAi.

Type describes the file type of items in the collection. Some examples of types include text, audio, image, and video.