New Ebook Collection: Canadian Electronic Library Books

Monday, January 6, 2020 - 2:15pm

The Library has upgraded its subscription to the Canadian Electronic Library (CEL) to include access to CEL’s Canadian Books Collection.  The Canadian Books collection provides access to nearly 19,000, predominately non-fiction, ebooks sourced from a variety of academic and other Canadian presses such as the University of Toronto Press, Fernwood Publishing, and Dundurn Press.  The Books collection is licensed for single user (1SU) access and is cross-searchable along with the Library’s existing subscription to CEL’s public policy and health collection.


Monday, December 2, 2019 - 5:45pm

The database Business Source Complete (on EBSCOHost) was not renewed by the Library.  OCADU community access to this resource expires on January 1, 2020.

New E-Resource: Kanopy Streaming Films

Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 4:45pm

The Library has re-launched its Kanopy streaming video program.  The new Kanopy films program allows OCAD U students, faculty and staff to view more than 10,000 films from a variety of subject areas such as design, visual arts, and film, gender and indigenous studies.  Films in the collection include training, documentary and feature length productions from a range of producers/distributors such as Criterion/Janus films, Media Education Foundation, PBS, BBC and more.  Films can be accessed via Kanopy directly using the link on the A - Z Databases List or by searching the Library's discovery system Summon.

E-Resource Cancellations: AnthroSource, AdForum, Cambridge Journals Online & Others

Friday, October 6, 2017

In addition to the previously announced e-resource cancellations (June – September), the Library will be cancelling six more subscriptions through the remainder of the fiscal year in conformance with the institutional budgetary Remedial Action Plan.  Descriptions of these resources, alternative resources and subscription end dates are described below.


Description:  AdForum provides access to global advertising industry news, agency profiles and advertising campaigns. Partnered with leading trade presses, professional associations, and industry award shows, AdForum gathers information on more than 20,000 agencies and 150,000 campaigns in a variety of media including television, print, and radio advertisements.

Alternative Resources:  The central value of the Adforum subscription is the ad campaigns and industry directories (e.g. of production companies and advertising agencies) are collected and organized in one easily searched site.   Much of the content, including web-based and video ad campaigns can be freely viewed online and discovered through standard web search engines.

Subscription End Date:  January 2018


Description: AnthroSource is a searchable electronic archive of all journals, bulletins, and newsletters published by the American Anthropological Association with backfile coverage to volume 1 issue 1 of each title.  More than 250,000 full-text articles are available within this resource from sixty current and ceased AAA publications.

Alternative Resources:  The Library’s Wiley journal licence provides access to all Wiley journals from 1997 onward, including AAA publications.  With the cancellation of AnthroSource most backfile coverage, and access to some AAA publications, will no longer be available.  Backfile coverage for nine AAA journals remains available through the Library’s JSTOR subscription.

Subscription End Date:  January 2018

Cambridge Journals Online

Description:  Cambridge University Press’ slate of 376 peer-reviewed journals covering all subject areas with article coverage from 1997 - present.

Alternative Resources:    Some of the Cambridge journals content will continue to be available through library subscribed aggregator databases such as Academic OneFile and ProQuest Art, Design and Architecture Collection.  Content from the years the library participated in the Cambridge licence agreement (2008 – 2017) will remain available on Scholars Portal Journals.  Approximately 100 titles are also available in JSTOR with 3 – 5 year embargo periods.

Subscription End Date:  January 2018

Film & Television Literature Full-Text (FTL)

Description:  Film & Television Literature Full-Text provides access to more than 170 journal and popular magazine titles primarily relevant to film studies.

Alternative Resources:   46% of the titles in FTL are also available in other subscribed databases. Currently subscribed resources that contain the highest proportion of the same journal and magazine content include Art & Architecture Source and Taylor & Francis with 30 FTL titles in each.   Using Summon is recommended to search titles that remain within the Library’s collection.   

Subscription End Date:  March 2018

IEEE All Society Periodicals

Description:  Provides access to the core IEEE collection of 160+ technology journals and magazines including access to the highest impact journals in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Telecommunications, Computer Science, Hardware & Architecture, Information Systems and Artificial Intelligence.   Journal coverage is from 2005 to present.

Alternative Resources:   97% of the titles in IEEE are unique to this collection; however, individual articles may be requested by faculty, students and staff after the cancellation date using the Library’s Interlibrary Loan Service.   ACM Digital Library also provides access to numerous journals, magazines and conference proceedings in some of the same subject areas as IEEE, including computing and information technology.

