Making Research Accessible initiative

What is the ‘Making Research Accessible’ initiative (MRAi)?

The MRAi seeks to improve access to academic research and community-generated materials with a focus on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). The need to access high-quality research and information was brought to the attention of the UBC Learning Exchange by people living and working in the DTES. These groups voiced their concern with research projects that extracted information and findings that were locked behind publisher paywalls. Members of community organizations also identified the need to preserve community-generated materials.


  1. Increase the accessibility and impact of research by providing online open-access to research with a focus on the DTES including plain-language summaries.
  2. Work with community organizations and residents to digitize community-generated materials such as program reports, research and evaluation documents, and organizational histories and provide online access to increase availability in and beyond the DTES.
  3. Create opportunities to share information and learn from one another (i.e. knowledge mobilization)

Who we are: Led by UBC’s Learning Exchange, the MRAi is a collaboration between community organizations and university partners including the Public Scholars Initiative, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the UBC Library.

What we do: The MRAi is working to develop an online and open access place, the ‘DTES Information Hub,’ which the wider community can go to, to access research findings and community-generated materials with a focus on Vancouver’s DTES. We also work to support faculty members, community organizations, students, community members, and other stakeholders to share information, learn from and collaborate with each another. Through providing more ways to share findings from the DTES we hope to broaden the positive impact of evidence-based information in people’s lives.

To learn more about MRAi please review our Statement on Guiding Principles and Actions.