BIRS and the UBC Library Win the SLA Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Award

Posted on Mon, Jun 15 2015 16:49:00

A collaborative project between the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Library was named the winner of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) annual Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division award.

To date, more than 2,000 video lectures from the BIRS lecture series have been uploaded onto cIRcle (the UBC Library’s digital repository), providing robust and long-term preservation, as well an enhanced accessibility for scholarly researchers worldwide through UBC’s online library service. The digital archival system will guarantee the content is discoverable and indexed in popular search engines, thus helping to increase the global reputation of BIRS.

The collaboration marks the first large-scale project to digitally preserve and disseminate mathematical science research output in video format. BIRS is one of the world’s most prominent mathematical science research institutions. It maintains strong ties with UBC’s most prominent mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists– The BIRS Scientific Director is UBC Professor of Mathematics, Nassif Ghoussoub, and its Board includes UBC President Arvind Gupta. Every year, about 2100 researchers representing 400 institutions from more than 60 countries, participate in BIRS’ scientific programs, creating a content-rich framework for sharing research, knowledge and information. The BIRS videos launched in cIRcle last fall and have already been heavily used, with more than 18,000 downloads and 40,000 views.

On June 15, 2015, in Boston, at the SLA Annual Conference, the award was officially announced, citing significant contribution to the exchange of information in mathematics. “We are proud of BIRS' effort in recording, archiving, preserving, and disseminating its on-site scholarly proceedings to researchers worldwide through UBC’s online library service. This is a truly collaborative effort and involves three nations and four governments,” remarked BIRS’ Director, Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub.

To view the current inventory of BIRS videos in cIRcle, visit the BIRS community page.

Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery is one of the most prominent mathematical research institutions in the world with strong associations to notable UBC mathematicians and its Board includes UBC President Arvind Gupta. Members of BIRS represent 400 institutions from more than 60 countries, creating a content-rich network for sharing research, knowledge and information. On average, researchers record 20 lectures per week for 48 weeks of the year, totaling 1,000 video files per year – all of which are freely available on the BIRS website.

cIRcle is UBC’s digital repository for research and teaching materials created by the University community and its partners. Materials in cIRcle are openly accessible to anyone on the web and are preserved for future generations.

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