Subscription End Date:  April 2018

New E-Resource: Frontier Life:  Borderlands, Settlements & Colonial Encounters

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 1:45pm

Frontier Life:  Borderlands, Settlements & Colonial Encounters

Institutions across Canada can now benefit from full access to Frontier Life: Borderlands Settlement and Colonial Encounters, a digital collection of primary sources offering a glimpse into Canada’s unique historic past.  Consortia Canada, Adam Matthew and 18 leading academic institutions have collaborated to open this essential content to libraries and educational institutions nationwide.  For further details read the full press release

This collection of primary source materials has been developed in cooperation with sixteen archives and libraries from around the world and provides access to more than 240,000 images and 8,000 documents from the mid-17th to the early 20th century.   Frontier Life documents the experiences of people living in the colonial frontiers of North American, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.  Indigenous peoples and their encounters with European settlers and their descendants are central themes within the collection which is organized by sub-collections such as Trade & Commerce, Religion, Children & Family, and Warfare & Military History.  70% of the collection is North American, with approximately 20% specific to Canada; including content from Canadian memory institutions such as the Glenbow Museum, Hudson Bay Archives, and Archives of Manitoba. 

Library E-Resource Cancellation:  Oxford Islamic Studies Online

Monday, June 19, 2017 - 2:15pm

Oxford Islamic Studies Online (OISO) provides access more than 5,000 reference and biographical entries, chapters from scholarly introductory works on Islam as well as images, maps and timelines.  The Library will be ending its subscription to OISO as of July 1, 2017. 

Non-Renewal Decision:   Usage of this resource has remained extremely low over the past several years, with typical usage below 30 chapter or reference entry views per year.  

Alternative Resources:   Credo Reference provides numerous reference texts on world religions, including several on Islam.  There are also dozens of titles available within the library searchable by the subject heading of Islam, including numerous scholarly introductory texts.  

Subscription End-Date:  July 2017.

Library E-Resource Cancellations

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 4:45pm

Due to budget reductions the Library is cancelling several subscriptions to academic databases in the months of June and July.  These cancellations include EBSCO Academic Search Premier & Masterfile, Textile Technology Complete, and Literature Criticism Online (LCO).   These resources were selected for discontinuation based upon their decreasing and/or low usage and content overlap with other currently subscribed e-resources.

Descriptions of each of these resources, rationale for cancellation, suggested alternatives, and subscription termination dates are outlined below.  The budgetary reduction comes at a particularly difficult time as the poor CAD/USD exchange rate continues to strain the collections budget.

Academic Search Premier & Masterfile

Description:  Academic Search Premier with Masterfile is a general, multidisciplinary database that provides access to more than 3,200 full-text journals and magazines in all subject areas; including approximately 1,300 active titles without embargoes (i.e. most recent issues/articles are available for these titles). 

Non-Renewal Decision:   Usage of Academic Search Premier has declined dramatically since the introduction of the Library’s unified search tool Summon in 2013, while the subscription cost has risen 38% over this same period.  Article views have dropped by 75% from a high of 17,172 in 2013/14 to 4,562 in 2015/16.  Summon fulfills largely the same role as a “starter” or general database, allowing users to search and access a broad range of journal, magazine and other content across all subject areas.  Journal and magazine coverage within this database is highly duplicative of content the library subscribes to though other publishers /aggregators.  An overlap analysis of Academic Search Premier revealed that 62% of journal/magazine content is either fully or partially available within other subscribed databases and more than 80% of articles from moderate to high use journal titles (i.e. 20+ article views over the past two years) are readily available in other databases.  

Alternative Resources:   Summon is the best alternative resource to Academic Search Premier as it provides access to the majority of content (contained within other subscribed databases) that was previously accessible in Academic Search Premier and provides similarly broad subject coverage. 

Subscription End-Date:  June 2017.

Textile Technology Complete

Description:  Textile Technology Complete provides access to periodicals, books and technical and trade literature covering the scientific and technological aspects of textile production and processing.

Non-Renewal Decision:  Subject matter coverage of Textile Technology Complete, such as chemical engineering, does not align with OCAD teaching and research needs as evidenced by very low-usage over the past several years.  Additionally, much of the more relevant journal content is available through a variety of other library subscribed resources such as Business Source Complete.    

Alternative Resources:   Summon is the best alternative resource to Textile Technology Complete as it provides access to much  of same journal content through a variety of subscribed e-resources.

Subscription End-Date: July 2017.

Literature Criticism Online

Description:  Literature Criticism Online (LCO) includes excerpted and full reproductions of biographies, reviews, and critical essay’s on authors and their works from the 600+ volume print series of Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism and Contemporary Literary Criticism. LCO provides key information on more than 4,200 novelists, poets, playwrights, or other creative and nonfiction writers and their works from 1900 - present.

Non-Renewal Decision:  Literature Criticism Online was subscribed to several years ago as an extended trial, pending review of usage which has since been determined to be quite low as compared to other similar subscription reference e-resources.   Much of the literature criticism excerpted within LCO is taken from journal literature OCAD users already have access to in databases such as JSTOR, Literature Resource Center and Project MUSE.  Although there is no way to perform a full overlap analysis of this resource, as LCO often reproduces individual journal articles  on authors and their works, and not full journal titles, a sample of content checked against the Library’s holdings suggest a high degree of overlap with current journal coverage.  Unique content lost in the cancellation includes some of the original author biographies as well as essays reproduced from anthologies not held by the library. 

Alternative Resources:  Literature Resource Center includes much of the content contained within Literature Criticism Online including some of the original author biographies, topic and work overviews contained within LCO.

Subscription End-Date: July 2017. 


We are creating a Tangible User Interface (TUI) designed to interactively query a database.  While much work has been done on TUI, showing that they encourage collaboration and positively enhance user experience, few tangible systems have been designed specifically for data analysis tasks.  Our system combines a tabletop (non-digital) graspable user interface with a two-dimensional screen display; the user interrogates the data by placing tokens on or off the tabletop and the screen displays the results of the user’s query.  The objects are tagged using fiducial markers, which are identified with open-source ReacTIVision computer vision software, and the visualization code is written in Processing.  We use radio station listenership demographic data for our current prototype, but the system can be used to query any type of database.

Below is a schematic of our tangible data query system.  Users create queries by placing objects onto a table, which has a camera placed discretely below it; the results of the query are displayed onto an overhead screen placed at one end of the table.  A video of the interaction can be viewed here:



Jofre, A., Szigeti, S., Tiefenbach-Keller, S., Dong, L.-X., Diamond, S. “Manipulating Tabletop Objects to Interactively Query a Database” (2016) CHI’16 Extended Abstracts (Chi 2016 San Jose May 7-12) 

Jofre, A., Szigeti, S., Diamond, S. "Citizen engagement through tangible data representation" Foro de Educación (January-June 2016) vol. 14, n. 20 

Jofre, A. Szigeti, S., Tiefenbach-Keller, S., Dong, L.-X., Tomé, F., Czarnowski, D., Diamond, S. (2015) "A Tangible User Interface for Interactive Data Visualization" Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the Center for Advanced Studies on Collaborative Research. IBM Corp., CASCON2015, November 2-4, 2015, Toronto, Ontario.

Szigeti, S., Stevens, A., Tu, R., Jofre, A., Gebhardt, A., Chevalier, F., Lee, J. & Diamond, S. (2014) Output to Input: Concepts for Physical Data Representations and Tactile User Interfaces. Proceedings of CHI14 Works‐in‐Progress (Toronto, ON).

Tangible user interface
Diagram showing 3 people using the table-based tangible user interaface
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 3:45pm
Lab Member: 
Dr. Ana Jofre
Dr. Steve Szigeti
Dr. Sara Diamond
Frederico Tomé
Dr. Fanny Chevalier
Embed Video: 

OCAD University Data Centre expanded by 300%

Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 4:00am

Project supports institution's growing research portfolio

(Toronto—September 1, 2011) In a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, OCAD University (OCAD U) opened the doors to its newly expanded and upgraded data centre, a major initiative at the university aimed at supporting the institution's growing research portfolio. The project provided significantly increased capacity for academic and administrative computing, storage and networking capabilities.

The data centre expansion increases the facility's physical footprint by 300%, and includes fully upgraded and state-of-the-art energy efficient and redundant mechanical, cooling and electrical systems and server cabinets.

"Completion of this project represents a major milestone in the advancement of the technological infrastructure that will help OCAD University realize many of its strategic objectives over the coming years," said OCAD U President, Dr. Sara Diamond.

The project provides the technological requirements for research projects in the university's specialized graduate and undergraduate programs such as the Graduate Program in Digital Futures, which has just admitted its first cohort, while providing support for a broad range of services to all students and faculty. Major collaborative research initiatives such as the Inclusive Design Research Centre and the Centre for Information Visualization and Data-Driven Design require significant compute capacity and data storage, and by completing the data centre project OCAD U can now house the essential infrastructure to enable this leading edge research.

Working with Computer Room Services Corporation ( OCAD University now has a data centre designed and optimized for reliability, security and N+1 redundancy for all critical mechanical and electrical components providing capability for 99.749% availability (Tier 2) for all services and over 460 U of cabinet space for compute and storage.

The OCAD University Data Center Expansion Project was made possible through the support of the Digital Media Research and Innovation Institute (DMRII) capital project, generously funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation, and matched by OCAD University through support to OCAD U's Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ontario Research Fund (MRI/ORF) and industry partners.

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University ( is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)